Travel, Type 1 Diabetes

Inside The Mind Of An Idiot Type 1 Diabetic At Glastonbury

July 3, 2015

I went. I saw. I sang. I laughed. I glittered. I boozed.

I survived.

  1. Oh my god I’ve got a ticket to Glastonbury! What does that even mean?
  2. Oh, now I’ve got to figure out getting there. It’s ok, it’s 6 months away.
  3. One week to go and I haven’t ordered my prescriptions yet. Time to plead with the pharmacist to lend me an emergency box of test strips. Nice one, idiot.
  4. Is 50 test strips enough for four days? What if I find a new family at the Stone Circle and never leave? Better bring my backup meter.
  5. How many needles is too many needles?
  6. Out of context, that is a really weird question.
  7. I need to buy hypo juice. And emergency sweets. And all the cereal bars. God I hate cereal bars.
  8. Oh, everyone seems to be buying cereal bars anyway! This is good. It’s like Glastonbury is made for diabetics…
  9. Booze run. I should probably buy beer because it doesn’t raise my sugars, but dark fruits cider is so much more palatable warm. Dark fruits it is. SCREW YOU TYPE 1 I’M GOING TO GLASTONBURY.
  10. Oh and vodka. A diabetic’s dream!
  11. I can buy DIET LEMONADE! This never happens!
  12. How the hell are we going to fit all this booze and food in the car? If it comes to it, do I choose to keep hypo fixes or ciders?
  13. Ciders. Always. It’s pretty much a hypo fix anyway, so two birds and all that.
  14. Phew, no need to choose.
  15. WE’VE ARRIVED! One cider en route and desperate for a wee.
  16. Thanks to being disgustingly middle class and buying pre-erected camping, there is no disastrous three mile hike with all this booze. HUZZAH! That would definitely have sent me hypo.
  17. I really want some glitter. I’m going to paint my face with glitter.
  18. Oh shit, there’s glitter on my glucose meter.
  19. Is a welly boot a good place to put an injection?
  20. Excuse me while I just make my way through every single food van here. I’m going to eat ALL THE HOUMOUS. Better get the bolus ready.
  21. I’m really pleased I didn’t wear my pod on my arm. It would have been ripped off about 40 times by now. There are a LOT of people at Glastonbury.
  22. The John Peel tent is hot as balls.
  23. *Searches in backpack amongst copious cans of cider* Shit I’ve lost my glucose meter, shit I’ve lost my glucose meter, shiiiiiiit. STOP GLASTONBURY! STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING!
  24. Ah, I put it in my pocket. Nobody panic.
  25. PHARRELL!!
  26. Oh I really must not pull my shorts down in a hurry for a wee and rip my Omnipod off. I’m not going down that long-drop to get it.
  27. Gross, I just looked in the long-drop. Lesson learned.
  28. Everything’s a glorious blur of noise and lights. I think I could live here forever. Glad I bought those extra test strips.
  29. This guy with goat on his head is asking me for drugs. I don’t think he means Novorapid.
  30. Oh, it’s not a goat. It’s just elaborate, furry headwear. He looks a bit hot.
  31. If my phone runs out of battery I won’t be able to log my blood sugars.
  32. What are you talking about? You don’t log your blood sugars anyway.
  33. Even if I did get into trouble, I’d be fine. Everyone is so nice here. Diabetes schmiabetes. People are wonderful.
  34. Can someone hold my drink while I test my blood sugar?
  35. Testing in the midst of the throng is quite annoying. A Freestyle Libre would be quite handy for Glastonbury.
  36. As much as a Freestyle Libre would be handy, it’s also just another piece of kit I’d have to stop from falling down the long-drop.
  37. Go away rain, you’re diluting my cider.
  38. What’s that on my welly? Oh, a used test strip.
  39. What’s that in my hair? Oh, a used test strip.
  40. What’s that in my beer? This is getting silly.
  41. Wow it’s 3.30am. When was the last time I did a blood test? No idea. I feel ok. I mean, apart from being absolutely wasted, obviously. MORE GLITTER!
  42. It’s light. I think that means it’s bedtime. God I’ve walked a long way today.
  43. Oh hi there early morning hypo. How am I going to eat this really loud cereal bar without waking the rest of the tent?
  44. Who am I kidding? I could feed it to them and they wouldn’t notice at this point.
  45. It’s freezing in this tent! My insulin won’t work.
  46. It’s boiling in this tent! My insulin won’t work.
  47. Oh balls, I’ve got myself tangled in our fairy lights. Save the pump! Save yourselves!
  48. LIONEL!!
  49. I want Lionel to adopt me STAT.
  50. Is that tan? Or is that mud?
  51. Or shit…
  52. Definitely not shit.
  53. I’ve sanitised my hands more than ever before. I’m practically sterile. Festivals are perfect for diabetics.
  54. There is glitter on EVERYTHING. I think the insulin in my blood has been replaced with glitter
  55. It seems to be working, though. My bloods are worryingly fine.
  56. My inner hippy is so freaking happy right now. I want to buy a tipi.

Diabetic? WHO CARES.


  • Reply Emma Anderson July 3, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Beautiful! I too went to Glastonbury for the first time (at the tender age of 46) and all my thoughts were, how can my type 1 fifteen-year old daughter ever go with all the potential pitfalls (and I include the turdis in that too). YOU HAVE GIVEN ME HOPE!!!! Thank you Jen, you are a real inspiration.

    • Reply missjengrieves August 11, 2015 at 9:42 am

      Hey Emma! Sorry for the delayed reply I have been taking a little digital break! I’m glad you enjoyed the post, it was a fun one to write, there is definitely hope! I have been to a few festivals now and as long as you’ve got back up kit, it’s all grand. I’ve never sterlised my hands so much in my life so that can’t be bad! Did you have a wonderful time at Glastonbury?! x

  • Reply Helen (@ActuallyBlog) July 3, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Ah that made me laugh – isn’t it always odd when bg’s are fine in the weirdest circumstances, then misbehave on a normal day? Glad you had a good time :)

    • Reply missjengrieves August 11, 2015 at 9:43 am

      Hey Helen! How have you been? Yes it always seems that when I’m most worried about a situation/event my BGs are fine, but normal routine and they get thrown for no reason. All part of the fun hey 😉 Hope you and the family are all well, I’m back online after a little break (very helpful for the soul) xx

  • Reply Robyn July 3, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Very very funny. THANK YOU! I’m just sitting reading your blog and it is so inspirational. I have a son who was diagnosed 6 months ago when he was 8. He’s had such a hard time coming to terms with it, but is a little better now. So lovely to see your happy, healthy chirpy approach to type 1. I’ll keep reading and catching up with your other posts. Thanks!

    • Reply missjengrieves August 11, 2015 at 9:46 am

      Hey Robyn,
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. It must be such a worrying time for you – I’m glad he is getting to grips with things, hopefully you have had good support from your diabetes team? There is a lot to navigate (particularly through the teenage years!!) but nothing that can’t be tackled with a little planning. I have got myself in all sorts of pickles and made it through with a smile on my face most of the time! Thanks so much again for stopping by xx

  • Reply Craig Waugh July 4, 2015 at 10:03 am

    I’m sure alcohol cures T1D. Great blog Jen ☺

    • Reply missjengrieves August 11, 2015 at 9:47 am

      I am doing extensive testing in this field and will continue to do so for the good of type 1 research 😉 x

  • Reply James July 9, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Very funny I did Glastonbury 2 years ago with type 1 diabetes and was thinking the same especially about the insulin not working because it was too hot in the tent.

    • Reply missjengrieves August 11, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Hey James! Glastonbury is so wonderful isn’t it!? Lots to navigate but nothing that can’t be overcome. Glad you survived! Thanks so much for reading x

  • Reply Beth September 8, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Jen I loved this! It was my first Glasto this year and I was equally amazed at how good my BGs were, even after drowning my body in beer and vodka. Type 1s need to let there hair down and have fun too, and I couldn’t think of a better reason that Glastonbury. Thanks for the flashbacks of a wicked summer xxx

    • Reply missjengrieves October 6, 2015 at 11:13 am

      Hey Beth, no worries at all! It totally can be done! I actually think my sugars were worse when I got back, maybe I should move there afterall :) Glad you had a wonderful time too, it’s such a magical place (although I didn’t manage to get a ticket this year, booooooooo) xx

  • Reply Dan Toner June 14, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    I’m reading this a week before going Glasto (first festival since diagnosis 2 years ago) Great post!

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