The case of the unknown diabetic

By | 30 May, 2014
A discarded test-strip, yesterday

A discarded test-strip, yesterday

As is pretty common, I wandered out of the office to grab some lunch today. So far, so not very exciting. But on my way to the local sandwich emporium my eye was drawn to a discarded test strip. It was lying there forlornly on the pavement, half-in and half-out of a pile of sick (this is Scotland after all; in rains so much in order to regularly sluice the post-pub puke from the pavements).

“Ah ha!” I exclaimed, “there’s diabetics round these here parts!” as I tiptoed round the splattered remains of the congealed kebab and carrot cocktail.

Looking around I couldn’t see any signs that one of the passers-by was one of our pancreatically-challenged brethren. But given that we diabetics don’t really make it obvious that we are diabetic that didn’t come as a wild surprise. This is despite the poll result on Shoot Up some years ago that suggested that “Tattoo saying ‘diabetic’ on forehead & brass bell” was the popular choice of diabetic identification (46% of readers voted for that option. And you wonder why we don’t blog that much any more?)

Anyway, I thought nothing more of it until I commuted home and noticed another discarded test strip on the top deck of the number 44 bus to Balerno. Was it a sign? Was this some sort of diabetic trail of breadcrumbs leading me to a secret diabetic society? Was someone trying to make contact with other diabetics through the medium of used test strips?

If only I had access to some sort of CSI: Diabetes lab. Within minutes I could have indentified that the test strip belonged to a non-smoking blonde female in her early thirties, with a slight limp on her left side. But given that I don’t, I didn’t.

So if there is an Edinburgh-based diabetic within walking distance of the castle then do feel free to get in touch. I’ll be the one leaving a trail of used lancets.

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