T1D and the Working Life

Dear friends,

I am hungry, like really hungry, like crazy, I want to eat BOTH my arms off hungry.

I can barely keep my eyes open, I’m so hungry.

My stomach is a loud orchestra of grumbles I’m sure my colleagues 50 feet away can hear, I’m so hungry.

I’m thinking about when I last ate. I’m counting the hours, minutes, seconds until I can next eat. I can’t think of anything else but the hunger pangs taking me over.

This is not me.

Or, at least it wasn’t pre-working me.

Normally my body demands a hit of fuel every 2-3 hours through the day; two if the day is super hectic, or if I’m experiencing menstruation, or if I went for an early morning run, or put some other stress on my system.

And that’s totally been okay.

Mary’s crackers and strawberries, snack of Summer Katie!

I honestly don’t remember the last time I had to negotiate around someone else’s schedule with regards to food… possibly when I was still in high school employed at McDonald’s, which was a loooooooooooong time ago.

As a university student, I pretty much ate whenever, wherever I wanted, regardless of whether I was in class or not.

As a journalist, I’d snack away while pounding out stories, no big deal – and still get my hour break. Pretty much, had it made back then 😉

But now, in my practicum, breaks don’t seem to be all that common.

Typically RDs go strong through the morning, take a leisurely 1-hour break for lunch, and then go hard for the afternoon.

I never see them eating at their desk, and they’re sure as heck not eating while doing rounds, because a: how can you talk with food stuffed in your mouth and b: eww.

Folks, my T1D does not like this schedule.

I’m sure if I requested two 15-minute breaks and a 30-minute lunch instead of the hour, my supervisors would be totally cool with it. I mean, we are dietitians after all, food is our everything!

And that would be the logical thing to do. It would surely solve those hunger pangs.

But here’s the thing, I really enjoy those 1-hour lunch breaks. The RD community at the hospital I’m working at is super tight and there’s great conversation and networking to be had in those moments. Plus, in 1 hour I don’t have to wolf my food down like I’d have to do in 30 minutes, which is always nicer.

So, what’s my solution?

Well folks, I have a secret to reveal. A deep, dark secret that I never thought I would have to reveal, let alone do.

But before I reveal this I must first apologize to a friend of mine.

About 5 years ago, my friend came to dinner with his wife. He was wearing a fanny pack. The moment I saw it, I started laughing harder than I think I’ve ever laughed in my life.

What’s the deal, I snorted, are you like living in Quantum Leap or Back to the Future, and think you’ve hit the ‘80s mother load?

I still laugh thinking about it …

And then I cringe.

Because here’s the thing, my friends, I too have joined the fanny pack life.

Fanny pack, whaaaaaaaat?

Yes, that’s right, I’m wearing a fanny pack.

I stuff that thing so full of various, portable snacks, such as fruit leathers and almonds or trail mix, plus all my T1D supplies for whenever the BG or hunger pangs strike.

It’s not apples and granola bars or veggies and hummus, like I’m used to, but in a pinch, when I’m nose deep in a chart, it works.

So far.

Now, if only I could still have that hour long break and two 15 minute breaks – wouldn’t that be a dream 😉


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