Diabetics can do anything

By | 20 July, 2009
A scantily clad lady in a lurid magazine, yesterday

A scantily clad lady in a lurid magazine, yesterday

We quite often talk about the downsides of diabetes – the problems with hypos, sight issues and legs rotting off with gangrene. But a recent headline in Scotland’s daily rag The Herald gave me renewed hope – “Diabetes sufferer sacked from school wins back job”.

As an aside, the Scottish press is world-renowned for its quality reporting. The famous Aberdeen-based Press & Journal is celebrated for its huge bias towards local issues at the expense of world events. It’s perhaps apocryphal, but the day the Titanic sank in 1912 the Press & Journal apparently reported the disaster with the headline “Aberdeenshire Man Drowned At Sea”. Even more recently, only one week after the 9/11 attacks the paper’s World News section totalled just a single half page.

Anyway, I digress. In essence the story here is that a teacher in an Edinburgh school was fired for bashing-the-bishop (add your favourite masturbatory euphemism in the comments section below!) over some soft core porn on the web – apparently the Maxim magazine web site of all places.

Nevertheless, the teacher in question denied the allegations and took his former employers to an industrial tribunal. Attesting on his behalf, his doctor said his behaviour “could have been caused by hypoglycaemia…symptoms [of which] include memory loss, atypical and automatic behaviour.” Apparently he had been taking the “wrong strength of insulin at the time” and this, he alleged, could have contributed to the likelihood of him being hypoglycaemic.

This excuse was accepted and the teacher got his job back and was awarded some compensation for his troubles.

His explanation is obviously complete and utter nonsense – I think the last thing you would do when suffering from a hypo would be to log on to a lurid website and burp the worm. But it does give me hope that there is an upside to diabetes – we have a fantastic excuse for pretty much everything!

“Why have you stolen all those pens from the stationary cupboard, Brown?” “Sorry sir, I was having a hypo”.

“You’re driving a stolen car again, Brown!” “Sorry officer, I was having a hypo”.

“Brown! Why did you organise that military coup in that central-African country and resume the trade of conflict diamonds?” “Sorry Prime Minister, I was having a hypo”.

So it seems there’s just no situation where you can’t play the diabetes card. Fantastic! Excuse me while I go and rob my local bank!

The Daily Herald

8 thoughts on “Diabetics can do anything

  1. Angie

    They awarded him almost sixty grand in compensation as well! Clearly I haven’t been abusing my diabetic status enough…

    It scares me a bit that it was his *doctor* who backed this up. I particularly like the bit that describes hypo as “when blood sugar drops to a level that could lead to a diabetic coma without insulin.” Umm…no.

  2. CALpumper

    Insanity ensues all over the world via the D card. Wonderful.
    Now, what excuse can I use today? Hmmmm.
    I’ve got nothing witty.

  3. Tim

    Angie :

    It scares me a bit that it was his *doctor* who backed this up.

    Ah, the joy of expert witnesses! They’re a model of reliability!

  4. Ckoei

    Taking up Dickson à la stair (& all that climbing) has to be the cause of a hypo,
    not a reason to “do it” in the 1st place. I guess the poor sod just forgot to ingest 2 meals beforehand ?

  5. Ckoei

    And since when is Scottish law so lenient towards diabetic hypoglycaemia ? I vaguely recall reading a BMJ article in which a young T1 hypoist was held responsible for reckless driving: using insulin makes you responsible for any side-effects; to get off the hook, the lawyer (and an internist) had to prove he had underlying Addison’s disease (no cortisol & too little adrenaline). Is Dick&son’s disease seen as an extenuating circumstance too ?

  6. Tim Post author

    @rosief – oh, there’s plenty more where that came from 😉


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