Food & Drink, Travel, Type 1 Diabetes

Via Insta: An Evening Of Freedom

December 29, 2017
Corner sofa in a pub


The lights were perfectly dimmed and the colour scheme was on point and the air smelt deliciously mulled and the overall vibe was trendy but not *too* hipster and as the temperature dropped below freezing outside we four sank further into our booth and as we huddled happily together in our window seat it felt relaxed and familiar and chatty and easy and everything you could want from an accidental red wine Thursday in the week between Christmas and New Year.


I returned to London from Yorkshire last night, back to our rickety, wonky, wonderful flat. After emptying my suitcase, I wrapped myself in a blanket and had a little nap on the sofa (Christmas is tiring, apparently), waking as my housemate returned from her Christmas travels, inviting me to have a few drinks in a pub that sits pretty much at the end of our road. 

Planning to go for an hour or so, I simply could not be arsed to pack all of my diabetes equipment up and lug a handbag out with me. After doing a quick blood sugar test I resolved, for the first time in years and somewhat indignantly, to walk out of the door with just my keys, phone and bank card, my arm in hers and not an ounce of diabetes guilt.

It sounds completely ridiculous, but I am never more than about two metres from my finger pricker, test strips and little pocket pancreas at any one time, so leaving it in the house was really quite something. The rationale was thus – basal was running as normal, if I went hypo I would know and could order a lemonade from the bar. And if something really went awry, I could head back home and check my bloods in the same time it would take to pop to the loo.
One drink turned into two, then into three, and the most irresponsible decision of the evening was nothing to do with my diabetes, but for us all to skip dinner in favour of ordering one more bottle of Malbec.

It was glorious, it was freeing, it was not an act of defiance or irresponsibility but an acknowledgement of the needs of my condition versus the need to overanalyse, to be attached, to be constantly thinking about what my blood sugars might be doing and guess what? My bloods were just fine.
PS. If you’re in Crouch Hill and want a dose of cosy, pop into Brave Sir Robin for a rendezvous with these dreamy interiors.


  • Reply Barry Gower December 30, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Well done for moving closer to the ‘other’ (non-diabetic) world and to the realisation that it is we Diabetics who are normal and it’s the others who are missing out on their daily shots.

    However, and speaking both as a as a type 1 of close to 60 years and as a parent of a daughter who is also type 1 and about your age, there are some truths that despite sometimes going a little ostrich we ultimately do have to face.

    As a Diabetic, the very long term outlook is just not going to be the same as a non-Diabetic. I used to base my behaviour on the assumption that if control was not good, all that would happen would be that I would shave say 5 years off my life. Whilst this may have some truth – I don’t quite know how I can check it- what I am sure about is that the 5 years do not come off at the end. They start having an effect much earlier than that and manifest themselves with a more rapid decline of things we normally assume will only start going much later – eyes, vascular systems, organs etc.

    So the best bit of advice I can give on what you are doing is definitely do it, and do it with the best of them. However, don’t ever think that it will go away – you and I both know it won’t. So go out, but just take your tester, insulin along with all the other things you feel you may need for a good night out – tooth brush, ‘safe ‘money for a taxi, ‘other’ precautions etc.

    And the second thing is always make sure that those that are with you are fully aware of where everything is and what to do if things go slightly awry.

    Be totally irresponsible – just do it in a responsible way!

    • Reply missjengrieves December 30, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Hi Barry, thank you for your comment. I am very much of the same thinking as you, we are not the same as people without diabetes and cannot behave as such. I took responsible steps on this evening to make sure that I was indeed safe, and I was with my housemate who is very aware of what my condition entails, although ultimately this condition is very much my responsibility. I was not much further from my glucose kit than if I had been sitting on the sofa, the pub is that close and that is why I decided to leave it where it was.

      This was not a ‘night out’ in the sense of going into town and pretending I didn’t have diabetes. This was not me taking steps to ignore of defy my condition, but rather just to give myself one (responsible) evening of not being physically attached to my diabetes equipment, safe in the knowledge I had everything I needed at hand, and I had hoped I had expressed as much in my writing, so apologies if this came across as irresponsbile. I am completely of the same mindset as you – that if I look after myself and my condition as much as possible, it will allow me to live the life I want to live, for as long as possible. I see this condition very much in the long term.
      Thank you very much for your interest and I do appreciate your words of caution. I wish you a very happy 2018. Jen x

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