Today was my first TRIDEC appointment at the Woman’s College Hospital and boy howdy don’t you learn stuff in a day.
After registering they showed us to the cafeteria for a light breakfast, to which I thought “Isn’t food the reason I’m here?” Apparently that’s a typical over-compensative reaction to learning you’re diabetic. Hate the food! I couldn’t imagine hating food. It’s my boo-blanket. Anyhoo, the breakfast pickins was pretty low – Oatmeal (which I guess I’m going to have to learn to love), hard boiled eggs, yoghurt. A manky apple. I passed all that, grabbed a tea and scanned the room for the “fun” people.
And immediately sat in the corner.
Diabetes is a genetic predispostion that can be brought on by age or obesity or even stress. Today’s class was the obesity crowd, I think. Our combined weight in that class could have been mistaken for dark matter. At the beginning of the class we stood one by one for introductions and everyone gave their name, timeline since discovering their diabetes and a little run down about how they felt. How new age! Most were scared. Most were concerned with the quality of life they could look forward to. One woman admitted to being angry. I made a mental note to avoid her on breaks. When it came to my turn I said: “My name is Ted, I learned about being allergic to sugar about a month ago and really… uh… I’m only here for recipies.”
The slim, smartly dressed mother of three laughed. The rest looked at me as if I said I got diabetes from eating babies.
We got handouts. And Government of Canada handouts. And a handout about the state of Splenda in Canada. We even got a handout with little pictures of our own hands, comparing relative food sizes. Did you know a fist is pretty much representative of a chicken breast? Two hands is pretty much how much salad we should be taking in? Dolly Parton would be a salad bar. Ba-bump-cha!
In all, it was very informative. I was seriously glad to be dumped with so much information about how to eat “properly”.
Before lunch the nurse brought out her blood sugar testing computer – a little Tamagotchi sized puck that actually sucked the blood up from the pinprick (which didn’t hurt by the way). Those of us who weren’t monitoring our blood were offered 5 different kinds of monitors for free (Different sizes! Different screen readouts! So many options!) with 10 strips thrown in just so you’d get hooked to their product at a $1/strip. Big Pharma in my back pocket again. I chose the machine that didn’t require you to punch in the test strips lot numbers when you used it (for Covering Legally the Ass of Some Suit, I’m sure – CLASS for short). The lot numbers are coded right on the strip! Oh science! Anyway I asked the nurse if the monitor came in green and she cocked her head to one side and said, “Fussy?”
“I like contrasting colours,” I offered. Red blood, green monitor. Always the designer.
“One in every class,” She muttered.
I’m calling my monitor “Vampyra”. Sounds cool, no?