In the last 20 years of my diabetic life, I like to think that I've mastered the art of doing almost everything -- sleeping, beachgoing, driving, exercising -- with diabetes at my side.
To this day, however, there's a glaring absence in that list of skills: shopping.
I kind of hate shopping for clothes anyway, diabetes aside. There are always too many people wandering around, all the stores seem to have the same ugly clothes (Jeggings? Really, everyone?), the music is too upbeat and the saleswomen are too attentive.
And then, there's the crippling case of hypoglycemia that never fails to join me in the dressing room at my third or fourth stop. I don't know if it's the sensory overload or the stress of not being able to find pants that aren't at least 11 inches too long, but something about the shopping experience renders me incredibly insulin sensitive for several hours.
The best part about it is that I'm usually too freaked out about the prospect of shopping itself to remember to bring any emergency eats with me. A few weeks ago I was forced to buy a pound of jellybeans at the gift store next to Ann Taylor LOFT because I didn't have enough change to get a 20-ounce Coke out of the machine. Let me tell you: nothing puts you in the mood to buy a new pair of pants more than digging into a pound of candy in a dressing room.
Not to mention the actual physical challenges of taking the pump on and off with every skirt or shirt I want to try on -- and trying not to snag the tape on my sensor with a price tag or a rogue zipper. Lately I've taken to completely disconnecting the pump and tossing it in my purse while I'm trying stuff on. It works -- especially if my blood sugar's tanking -- but there's always that moment of panic when I'm convinced I left the pump in the dressing room. (I haven't yet, thank goodness.)
Soon, the weather will start to cool, one of my pairs of jeans will spring a hole, and I'll be forced to return to the stores to stock up on shirts that don't make me look like a sausage and pants with enough pocket space to hold my insulin pump. I'm going to try to experiment with some temporary basal rates and some solid, protein-filled pre-shopping meals. And I'll make sure I bring some glucose tabs or granola bars along for the ride.
Anything to avoid that moment when the saleslady knocks on the dressing room door to ask how I'm doing, and I respond: "Can you bring me this shirt in a large? And 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates?"
|Nice top. Did you get this while low shopping?|