If there's one thing I've found that you can't get around, it's the inevitable fact that you will, however hard you try to avoid it, go hypo in a public place. We all do - I mean, come on, it's not like you can spend your life hidden away under a rock or in a cave. If you ever leave your home, you will go hypo publicly. What can vary greatly, of course, is the drama which unfolds, or the reception that you get from wherever you are.
I've noticed that reactions from people you don't know when you're hypo can be absolutely fascinating. Probably moreso in hindsight, when my head is back on straight again. Some people and places are fabulous. I've never encountered anyone responding in a truly hideous manner, (although one or two that were a bit baffling - La Tasca, I'm looking at you...) but I know other people have.
What I'm starting to think is that there should be some way of rating different places. A sort of Good Star Guide for PWD reception, if you will. The Michelin Star equivalent. Hmm...that place got a four-and-a-half Glucotab rating, I must try and go there next Friday... You get the general idea, I'm sure.
I started thinking about this because of something that happened to me this week that got me thinking. It's been really, really hot here in the UK over the last week or so, which was more surprising because of it coming off the back of what felt like an unbelievably long winter. It's been floating around the upper 20's (which I believe is somewhere in the region of 80+ degrees Farenheit) - which I know isn't necessarily that high for some of my US-based friends, who I've seen talking about temperatures of 100 degrees Farenheit - around 40 celsius (thank you internet! I'd never know what any non UK based measurement was if it wasn't for you!) , but for me, and the UK in general, this is hot. Personally, I'm not really built for anything above the low 20's without feeling like I'm melting. I think sometimes that I must have a busted internal radiator. When I'm cold, I'm cold, and when I'm hot, I am HOT. I swear I have been a walking advertisement for Magicool recently. Yes, I know it's basically just water in can, but that stuff makes me pass for someone you can stand the company of, so I don't care. But the point is that as well as being a grumpy sod when I'm hot, I've found, like so many others out there, that the heat messes with my sugars. Thankfully we seem to be cooling off somewhat now, but I've spent the past week or so walking around feeling constantly hypo, and often actually being hypo. Which is what led to me nearly passing out from a hypo in Paperchase earlier this week.
I'd gone down in my lunch hour to go and buy my dad a birthday card, so nothing too strenuous, nothing too outlandish. Thankfully one of my lovely work friends had also come with me, looking for birthday presents. I started feeling a bit wobbly halfway there, but had chalked it up as it just being too darned hot. But I tested just before going into the shop, and came up as 3.4 (61 for US money) - great. So I popped into the shop next to it and grabbed a drink, because I really couldn't face any more glucotabs after the amount I'd downed lately.
So I wander around the shop some more, until I realise that my head is in a complete haze. I feel like I've stuck my face into a smoke machine. My friend is talking to me, and I know that what she's saying should be something that I can understand, but I have absolutely no idea what that is, because it doesn't sound like english. I'm very, very hot, and I can feel things starting to get a bit strange.
Luckily my friend insisted that I sit down. Which was a good move, because I think I was about to pass out - despite already having treated the hypo, I'd dropped down further to 2.3 (41) in about five minutes. So not ideal. Glucotabs it is then.
I ended up sitting against the wall by the door of the shop for about twenty to twenty five minutes. The staff were lovely, and didn't seem in the least bit concerned that I was blocking up their nice display of cards. They brought me water in a funky mug, and were very insistent that I let them know if there's anything else they can do for me. Excellent marks, Paperchase. They even offered me a chair, which was lovely, but I was happy enough on the floor - can't fall any further than you already are that way!
So I would say that Paperchase would score very highly in the Good Glucotab Guide. Thinking about it now, good marks would also go to my Sainsburys Local, where a lovely cashier helped me when I was hypo by offering me sweet tea and opening up what I'd just bought to deal with my hypo, because my hands were shaking too much. HMV would also score highly, when I was VERY low and realised I was out of all glucotabs, as one of their cashiers gave me a Mars bar from the counter and made me eat it, not caring that I was holding up the queue (I did pay for it later, for the record!). Turns out he was a Type 1 himself, and used the same meter as me. I do love moments like that. They make you feel less alone.
So there are your opening pages of the Good Glucotab Guide - I might have to keep adding to this one...
Oh, and I did find a card for my dad. Right above my head for where I was sitting.