I rarely step away from my desk at lunch. I may grab some sushi or a salad from a nearby café, but most of the time, I then eat it at my desk, making a mess all over my keyboard and trying not to spill food down my front.
But occasionally, I make my way the city or to Carlton and actually walk around for half an hour, pop into shops or even sit down and eat properly. And when I do this, without fail, I am stopped by fundraisers on the street who offer me a hug or ask me in an overly false voice how I am doing and promise they will ‘Only take a minute’ of my time.
I’ve tried everything to avoid them. I don’t make eye contact; I walk purposely and fast; I pretend to be looking for someone else on the street. Regardless, they still make their way to me, arms outstretched, clipboard knocking out anyone in their way.
Because I don’t like to be rude, I can’t ignore their approach. I get that it’s their job and they are there to engage people and get them to sign over money to a (usually worthwhile) cause. I used to smile and shake my head. And I used to feel apologetic about it.
But after years of this harassment, (okay, perhaps a little too strong a word), I am over being nice. I storm past them, pushing their arms and clipboards out of the way, and mutter in a determined voice, ‘Not today’. If I am in a good mood, I add a ‘thanks’ at the end. Usually, they have beaten the good mood out of me, so they only get two words. (And they should be grateful that the two words are ‘Not today’, because I promise, they are not the two words at the front of my mind.)
It’s a pretty successful tactic. When I was pleasant and smiled at them, they thought it was encouragement and would start to walk alongside me, starting their friendly banter. But my curt response cuts off any idea that we are about to have a chat. It shows that I mean business and my business does not involve them.
This morning, I got out of bed and felt pretty revolting. I sensed that my BGL was high – enough for me to actually notice it before checking. When a nice number in the low twenties showed up, I knew that I was in for a rough morning.
I cursed that after a week of waking up with numbers in the 4s and 5s, today would be the day that I start with high BGLs. I had an important meeting first up, but before that I had promised the kidlet that I would have a quick look around her classroom and chat with her teacher.
I resisted the urge to crawl back into bed and willed the feelings of nausea to get themselves under control.
‘Not today,’ I muttered under my breath. ‘Not. Today.’
I sat back down on the edge of the bed, the plan of managing to bring my BGL back in range being worked out. The tendency to over-bolus is always high, but I rejected that, instead going for a sensible, slow approach.
I firstly changed out my line and cartridge, priming carefully and filling the cannula once it was inserted.
I bolused according to what the wizard on my pump recommended – not (as I frequently do) adding a couple of extra units ‘for luck’.
I set a conservative temporary basal rate – and only for an hour, setting an alarm on my phone to remind me to check again after that length of time and reset if necessary.
And then, I chugged several glasses of cold water before getting ready for work.
By the time we walked out the door an hour later, I was feeling calm and my BGL was falling at a sensible rate. I doubted that there would be a hypo from over treating the high. I had been cool and calm. Determined. Focused.
‘Not today,’ I thought again, directing this at my diabetes. ‘Not today.’
A good music documentary is a great way to spend a night in. We re-watched an old favourite last week – ‘Shut up and Sing’ – which tells the story of what happened after one of the Dixie Chicks made a disparaging comment about then-President George W Bush. Since then, I’ve been listening to the Dixie Chicks on and off and today have had this on repeat in my office.