The husband and I went out for lunch over the weekend. We were chatting away, making plans to go and see some friends when I did something which to the eyes of a casual observer, may be classed as unacceptable dinner table behaviour. I stuck my hand down the back of my trousers, rummaged around a bit, pulled it back out, sniffed my fingers and then held my fingers to my husband’s nose for him to do the same.
All of this happened in the middle of our conversation, with barely an acknowledgement from either of us that it had happened.
It was only in the car on the way home that the lightning bolt of horror struck me. What must that have looked like to all the other poor people trying to enjoy their lunch? I fear I may owe them an explanation. This wasn’t uncouth and frankly quite disgusting behaviour in a public place, it was an exercise in medical necessity. Let me explain.
Mid conversation, my CGM alarmed to tell me I was rising quickly and was a 10. I was surprised by this as I was expecting to be around a 5. I remembered that just a couple of hours earlier I’d inserted a new infusion set into my upper right buttock. So I did what any normal diabetic would do, I checked the site. I put my hand down the back of my trousers to check that I had attached the loose end properly to the cannula. I also poked it to see if it hurt, often a sign for me that something isn’t right. Then I did my final test for any site I’m suspicious of. I ran my finger round it and then sniffed my finger to see if I could smell insulin. If I can, it’s generally an indication that something mightn’t be quite right. Unfortunately, after too many years exposed to insulin, I don’t tend to be that sensitive to the smell of it anymore, so I asked the husband if he could smell insulin on my fingers, just to double check.
As it was, the set was attached, there was no smell of insulin and I put the high down to having done nothing much all morning and probably used less energy than usual.
I appear to be able to live quite well with diabetes, but I am concerned that it makes me unwittingly behave in public in ways that, I have to admit, must look a bit strange to an innocent observer trying to enjoy their lunch. I suppose I should look on the bright side and be grateful I didn’t top it off by going hypo and embarrassing myself in the restaurant! Is it just me that’s losing my dignity to diabetes?