Coping With Type 1 Diabetes: A Message From a Pancreatically Challenged 21-Year-Old


By Connor Pattinson

As a straight-presenting, cisgender, white man, I basically have to take every flimsy shot I can to get ahead in an increasingly DEI focused world. This isn’t your grandpa’s level of diversity where saying “Yeah, well, I mean I had a crush on a Latina woman in college,”  is all it takes to prove you’re part of the tolerant left. No no, now it takes a little bit of gusto. So imagine how my despair turned into elation when I found out my Type 1 diabetes counts as a disability!

That’s right baby, your boy is dis-fuckin-abled.

Ya like my handicapped parking permit? Does that turn you on? How about my priority boarding on an airplane? Oh yeah, you already know that includes a plus-one ticket on most major airlines (restrictions apply), you dirty dog. It’s you and me against the world, provided I have proper refrigeration for my insulin wherever we end up traveling. 

And travel we shall. We shall travel to far off exotic places like Wyoming, California and the Dakotas — basically wherever I can get us access to one of the over 2,000 recreation sites included on my FREE interagency access pass. Oh yeah, I get access to the USDA forest service sites and national parks so Badlands, South Dakota here I come. And as I watch my blood sugar drop over the horizon, I will know that my diabetes was worth it to save me $80 annually. 

Another small win for the pancreatically deficient happens every time Kevin Feige takes a shit, God help whichever jackass movie theater attendant tells me I can’t bring my own food in. Listen here you minimum wage-earning, 16-year-old, acne-ridden, voice-cracking, sexually frustrated little hormone goblin: it will be a cold day in hell before I pay for movie theater snacks and if you think for a single solitary moment that I would cave and buy your $8, 3 ounce bag of gummy bears before simply succumbing to the great beyond as a result of my blood sugar getting low, you don’t know me and it looks like you’ll never get the chance. Good luck justifying that to your conscience, bitch.

Perhaps the best part of this whole “diabetes” schtick is that I have an immediate way to end a bad date. All I have to do is bring my insulin with me. You know that thing I need to stay alive? Apparently, inserting a needle into my midriff is a massive turn-off. As soon as a date goes bad, I just whip out a fresh needle, ask, “Hey does this bother you?” and shoot myself full of yummy chemicals before they say anything. I would chase after them, except if I don’t eat in the next few minutes after doing so I will collapse and die. But that’s just showbiz baby.

Sure, this means there are several countries that I will likely never be able to safely travel to for long periods of time. It also means that the precautions I have to take to do anything from flying to Iceland to going out to dinner have skyrocketed and made my life exhausting at little turns. But apparently that’s “an unhealthy way to think about this diagnosis” and I “need to focus more on what means the most to me in a time of rapid change to avoid the depressive spiral that comes from such intense rumination.”

Sadly, the only thing that makes me feel anything is writing Slant articles about my misfortune. 

  • October 19, 2023