My Diabetes Halloween Costume

What would it look like?

Kerri SparlingBy

February 2012 — I don't know what I dressed up as for my first Halloween. One year I was Raggedy Anne. Another year, I dressed up as Little Bo Peep. And then there was that stretch of about four years where I went trick-or-treating dressed as a gypsy. (I think I just liked all colorful scarves, and I loved being able to wear the gigantic hoop earrings that my mother banned every other day of the year.)

I never dressed up as scary things. I wasn't drawn to witch costumes, or goblins. But one costume I always pictured was dressing up as diabetes.

Only I couldn't completely nail down what that would look like.

My diabetes costume would have wings, but not like cute little butterfly ones. We're talking big ol' dragon wings that have the ability to fly a blood sugar of 100 mg/dL straight up into the chaos of the 300s. The kind that can knock the paint off your walls with one lazy flap.

My diabetes costume would include a feed trough attached to my face, like a horse, to represent those lows when I want nothing more than to go to sleep, but I must instead force-feed to bring up my blood sugar.

While we're at it, let's throw in one of those hats that you can mount bottles on and route drinking straws down to your mouth from. That would represent the high blood sugars where you're so thirsty that you want to put your mouth to the garden hose and just consume endlessly.

Oh, and the costume would have snaps at the bottom, like a little baby's onesie, so you can pee every five seconds without having to completely undress. (Thank you, high blood sugars, once again.)

My diabetes costume would have a Boy Scout backpack that is suitable for traveling across the European countryside, but represents the fact that this condition requires a lot of STUFF and embodies that motto of needing to "Be Prepared."

My diabetes costume would have Wolverine-esque talons with which to lance a fingertip and grab a blood sugar result. (Only I'd be missing the Wolverine-esque healing powers, which is the superhero power I envy the most.)

My diabetes costume would have octopus arms — the classic eight — so it could reach into different aspects of my life and create chaos. It would be able to reach into my exercise routines, my meals, my relationships, that part of my brain that worries, my wallet, my sleep, and my sanity. (My diabetes costume would not include a broom or a mop, because it doesn't make a habit of cleaning up after itself, anyway.)

My diabetes costume would have a constant, nagging headache all the time from all that effort it spends being irritating.

My diabetes costume would have horns or fangs or something, because don't all Gremlins have something horrible like that? Let's go with fangs and horns, and add in some hairy moles for good measure.

My diabetes costume would have an invisibility cloak, because diabetes is such an invisible disease. No one can tell I have it just by looking at me, and usually when I do disclose, they seem surprised. It's not until you test your glucose in public, or someone spies your insulin pump, or diabetes complications are visible that diabetes truly takes off that cloak. Diabetes is invisible until it's truly, truly visible.

But my diabetes costume would come with this breastplate of steel, emblazoned with the name of every person with diabetes I've ever met, and every person who cares for someone with diabetes. Which means my heart and soul would be protected by the diabetes community, who take such good care of one another.

...throw in those gigantic hoop earrings and we're in business.

Visit Kerri's website.


dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.

Last Modified Date: June 14, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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