Assertion and Karma.

16 06 2012

Yesterday, I graduated from high school. After graduation, my school has “Project Graduation” where they send the graduates to an indoor water park from 10 pm until 5 am the next morning. At first, I was hesitant about going. I’m not a big fan of water parks to begin with and adding diabetes into the mix just makes water parks into one big hassle. I thought there would be other things to do besides go in the water and since it is the last chance to do something as a class before we move separate ways, I decided on going. My friend even agreed on not going in the water with me.

I carpool to the school with my two best friends. The bus assignments were first come, first served, so in order to be on the same bus, my friends and I had to get in line at the same time. Inside the school, the chaperons were doing a bag check. They told us to go to an available table and hurry up, rather than holding up the line. Thus, my 2 best friends and I were all at separate tables to get our bags checked.

As the woman is fishing through my drawstring bag, I’m rehearsing my diabetes explanations in my head that I have memorized and perfected oh so well over the years. They ignore my lancing device and my blood glucose meter, probably because they don’t know what they are and assume they’re not a threat. I think I’m in the clear when the woman pulls out my emergency applesauce from my bag. I usually opt for applesauce to bring my blood glucose level up because it’s easy to swallow and tastes so damn good. I don’t need water with it, like I would if I brought chalky glucose tabs with me everywhere.

She says, “you’re not allowed to have this,” with a puzzled expression on her face as to why a student would “break” the rules by bringing applesauce.

I open my mouth, ready to deliver my monologue. “I’m diabetic.”

She then asked, “do you have paperwork?” in an accusatory tone, assuming I’m a lying rebel trying to sneak applesauce on the bus.

Thinking she caught me red-handed, I then throw her a curveball. “I have a 504 plan.”

Still frustrated with me she sighs and says, “well you’re going to have to talk to a nurse.”

To which I reply, “Why? It’s just glucose, and I need it in case my blood sugar gets low and it’s not like it’s medicine or anything.”

Then she replies, “well you are not allowed to bring food on this trip so you’re going to have to talk to a nurse.”

I scan the hallway for my friends who are probably anxiously waiting for me to get the hell over there. My friend shows me a blue wristband around her wrist. “Are you on the blue bus?”

I look at mine. “Crap, they put me on green.”

I turn back to the woman, who clearly isn’t letting me go and is obviously getting an ego trip by getting to boss around a helpless teen with a chronic disease. “So where’s the nurse?”

She pauses, thinks, and says, “there is no nurse on this trip.”

I roll my eyes. “So can I go?”

Another chaperon comes over and tells her that since it’s in a sealed container, I’m allowed to have it.


I then walk down the hall, hoping to find friends on my bus.

One of the chaperons looks at my wrist and frantically says, “You’re on green. Hurry up, the bus is already leaving. Why didn’t you get on when we told you to?”

I roll my eyes and jog outside to find the bus still being loaded. Thankfully, two of my friends, one that I came with, one that I didn’t, were on this bus. I tell them what happened and my cheery, just-graduated, vibe had turned to a pissed-off diabetic vibe.

The bus ride was around an hour long.

As we’re getting towards the end of the bus rise, I realize that I’m feeling a little low. I pull out my kit, test, and sure enough 34 mg/dL.

Ready to claw the eyes out of the next chaperon I see, I gobble down my applesauce in a matter of seconds. The low doesn’t really set in until after I finish.

When we arrive at the water park, my friend Gabby (who told me she’d prefer to not be anonymous on my blog) said that she was going to help me find food as soon as possible. We get inside and immediately ask someone and they point us to the “snack table”. This sad excuse for a snack table had a small bowl of apples and some Nutrigrain bars. I grab a Nutrigrain bar and inhale it and my eyes wander to the soda fountain. A cup of orange soda would definitely spike my blood sugar to a not-about-to-go-into-a-seizure-and-die state. I walk over to the soda fountain and I see lids and straws but no cups. After muttering a few obscenities, I go over to the table with coffee and snag an empty Starbucks coffee cup and fill it with orange soda. A wild chaperon appears and does all but scream at me at the top of her lungs. Apparently, you are only allowed to put coffee in the coffee cups, and the soda cups will be brought out at 11:30 with pizza. I tell her I’m diabetic and I guess I won that round because I didn’t give up my soda.

With a reasonable amount of sugar about to circulate through my bloodstream, I assess the situation. Turns out, all of my friends want to go in the water. Considering how I was just barely in the stable zone, I tell them that I can’t go in the water.

And in that moment, I felt like absolute shit.

I hate how diabetes makes me that friend.

The one that holds everyone else up from having a good time. The burden of a friend. The baggage.

The last thing I wanted was to ruin everyone else’s night.

It’s not my fault, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling like it is.

That’s what diabetes does to you.

No matter how many times I said I was sorry, it didn’t feel like it sunk in to anyone.

In that moment, I hated everything. I wanted to go home. I wanted to sink into my mattress and sleep for days.

I was walking around with one of my friends and I could tell she was itching to go into the water. At one point, I turned to look for someone, and when I turned back around, she was walking in the opposite direction, about to get in the water. I wandered around feeling helpless until I found someone else to sit with.

Thankfully, though, the whole night wasn’t like that. Gabby, who I can honestly say, is truly the best friend I have, hung out with me and stayed by my side. She was the only one who got it. I wasn’t being a debby-downer, I just couldn’t go in the water. I didn’t make her night boring either, by just sitting around. We took green screen pictures with other friends, played some arcade games, and found ourselves in the middle of a very heated game of bingo. My card was Gabby’s favorite number. It was freaky. It was so meant to be. In a room of about 20 other heated bingo players from my high school, I won my very first round. G57 and there I was, squealing “Bingo!” The prizes were college t-shirts, and since they didn’t have one from my school, I got Gabby’s school and gave it to her.

What goes around, comes around.

After bingo, it was time for everyone to see a hypnotist. The same hypnotist performed at my college orientation 2 weeks earlier. It was a blast. We were all cracking up the entire time. It was the first time the class of 2012 really felt united to me.

After that, we went into a banquet room and had a dance party before our 3 am breakfast. It was amazing. Pretty much everyone was in sweats because they had all just changed out of their bathing suits. No one cared about how they looked. Clothes were casual, makeup was smudged, hair was messy. Status didn’t matter. We all had just graduated.

During breakfast, there was a raffle. We all got 2 tickets, one for small prizes and one for the big prizes at the end. They called out more than half of the blue tickets to get gift cards from local businesses around our town. As much as I didn’t expect to win anything, I was hoping to. Almost everyone at my table got their tickets called, myself included. I won a $20 Dairy Queen gift card.

We knew the big prize would be a tv, but it turned out, there were actually about 6 tvs. We all held our breath, hoping to hear our numbers. After a couple tvs were giving out I began to lose hope. Then, “420……0……..9……..0.” WAIT THAT’S ME. IS IT REALLY? YES IT IS.

The DJ’s rule was that you had to dance when receiving your prize, which I of course did. I won a 19″ HD LCD Sansui flat screen.

I don’t even think it’s necessary to describe how I felt in words.

Overall, project graduation went from one of the worst nights of my life to one of the best.

Although diabetes got in the way, great friends helped me through it.

What goes around, comes around.




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