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Breaking the (Diabetes) Law

Know what’s a fun trick?

Go to your neighborhood nail spa, get nice and comfy in the pedicure chair — hot, soapy water, vibrating seat back — wait until the nice lady is about 2/3 of the way through executing your pedicure, and then take out your glucose monitor as you announce that, due to your Type 1 diabetes, you need to check your blood sugar. It’s like a hypodermic needle scratching a record.

I did this a few months ago, but not on purpose. I was simply trying to enjoy a relaxing afternoon ritual with a friend when I needed to calibrate my CGM. I pulled out my OneTouch, and you’d have thought I’d extracted a unicorn head from my bag.

I know that, technically, I have no business getting a pedicure. I could get a cut. Develop a revolting toe-eating fungus. Lose a foot. (Would I get a 50% discount on pedicures then?) But on the sliding scale of diabetes rules, I put the anti-pedicure thing over there with not wearing sandals and changing the lancet with each test. (I will say that I draw the line at the scary razor thing they inflict on some clients’ feet. I’m all about the loofah and the nail polish — not so much the weapons-masquerading-as-grooming-tools.)

This is my before picture.

If I have to get up in the middle of the night to eat and/or bolus, stab my fingers 6 times a day, count carbohydrates, pay for insulin and test strips and pump supplies and fight with insurance companies, I can risk the dangers of the loofah, right? Maybe the pedicure is my last bastion of denial and rebellion. Diabetes comes with so many “can’t do”s and “must do”s — and I need a little self-inflicted danger in my life. Maybe it’s the grown-up diabetic equivalent of bingeing on cake and pizza at a middle school birthday party, or leaving your logbook blank until the morning of your endocrinologist appointment.

Or maybe I just like the way my toes look with OPI Big Apple Red on the tips.

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