If You’re A Diabetic, Don’t Run Out Of Insulin

(pro frakking tip right there)

I know I touched on this yesterday, but I feel this episode in my life deserves its own bitchy blog post. Very much my Odysseus moment, I ran out of insulin, and had to trek across London in search of a vial of the precious, precious fluid in scenes closely resembling those times where you shine a laser pointer on a wall and a cat with relentlessly and desperately follow it, expect across two Tube lines and with more swearing.

It started yesterday morning, as I hauled ass out of bed for my first exam three hours before the exam started, so I’d have time for my blood sugar to come down to a reasonable level if I was high. Thankfully, I was not, and had breakfast as normal, and went to the exam; but, to my horror, my pump had failed, and I spent the first half of the exam trying to write intelligent things about The Aeneid with a blood sugar so frakked that I’ve struggled to win a match on the excellent sci-fi sports game Frozen Cortex with these numbers. As a result, I had no time for the rigamarole of a pump change, and I gave myself an injection to bring me down for the rest of the exam, as a quick fix.

I then changed the pump when I got out of the exam at about one, and went to the pub with friends where we celebrated the end of exams by getting really rather drunk at two in the afternoon because we’re classy like that; and I watched and have now blogged about said getting drunk because I’m a dick like that. But when I got home, around four, my second pump had failed, and I was insanely high again; I changed the pump again, and had a nap because I’d had eleven hours of sleep in the last three days because I’m a responsible, functioning adult.

Then I got up at seven, in preparation for going out to Nando’s followed by a club night at eight; lo and behold, the third pump of the day had failed, and I was high again. I gave myself another emergency injection, real tired of this pump bullshit by now, and went to change my pump. Except that I couldn’t because I had run out of insulin.

You’ll notice from my anecdote so far that little attention has been paid to my diabetes beyond emergency injections, which is the second year in a row that this has happened around exams; last year I had the seizure because I neglected a series of low blood sugars, this time I was so engrossed in revision that I hadn’t realised I was burning through my insulin at such a rate. Normally, a 10ml vial lasts 15 days; I got through half a vial in eight hours.

Then, I started the Journey For Insulin (the film of which will be directed by Michael Bay and will include a Stan Lee-esq cameo from me in which I seductively repair a motorcycle in a pair of tight denim shorts); I called the NHS’s helpful 111 number, where they asked me a load of questions about my health, before putting me through to my GP, who I’d never met before but sounded like a nice bloke over the phone. They told me he’d call within an hour, so I prepared myself for a 59-minute wait, but he got back to me within five, which was nice; what was nicer was that, on a Friday evening outside of office hours, he had prepared for a me a prescription of insulin vials that I could pick up from a local hospital, not the one I normally go to, but one a mere fifteen minutes away. I thanked him graciously, and headed off with, as will become important later, a water bottle and an Oyster card.

Once I got to this hospital (which was in Camden; I live in Euston). I waited around for the single out-of-hours doctor to call me into the room, and he spent a worrying amount of time cooing over my pump in an impressed, child-like manner, as if he was seeing a koala for the first time, but tested a urine sample of mine (I downed that whole water bottle in the process), gave me the prescription, and even drew a map on a bit of paper to show me the nearest 24 hour Boots where I could get the prescription turned into actual life-saving medication. At this point, I thanked him, scurried over to the Boots and eagerly texted my friends, saying that despite being an hour late for the Nando’s, I should be fine to come out with them later!

Literally eight seconds later it all turned to shit, as the Boots didn’t have the insulin. Neither did the bigger Boots in St. Pancras. Neither did the smaller Boots in St. Pancras. But now I’d spent two hours running around this maze, and I was quite ready to snap someone’s neck if they looked at me the wrong way. I called 111 again, and a rather sarcastic but ultimately helpful woman – I was almost like ‘don’t get pissy with me, you’re being inconvenienced by an idiot calling for insulin, I could literally die’ – who spent about half an hour calling local late-night pharmacies to find one that stocked my apparently expensive and rare vials of insulin. And, the gods be praised, there was one! In Marble frakking Arch!

So with my conveniently-grabbed Oyster card in hand, I got the Victoria and Central Lines from King’s Cross and some other godforsaken station to Marble Arch, where I ran to the pharmacy, handed in the prescription, and had to stop myself giving the clerk there a blowjob on the spot out of sheer gratitude that this ordeal was over. It was now nine, meaning I was two hours late for a thing organised by my friend again (I’d been two hours late for their birthday party back in winter by somehow oversleeping for an event that started at 7pm), but I Tubed and ran home, changed into my one outfit that doesn’t make me look like a hipster ironically imitating the 2011 London Rioters, and buggered off for some predrinks (or watching other people predrink) and the club. Sadly I didn’t stay long, because of the lack of sleep in the last three days and the fact that I had to get up at seven this morning, but I’m glad I got to celebrate with my friends.

And after a day of being high and scrambling around London, I got home and did a blood test before going to bed; and, of course, I was now low.

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