To say that life can sometimes be a bit of a whirlwind is a little obvious, and a bit clichéd. But a good friend of mine once rather dryly described me as ‘fluent in cliché’, so you might have to let that one go. (Two sentences in and two hints at farting. I think I’ve set the tone). Add diabetes and blonde hair into the mix – of life, not farts – plus a disregard for making a bit of an idiot of myself (see above fart-based commentary), and what you get is many a day when I am thoroughly baffled by my own stupidity.
Diabetes requires some careful planning. Mrs G is the absolute queen of frantic worrying about what may or may not happen. I’ve inherited this to a point; mostly in regards to my work. But generally, as long as I don’t die or leave the house having forgotten to put my clothes on, I’m pretty much all good. I’m quite prone to sailing through life for a few weeks, then having days when a Series of Unfortunate Events completely makes me question what the big guy in the sky is punishing me for. Having days like this is all part and parcel of that tricky little road we call life (cliché, anyone?), and said Days of Doom are never reallllly that bad once you have the benefit of hindsight. They’ve certainly brought some (tragic) humour to this blog. These Days obviously exclude car crashes, sudden death and birds pooing on you. So far I’ve avoided the most important one of those three. Granted, if it wasn’t for Mr G, I may well have managed to superglue my hands to my face or some such other ridiculousness. That, or else I would be very very bankrupt (in fact I think he’s the one almost bankrupt as a result). SO, you have good days and bad days, granted. But what about those rare occasions when, mid Day of Doom, your diabetes is no longer content with plodding along happily in the background, but wants to make a song and dance about things? Ready…
Hypos are a funny thing. Sometimes they call ahead and make it known that they’re on their way. It might be a little bit inconvenient, and you really could do without entertaining one that day, but with this advance warning you can at least make sure you’ve dusted the house, put your best frock on and got the dinner in the oven ready for its arrival. I.E. gone to the shop/biscuit tin and fully enjoyed that rare moment when you can eat chocolate 100% guilt-free.
It’s when they come rocking up at your door unannounced, and you’ve just stepped out of the shower, hair wet, sans make-up. You can’t find a towel to cover your modesty and, when you finally find one in the washing machine (unwashed, with that rather delightful mouldy damp smell from leaving it in a heap on the floor too many times instead of hanging it up to dry), you realise you’ve not quite got round to cleaning the kitchen or binning the dead flowers on the windowsill. All guns-blazing, it’s here and it’s gate crashing.
Luckily most of my hypos fall under the former scenario. I feel them coming on; I go a bit shaky, rather pale and start snapping at myself in my head (yes really). Many people don’t feel them until they’re already unconscious. Scary, huh. Mine are even polite enough to wake me from my slumber, although eating in the middle of the night and then going straight back to sleep is possibly my least favourite pastime. Sick.
SO…One morning about six months ago, I get up as per and get ready for work, as per. Only there’s a spring in the step this morning because I’m moving house straight after work, and this is the last day I have to make the agonising 90 minute trek in my utter rust heap of a car. From tomorrow I’ll be cutting the journey from 50 to five miles, not to mention moving out of Mrs G’s and into a house with three lovely ladies, one soon to be my social gateway to Hull (yes Hull, it’s great, shurrrup) and ultimate partner in crime, although we were blissfully unaware of the soon-to-be-blossoming (mostly alcohol-based) friendship at this stage. Cue: ahhh.
I gets about 40 of the 50 miles in, when suddenly the zillion slave-to-rush-hour cars come to a slow on the dual carriageway. This is fine, pretty normal behaviour, me thinks. Then we come to complete stop… for about ten minutes. Not sooo great, but I’m not panicking yet; although my thoughts have turned to the pre-rec interview I have set up for 9.30 (see above re: anal working behaviour. Being late to interview people is not something I’m willing to partake in). Hmmm, I work at a radio station, let’s give them a bell and get a traffic update. GeniASS. Miss R picks up and immediately says: “Are you stuck?” It ain’t looking good if she already knows this is the likely situation. “Yep, stuck like a stuck thing,” I (helpfully) reply. “Don’t worry, there’s a jack-knifed lorry, just sit tight,” she soothes, and arranges for someone else to go to my interview in a seamless Mary Poppins-esque manner. Lovely. Problem solved, just sit tight oui? Non, mon ami. I’m suddenly and rather rudely awakened from my daydream/thoughts of unpacking/celebratory bevoirs by the fact that there are serious amounts of steam coming from my car bonnet, plus a rather offensive red light flashing STOOOOOOOOOOOOP on my dashboard, albeit with slightly less Os.
Of all the banes in my current life (don’t get me wrong, there aren’t really any earth-shattering ones like homelessness or bankruptcy – once again, ta Mr G) my car is up there. It’s a cursed car, I’m 100% sure of it. It’s tried to kill me twice (no really) and in between attempted murder, everything that could possibly go wrong with it has gone wrong with it. It’s drained me of all the funds I’ve ever managed to save to go travelling. I’m estimating that my flight to Australia will be leaving in about 34 years at this rate. There I am, a sometimes-dumb blonde who knows nothing about cars (except that hers is NOT her friend at this moment in time. In fact, I remember audibly berating it as such), panicking, stuck on the dual carriageway and unable to go anywhere fast, much less call Breakdown out seeing as the tail-backs are now around the four mile mark. Halle-bloody-lujah. But, you know, worse things happen. In about ten minutes I crawl past a lay-by and manoeuvre myself in, sheepishly apologising to all the late/bored/angry/bleary-eyed commuters. Steam continues to billow… who ya gonna call? Mr G. A few words of wisdom and reason from him (every time, guaranteed) and I deign to call the Breakdown, knowing how much traffic I’m going to have to make them sit through. This. Day. Is. Amazing. And. It’s. Only. Nine. O’Clock. Surely it’s time to wrap up the latest JennyEnders episode? Credits please?
Oh. Hiya, hypo.
I was sat in the rust heap for about two hours before this one came screaming at me like a freight train. I was just chilling, relaxing, chillaxing if you will. I’d accepted my fate in the little lay-by. Yes, it was getting a bit boring but I’ve had worse journeys (namely the long-haul flight I was on when I woke up to find the passenger next to me being sick. On my shoes. True story). Nothing like a hypo to spice up your already glittering day. Now, normally thanks to Mrs G’s aforementioned excessive anxiety I would have a bottle of Lucozade in the glove compartment and about eight cereal bars of varying ages in my bag. Plus of course my lunch. Of COURSE I was going out for lunch with work, I’d drunk the Lucozade two days ago at the gym and I’d cleared the cereal bars out because the ‘healthiest’ one had a sell-by-date of about June 2005. That is how often I clear out my handbag. Girls, you will understand.
Brilliant. What to do? I contemplated hanging on for the Breakdown knight in shining armour, and also even gave some thought to walking back to the just-passed service station. Well, it was either that or perish alone in the rust heap, pre-Darcy Bridget Jones stylee. But as I got up to get out of my car, wobbly-leg syndrome kicked in. BIG TIME. The bastard hypo had decided to exercise the right to remain silent while I was sat still. Sneaky little swine. As I’ve mentioned with worrying frequency in previous blogs, dignity and me have an interesting relationship (remember pickled onion Jar of Piss?). Namely I find myself in situations where I have no choice but to bid my dwindling dignity farewell. This was a Grade A example. But also quite ingenious, if I say so myself. Read on.
I noticed behind me a laaaaarge lorry. Happily on this occasion, you usually get a fair few on the way to Hull heading for the port. The driver was out of his car, fiddling with parts of his toy-truck (that’s not a euphemism). I made a rather hurried judgement call, figuring I wouldn’t get kidnapped in broad daylight with a hundred cars at the side of me travelling at about 5mph. So over I slightly stumble, flutter the eyelashes and put on my squeakiest of sad voices. “I’m really sorry, this is going to make me sound like an absolute fat pig but I’m diabetic and my sugars are low.” There’s a lot of foreign jargon in there that I was a little worried he wouldn’t understand. I’m not talking about the fat pig part. He was part of that family, hence why I figured as lorry drivers go, I may have hit the jackpot.
I’m not giving the man enough credit here. I had to repeat the phrase just once more before he got up in his cab and pulled out a family pack of caramel wafers without a second thought. Forget the Breakdown, here was my knight in shining… greasy overalls and a flat cap. Hey, he could have been Jabba the Hut at that point, I wanted to kiss him. I didn’t.
Mrs G, if she’s reading this now, is without a shadow of a doubt tutting at the screen. And I really am sorry for all of my sins. But in my pathetic defence, how likely is it really that you get stuck in traffic then miss an interview then breakdown then the breakdown can’t reach you then you realise you’re hypo only to realise all corrective substances have been either quaffed or thrown away?
SO likely in my case, I’m surprised the lorry driver wasn’t Phil Mitchell.
So kids, like the boy scouts, be prepared. I’m really not going to guarantee that such a stonker of a morning will never happen again. Even without the hypo it was pretty unfortunate. But you know what? I got five free caramel wafers out of it. I’m tragically proud when it comes to scoring free food. It’s almost as bad as being proud of the smell of your own farts. Almost, but not quite. I’m a dignified young woman, don’tcha know?