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Guest Post: Why I Always Carry Glucose Tabs.

Today I am wicked (wicked!) excited to have my friend Karen guest posting.  (And I love her post.  The mental image of the buttons made me laugh out loud - you'll see when you get there.)  And once you're done reading, be sure to visit her Bitter-Sweet blog to read about the T1 Adult Outreach Program she's spearheading!

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Karen of Bitter-Sweet fame!Quite a few years ago my husband Pete and I met up with a group of friends and hopped on a train to spend the day in New York City.  We went to Rockefeller Center to watch skaters glide around the ice in front of the huge Christmas tree.  We went to the Tkts booth to score half-price Broadway tickets and saw a show.  We walked uptown to see the unbelievable toy displays at F.A.O. Schwartz.  By the time we made our way to Central Park all of the activity started to catch up with me.  I could feel a major low coming on.  I reached into my “smaller-than-usual-day-in-the-city” purse and realized I had overlooked a very important item when I was tossing in the stuff I needed that morning. 

I had overlooked my glucose tablets.

It seems almost unthinkable that I would head out to traipse around the city all day without having something with me to treat a low.  It’s not like I was new to the diabetes thing – I was diagnosed in 1979, for goodness sake!  But as we all know, life (and stupid oversights) happen.  I certainly am not perfect.  And let’s not forget that it wasn’t like I was on some secluded desert island.  I was in The Big Apple, where you can buy art-work and pashminas and sunglasses and purses on any street corner.  And more importantly, you can buy a large variety of food and beverage items from those street corner venders too.

So at the first food cart we came across in Central Park, I bought a small carton of orange juice at an over-inflated NYC price.  My friends sat on a bench with me and I quickly drank the juice down, barely noticing the taste.  I waited for my blood sugar to come back up but instead of feeling better, I started to feel worse.  My stomach and the juice didn’t seem to want to make friends.  I felt terrible and I’m sure I turned positively green!  At that point, Pete and I sent my friends along to finish their day in the city while we headed back to Grand Central to take the next train home.

New York City during the holidays is magical.  New York City during the holidays when you’re dealing with a seriously queasy stomach is not.  The ringing of bells, the bustle of shoppers and the honking of taxis were pure torture as we made our way down the crowded streets to the train station.  I tried to be a trooper and I took deep breaths of cold air and told myself I would be fine.  And I was.  Until we turned the corner to Grand Central and my stomach couldn’t take it anymore.

And there, under a huge red bow tied to a street light, I barfed all of the Central Park vending cart orange juice into a city garbage can.  I’m sure I was quite a sight, especially since each retch caused buttons to pop off my pretty cream-colored coat and shoot down the sidewalk.  I was mortified.  I told Pete that I was sure passers-by must have thought I had too much alcohol rather than a spoiled carton of juice.  (Although Pete wisely pointed out that it was New York City, where it takes more than a girl losing her lunch - and her coat buttons - in a garbage can to raise an eyebrow!)  My stomach calmed right down once the rancid orange juice was out of my system, but it was still a long and exhausting ride home.

And that is why, from that day on, I ALWAYS carry glucose tablets.

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Thank you for guest posting, Karen, you NYC-garbage-can-puker, you.  ;)


Wow. Karen, I think you just convinced me to carry 2 whole tubes of glucose tabs w/ me when I come up next time. Cause that seriously freaked me out! LOL
Nothing like a good lesson to remind us to keep up w/ our diabetes and ourselves!

Can I LMAO at this? Or would that be cruel?

I mean, I'm so, so sorry you went through this, Karen, I imagine it must've been hellish at the time.

But...Ha! :D

I would have been mortified too. That sounds just dreadful!

Also, you reminded me of the low I had in Central Park with you and Allison over the summer. I felt awful (although, clearly, not as awful as you felt over that trashcan), but we had such a nice chat. Thanks for the smile :)

I am so sorry! But yes, as a native New Yorker, it takes a LOT more for us to notice you. Hell, we never even cared about the Naked Cowboy (just the tourists liked him) and he was practically NAKED!

One of the very good things that has happened to me as a teacher of little ones in SpEd is this: I ALWAYS have 2-3 Capri Suns in my purse, whether I planned on it or not.

Now I will always check expiry dates before chugging...or train the boyfriend to do so for me!

I have a seriously obsessive fear of public barfing, so I've now just made a mental note to double the amount of tabs I carry in my purse, even if it adds another pound! Thanks for sharing Karen...the image of the popping buttons was too, too funny!

Yikes. Not the most pleasant of experiences huh? I'm sorry you had to live through that but glad it wasn't worse. Pete is right though ... if I saw someone puking in a garbage can on the corner, I wouldn't even take a second glance!
I wonder if OJ is just not the low treatment of choice for some of us? I had a similar experience a long time ago ... it was early in the am one summer morning + a bunch of us were headed to Great Adventure. Joe + I stopped to get McDonald's breakfast before picking up my brother + sister in law. We waited in the car outside their house to eat when I knew I was low. So I drank the OJ that came with my meal. Not two minutes later, I opened up the car door to barf up all the juice! And I was perfectly fine after that! Even went on tons of rides later that day. So no OJ for me either.
And Kerri, I did giggle at the buttons part of the story. Sorry Karen!!! ;)

Oh man! That's terrible! I rarely carry anything when I'm in the city, because there is food everywhere (I usually go to a Duane Reade or a McDonalds), but only once have I actually stopped a street vendor, and when I did, I bought a Pepsi, which doesn't go bad. I've actually never had any actual food at a street vendor before and after this story, I don't intend to! That just sounds awful. You poor thing.

Oh Karen that sucks! Tabs are a good way to go. Good advice.

What??????? The OJ was bad? That's just downright unfair - and that's the clean version of what I really want to say. :)
I'm so sorry Karen - I agree with Pete - no one cared. But good golly, that's one entertaining story!

Awful experience - but very enjoyable retelling of it!

Oh wow! That's funny and horrible at the same time :P

Note to the folks who use juice as an anti-hypo-device: don't leave a box in ur purse all day while you're out in the hot NZ sun. It ferments! Not pleasant. :S

BUMMER Karen!!! UGH. The coat button part is pretty darn impressive. Now that is some SERIOUS puking girl!

Oh Karen, what a dreadful end to a lovely day in the city. My husband and daughter are heading down to NYC tomorrow for a day of shopping (if they can find a place to park) so I'll have her read about your low bg adventure. Maybe she'll actually break out that handbag she bought recently! I'm usually the one carrying the meter, the juice, granola bars, glucose tabs, ketone strips, etc. I suspect she needs the "life-learning" experience to make that shift to self reliance. At the age of 15, it's about time!
See you soon,

I apologize for laughing at your misfortune. To be fair, I was really laughing at the misfortune of the buttons. I had a similar experience a few months ago. I had a late night low and went downstairs and gulped down a glass of milk and some crackers. After feeling nauseous for a few hours, I went back and checked the milk, and it was like a week past "the date". And it smelled HORRIBLE. Funny how lows can keep you from noticing that kind of thing. :)

I'm a juice-box gal myself, and even this funny/horrible story could not make me change. I carry the asceptic boxes, they really add weight, but boy is it great when you're low and can crack open an apple juice! The hardest part is getting my kids to understand that it's "mommy's medicine" and they can't have it.

Ugh, that sounds truly awful. Orange juice can be really hard on the stomach even if it hasn't gone bad. Add the volatility of a body in low-mode and I can see why you ended up serenading the trash can. I'll avoid OJ in the future! (Why were oranges the traditional low treatment of choice? I don't get it.)

WOW! I hate to say that I was laughing at your misfortune but I was! That just stinks! Can't a girl catch a break - 1st a crappy low then bad OJ - I mean - really???

I always love your stories and insight. Thanks for sharing - - - another lesson learned! :)

Thanks everyone for the sympathy and comments - and I'm glad to hear about all the laughs. Because as bad as it was at the time, Pete and I laugh about it a lot now. I'm sure I looked absolutely ridiculous barfing into the garbage can!

Thanks, Kerri, for the opportunity to gross out your readers. ;)

great post!

sorry for your bad OJ experience! Glucose tablets are a great thing, until you forget them or run out! I have something that holds them on my key ring...I just have to remember to replace them once I've used them up!

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