Whose Round Is It Anyway?

I couldn’t post last night because my house has an internet connection circa 1990. It chooses as and when it wants to work; something I really need to get fixed if THIS is going to work.

So the only other viable option on a Friday night was playtime. Yes, I’m blaming a lack of internet for my current state. It’s lunch time and so far all I’ve managed to ‘make’ myself to eat is corned beef. Straight out of the tin, with a spoon. Please don’t judge me.

Alcohol will forever be the diabetes downfall. Of all the tricky decisions, pitfalls and judgements diabetics have to deal with, alcohol is Public Enemy Number One.

You can consult your low-carb manual and easily discover that vodka diet coke is a helluva lot better for you than a vodka Red Bull. It ain’t rocket science. But the real situation of being in a busy bar that doesn’t have time to cater to your diabetic needs is a little different. Plus the fact that no matter how many times I tell myself sober to behave, the more drunk I get, the less I care. That may make me the bad guy, but that’s just how I roll.

Taking insulin out to compensate for the plethora of sugar-laden drinks on the go isn’t really an option. I come home with my lip gloss about as often as I come home with my dignity (I’ll leave it to you to decide how often that may be) and losing my insulin is not a game I’m willing to play. I always have an extra dose before I leave the house, and usually remember to have a bit more when I get in depending on what I’ve consumed, but it’s very unscientific, stumbly, blurry guess work by that point.

Take last night for example. I met a guy for the first time. Completely innocent may I add; a school friend of my housemate – a fabulous lady we call Miss C, who moonlights as my partner in crime. Said guy was unimpressed at my sober state. So was I to be fair; it was about 2am and I’d put in some serious leg work to that point. “This is not allowed,” was his judgement. Fine by me seeing as he was offering to pay to ‘fix’ the matter. I’m a poor journalist.

I feel like I really need to put in some sort of disclaimer here… I work hard, I play hard. That’s pretty much the gist of it. I go out and drink once a week and I have a good time. I don’t get leathered to the point I can’t remember my own name, and I certainly don’t advocate anyone else doing the same. But I’m talking about real life here. There’s no point dressing this up. I’m here to tell it like it is, otherwise there’s really no point in this blog whatsoever. Aaaand scene.

So back to said man, busy club, lots of people, music, funsies being had. “What do you fancy?” he asks (once again, we’re talking about drinks here. Mr G, you can read on). “Just half a Strongbow,” I say thank you please. Man rolls his eyes, tuts, waves a tenner in my face. “What do you realllly want? Jagerbomb?” Cue utmost look of horror on my face, which he read as ‘I can’t drink them they’re far too strong’, not ‘I can’t drink them I’ll end up in hospital with kediacidtosis’. So I tell him, to avoid any further tooing and froing, that I’m diabetic. He literally laughs in my face. That’s a new one. He doesn’t beat heroin boy, but it’s fair to say this wasn’t the reaction I was expecting.

At this point you may be thinking this man is the vilest creature that ever graced the planet. He’s really not, actually, but this completely proves my point as to why all this is so damn tricky. “Don’t give me that,” he laughed. “That’s the worst excuse I’ve ever heard.” Phew! Sighs of relief all round. Although I did have to actually get Miss C to verify that I was in fact telling the truth about being diabetic; man was having NONE of it. Finally we settled on a vodka diet coke. Good diabetic, brownie points for Jen. Lovely. Until agreed drink appears with a side of sambuca. Oh, good.

Me and Miss C. Perfectly normal girls, then.

So what do we do here, kids? Turn it down and give it to someone else? Or shun the halo and drink up? The thing is, I didn’t want to turn it down. I wanted to drink it. Because I was out, having a good time and we were all doing a shot. So down it went. Did I die? The evidence would suggest a negative. Does it go against all low-carb, let alone diabetic principles? Pretty much.

So everything I’ve been banging on about in every post thus far just goes out of the window, just like that, just coz I’m tipsy? Gasp, shock, horror.

Of course it doesn’t. But I’m human. I’m 23 and I go with the flow. One shot is not going make me blind, as long as I compensate with insulin-based shots elsewhere. Which I did. To be a ‘perfect’ diabetic is not practical and it’s certainly not fun. What I want to be is a better diabetic. Something I appear to be starting to do. In my college/uni days I would drink anything and everything. Alcopops are the root of sugar evil; I was the queen of them. I’ve learnt what I can handle, and what I can’t. For Jen, dry white wine is ok, red wine’s a winner, light beers are good, dry cider in some quantities is a go, spirits and diet mixers are a diabetic gift. I’m getting there. You may have judged me for the corned beef, but it has no carbs, okay? And right now I’d take it over any of the above.


7 comments on “Whose Round Is It Anyway?

  1. Sometimes I find going out on the lash a complete minefield – explaining to bag-checkers what your glucose tester/insulin pens are, getting too near a hypo from the alcohol or going the other way and getting high (in the blood sugar sense) because you are too busy having a good time to monitor it & just can’t say no when a round of shots comes to the table. Checking your blood sugar is enough hassle under normal circumstances, its even more annoying to have to rush off to a cramped, sweaty toilet cubicle and drunkenly fumble about with needles & testing strips! I really admire you for telling people straight up you are a diabetic, not that its something to be ashamed of (although thanks Daily Mail for making ignorant people think all diabetics are fatties!) I think I just haven’t reached that level of acceptance yet. Good luck with the low carb diet, I have read lots on that myself & I’m sure it helps. But I also struggle to see how a life without bread is a life worth living…!

  2. Minefield is such a good analogy! It’s the one downfall I think I’ll have, not in terms of drinking but the diabetes-related consequences. And LOL at the Daily Mail comment. I have a serious bug bear about that assumption, I’m def going to post about that soon but it’ll need some time, it’s controversial. Thanks so much for your comments. You should be out and proud about your diabetes, although admittedly it can take time to feel like that. I think the school playground was the worst, but since then I’ve just put it out there, warts, needles and all! x

  3. I was only diagnosed 3 years ago, when I was 21 – I got pancreatitis for reasons still unknown. It completely messed up my third year at uni and I still have big problems with self-esteem. I think I am coping better now, although when the doctors tell me off for not recording things properly/having a bad hba1c, I fell like saying I have a busy life and a demanding job, give me a break! (I work for the BBC but not in a broadcasting capacity like yourself.) But its for my benefit and I am lucky that I can do something about my condition. Your positivity is fantastic, keep up the good work!

  4. […] with this crappy condition; you gotta take what you can!) The thing with alcohol, as I have already rambled on about, is that drinking and being hyper go hand in hand if you’re not […]

  5. Hey Jen! Its Laura Hook :o) Just thought Id let you know Ive been reading your posts from Singapore and they crack me up. In my 2nd year at Loughborough I had massive problems with basically not being able to function properly, turned out to be my sugar levels.. Although I am not insulin dependent I know where you are coming from. I dont think that 2 year of hall meals and messing it up every Wednesday with pound drinks at heyewe, or even hammering it out at ‘Chos’ on a Saturday helped one bit. Trying to train for sport was becoming almost impossible but after a good sit down and a run through my diet I turned to wholemeal carbs, lots of chicken and veg along with my beloved vodka diet coke. I still fall off the band wagon, and living next to a 24 hour bakery that happens to do the best chicken fried rice in Singapore at 3am after an array of shots bought by various expats doesn’t help, but I am learning to adapt to the new menu…
    Oh and PS I had coffee with Mr Ore here last week since he is here for the Youth Olympics- bit of a Lufbra reunion. xx

  6. Laaauuurrrraaaa! I’m so sorry it’s taken an age top reply! How the hell is Singapore?! I’m seriously jealous, got such itchy feet right now and no money to go anywhere! What’s it like? You sorted with a job? Thanks for your comment, guess it shows it can happen to anyone, even the fittest of athletes! You sorted now? That chicken fried rice sounds like something I need to try! Hope you’re having fun, if I ever get round to travelling in the next decade I will have to come say hi! Mr Oduba… living the dream hey. Did a bit of time at Newsround, loved it so much. One day… 🙂 Let me know how you’re doing out there please! xxx

  7. […] I was made to feel a whole lot better when my festival accomplice Miss C (read more about her here) text me at 10pm the night before our UK tour of public transport in order to get to the festival […]

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