Confessions of a teenage Sam. Diabetes brought me a lot of heartache when I was younger. It brought me to tears on many occasions. Well. There may have been a few times I used my diabetes to my advantage. I utterly adored being given a new insulin or having an injection added to me day because it meant my doctor would recommend I did not to any PE until I was ‘settled’. I convinced my mother that ‘settled’ meant perfectly ok rather than ‘I’d manage’, because ew PE. My biggest achievement is something I now look back on partly amused and partly ashamed.
I was thirteen and first years at my school do what is called a ‘six mile run’. Maybe it wouldn’t have been as horrific if we can three miles along the canal next to the school and back but as it happened what we did was lap the pitch several million times. I decided well, no, sod that. The thing is my teachers knew what I looked like hypo. They would look me over as if trying to decide if I was being legit because many children with various ailments, disabilities and illnesses do use them to t heir advantage at times. If I munched on dextrose while not hypo I would climb and feel ill so I hatched a very stupid teenage plot.
If I was not hypo I would create a hypo. Nervous someone would see and catch on I rooted through my bag in French class twenty minutes before I was due to go to PE. I slipped my insulin pen up the sleeve of my thankfully baggy cardigan and fetched my water bottle for a drink I neither needed nor wanted. Then I asked to go to the bathroom. Anyone seeing where this is going? Yes I am ashamed to admit I took an injection to deliberately trigger a hypo in time for PE.
By the time the other girls were changing their clothes I was getting a little shakey and my face had paled. Internally screaming in delight I wandered off to find my teacher and informed her that I could not take part as I was hypo. I munched on my dextrose as she took in my pale skin, wide eyes and the slight tremble as I lifted the powdery goodness to my lips. A nod, and I was out of the run.
Of course, if karma is a thing it did get its revenge as I then spent an hour watching other people run around while I stood there freezing my arse off in October. Diabetics are not perfect but I guess at the time I felt the disease owed me one. Not my best moment but at least while I cringe now, I can also smile at the same time. Children really will do anything to escape PE.