Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Skittles

This post took place several weeks ago at the beginning of the semester.

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Guy-Who-Crushes-On-Me greets me. My other friends do too. The professors take the stage.

I sit back in my seat and listen. Tonight is a long class. 6 hours. Professors make every indication that they intend to take up the entire time. I even take some notes. I love school, and I'm glad to be back.

Coffee break time comes and, as per my custom, I stab my finger. The drop of blood on the strip reveals a 70. Ok, a little low, but I am gonna have dinner now. I'm starved. I eat my low fat yogurt. My carrots. My string cheese. My apple. New year, new leaf diet wise. I bolus for none of it.

Back to class.

An hour passes. Then 2. My stomach cramps. I feel like I am going to get my period. But that just happened last week. And I never get it more than every 8 weeks. I do the logical thing and stab my finger again. I lean over to GWCOM, "No comments about me obsessing over diabetes, ok?" He smiles and nods. The meter counts down and reveals a 68. This isn't good. Out pop the glucose tabs. I down 4, and pray the carbohydrates I am throwing at my body kick in. This is officially Not Good.

My pump alarms. "Check BG. Your last glucose was low." It's been 20 minutes already. More cramps. I'm up to 74. My body shakes. I'm not high enough. I'm not going up fast enough. My first day of school is turning into a nightmare. I can't handle more tabs. I grab a dollar and head downstairs to the vending machine for a skittles fix. Professor-from-last-semester stops me in the hall. I try not to be a rude bitch, but some situations call for it. This is one. I call my answers to her questions to her as I walk down the stairs. I liked the professor. I feel mean. I have no choice. I'll explain later.

The vending machines have a line. I queue up in orderly fashion. I'm not that rude of a bitch. My turn comes. I pause as I try and remember how these machines I have been using for years work. I place the money in and press D9 for skittles. The skittles start their free fall to the ground where I can grab them and suck them into my mouth. They get caught. Last minute. Did I do something wrong?

I can reach them. They can't help me. I'm stuck alone with no money and a rapidly plummeting blood sugar. I'm shaking. I push my body against the machine, but my weakening body can't force the sugar down to where I can use it.

Close...but so far away. My eyes scavenge the hallways. I'm popular. I know people. And I'm open about my diabetes. There has to be someone I know. There isn't.

A tear creeps from my eye. I don't know what to do. I need help. I can't be alone right now.

I race up the stairs as fast as my spaghetti legs will carry me. I hope to see PFLS. But she's long gone. I barge back into the lecture hall. I walk in front of professor who is lecturing. I don't care. I'd say 90% of the class, and the professor who is currently lecturing know about my diabetic-status.

I climb up to my seat and without sitting down grab my wallet. I say to GWCOM, "Come with me." He gets up and walks out with me.

Without saying a word we head for the vending machines. "I have quarters, lots of them," he offers. We make it and he loads 4 quarters in the vending machine. "What do you want?"

"Skittles."

"What flavor?"

"It doesn't matter, damn it."

He makes no comments on my testy mood. He picks a number and these Skittles, too, get stuck on their way down. I feel cursed.

He yells to another guy walking down the hall, "Help me shake the machine, she needs sugar real bad."

My tears and in full force, falling to the floor faster than my skittles. The two strangers shake the machine together, and GWCOM reaches down and grabs both packets now in the bottom of the machine. He ribs one open and hands it to me. I shovel a load in my mouth. We sit down. He offers me up tissue, "It's crinkled, but clean." I accept.

"We're missing class."

"I don't care. Take your time."

We sit in silence.

"I effing hate diabetes."

"I know, no one wouldn't. But I do think you do a good job."

We sit more.

"That was a big mouth full all at once- I'm impressed you didn't gag."

We laugh. We walk back to class.

15 comments:

Sara said...

WOW!
What a scary circumstance but what a GREAT guy!
I am really surprised the prof didn't say anything. I had a professor mock me once for sitting by the door - he felt like such a tool after, when I explained why!

Megan said...

My professor knew I had diabetes because I had another class with her. Since I'm in nursing school, all my professors are health care professionals and have some understanding of diabetes, however elementary it is.

bethany said...

wow great job writing that and i'm sorry that you had to experience it ... makes me think to my gsci class and what happened there ... maybe i'll write about it <3 thanks for sharing and i'm glad you're ok <3

justme said...

good to know there are still people like that around!!

BetterCell said...

This feeling of "impending doom" and the beginning of unconsciousness is unlike any other. Instead of relying on things to chew(skittles), it would be better to "drink" something like cola or a juice......it is faster and does not require chewing........but then again, it requires a vending machine that has it or/and to carry it on your person all the time. I am glad that things did not get worse for you.

Vivian said...

Megan- Thanks for sharing this. I am so glad that it worked out and you are ok. What a good friend you have in that guy. I am so thankful that he stayed with you and did what it took to help you through it. Big Hugs and hopes that today is a good day.

Carey said...

Wow! Was on the edge of my seat here - heart racing and getting teary. Thank goodness the outcome was OK. Really well written account of what sounds absolutely horrifying.

Nicole P said...

I think you need to hold onto that Boy with a Crush on You. He sounds like a keeper.

Bernard said...

Megan

I'm glad you had enough chutzpa left to talk directly to the professor. Good for you.

That was one scary experience, I'm happy you made it through.

Dawn said...

Hi Megan. Just found your blog - your entry made me well up ~ my 9yr old son is newly diag.type 1. Good Luck in school CARRY LOTS of sugar... I hound my son everyday do you have glucs w/ya?? When he drops he shakes uncontrollably too. sorry you had a bad day ~

Scott K. Johnson said...

I was on the edge of my seat too!

Glad it worked out Ok - very scary though - that feeling of helplessness.

That guy sounds like a keeper - I bet he would have drove his shoulder through that plexiglass to get some skittles for you.... That's got to say something about him!

Kerri. said...

Crush Boy -- I think you should keep him. Especially since he asked what flavor Skittles you wanted. He treats reactions with style. ;)

Kassie said...

this is classic - you eat dinner, don't bolus, have glucose tabs on hand, cash for snack machine... and still diabetes trouble comes to find you! This is when it gets really frustrating. So glad you had someone there to help out!

Molly said...

Nice guy. Nice to have friends. ;-)

I can't tell you the number of times I have been low and put my $ in a pop machine, only to push a diet pop button out of habit. AND...not just me...friends will do it when I ask them to get me some pop for a low. They come back with a diet pop and have a horrified look on their face.

George said...

OMG that is freaking scary. I am glad you had someone to help.

Crushing guys can come in handy!