Perhaps no area proves to be a more poignant example of the challenges of Type 1 than the wonderful world of the bar scene. Being “designated driver” is the cover story; being completely out of place is the reality.
To be fair, climbing is all about going to places where people simply should NOT be, or where they do not naturally appear without significant struggle to survive. In that sense, sojourns into the seedy underbelly of our society are not without their purpose as well.
I avoid bars. I avoid alcohol. I used to avoid restaurants, but that has been changing as I push my comfort zone in this regard. Being in a place where you know it is innately challenging to deal with hypoglycemia and where you are guaranteed to be out of place is stressful. Try going to a restaurant with friends, but not eating because you left your insulin at home, not anticipating the need. How hard is it for them to watch you not eat?
I lost a relationship with a former girlfriend because she would get so upset that I wouldnt eat when we went out to a restaurant. She had no concept of the panic that ensued when I felt a low coming on while out in a public place—but that was not for my lack of explanation! Hanging hundreds of feet off a cliff face with nothing between myself and certain death does not challenge me or cause me the discomfort that eating or drinking in public places does.
Tonight I pushed my comfort zone and went out with friends to a bar in Fargo, ND. I saw horrifying things, and I understood why no one would choose to be at a bar without intoxicants. I saw a fight between several corpulent young ladies. I had another girl who fit the former description belt out the lyrics to “Everybody Dance Now” right in my face, as she squeeeezed past me. There was the overly-spastic dancing North Dakota trannie who appeared to be mimicking Elaine from Seinfeld (if you don’t get that reference, try youtube).
Pictured below is the easy-chair that greeted me upon walking into the mens bathroom. I have a difficult time arriving at a logical and pleasant explanation for its presence three feet away from a shitter. You stay classy, Fargo.
There were literally hundred of dead-eyed people, pawing each other on the dance floor, hunting each other like animals. Sometime it is no bad thing to venture below the surface to appreciate the daylight and fresh air.
Authors note: It is not my purpose to slag people who drink or go to bars. It is my intent to not soften the reality of what every day of life as a Diabetic is like and to lend a (possibly) different perspective on what society considers normalcy. I am appreciative of my wife and Trevor who have pushed me to not hide from the discomfort but to face it unabashed and to confront it. Turns out it’s ok to be a Diabetic in public…