They’re Alive

After twenty years of living with diabetes, it’s not often that I experience new “firsts” related to the disease. I’ve long since suffered my first pump frazzle, screwed-up infusion set, incapacitating low, head-exploding high. I even had my first glucagon adventure just a few months ago.

But life with diabetes is always full of surprises, right? And last week, as I was enjoying some seaside Key West scenery, I got several hundred of them: a swarm of fast-moving insects erupting from my meter case.

I know!!!!!

My husband, brother-in-law, BFF and I were all on rented beach cruisers, tooling around the seaport area and gawking at the size of the cruise ship that was docked there. What a perfect time, I thought, to take a break, whip out my meter and do a quick post-breakfast check.

As soon as I unzipped the case, I shrieked. There were more bugs in there than used test strips, and that’s saying a lot. The bugs were gathered in one of the case’s pockets, throughout my purse, and now all over my hand. And of course, when my friends and family watch me start to check my blood sugar — and then scream — their first thought isn’t that I’m under attack by tiny six-legged beasts. Instead, they ask me how high my blood sugar is.

I proceeded to perform the universal “There’s a Bug on Me” dance while my husband carried my case to the nearest trash receptacle. I watched him swipe at the case and knock it against the can’s lid until he declared it clean. Meanwhile, my friend was helping me dig through my purse to discover what had attracted the bugs in the first place. We examined my glucose tablet canisters, makeup bag and purse pockets before we came to a conclusion that’s possibly even grosser than the bug discovery itself: they were after the meter case, and all the extra blood swipes that had accumulated on the lining over the years. I am disgusting, and these insects were sent by the diabetes Gods to remind me of that fact.

I can’t say for sure, but I think the culprits were Caribbean crazy ants, so named for the spastic reactions they elicit in people like me. And now, in addition to lancets, alcohol swabs, extra test strips and glucose tabs, I’m considering including a tiny can of Raid in my diabetes kit.

17 comments on “They’re Alive

  1. Jeff says:

    What have I learned from this? Avoid Key West at all costs. Now that the ants have developed a taste for human blood, none of us are safe. That’s the correct lesson, right?

  2. Ursula says:

    My daughter is also disgusting, yet high-functioning. Thanks for the laugh!

    PS: I am totally sending her a link to this post as a cautionary tale!

  3. OMG. Seriously. OMG. I think I damn near fell from my chair when reading this alarming account of what happened in Key West, and like Jeff I’ll also be avoiding that bug-invested area at all costs. Now, if feels as though something is crawling on my again… and any security I may have felt on this end of the computer is now gone. I think I’m going to replace my blood-stained meter case with a new one, and also arm myself with a mini-bottle of Raid. GEEZ.

  4. Joanne says:

    That is just naaaaaaaasty! I freaking hate bugs. UGH. I feel violated just reading this.

  5. Karen G says:

    Eeeeeewwwwwww!!! That has to be the grosses diabetes first ever! And right now I’m very very glad I’m so OCD. Blood gets swiped on a small tissue piece, then gets deposited in a little vial with the dead test strip. They get emptied out every day. Take that, you gross gross bugs!!

  6. Kim says:

    Between your meter ants and Courtney’s CWD bed bugs, I may never return to Florida.

    Unless I have a lot of Raid with me.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    NONONONOOOO, Key West is worth Caribbean Crazy ants…I promise!! Although bugs flying out of my meter case now terrifies me and I find myself hesitating ever so slightly when I go to open it.

  8. colleen says:

    Oh, how gross. And yeah, now I’ll be looking more carefully at the case when I open it. Ick!

  9. Rachel Mercurio says:

    OMG I would have FAHLIPPPPPPED out! I hate hate hate hate hate bugs. Why would bugs like dried blood?? WTF??

  10. Sara says:

    LOL! Kim’s comment made me actually laugh out loud.

    I moved into a new office recently and have been battling some ants ever since. Now I feel like I have to hide my meter while I’m at work!

  11. shannon says:

    ;aksfj;aksjf;alksjdf that is horrrrrriffffyyyyyingggg!!! when i saw the top of that b-movie image i was so worried that it was gonna be a photo of the horror. eeeeekkkkk!!! so sorry that happened to you omg!

  12. I will say that Key West IS totally worth it — ants and all! At first I thought they were spiders, so the ants were kind of a relief. 🙂

  13. Penney says:

    Eeeeewyuck, bugs! GAG. Thanks for the laugh, though. And the smile it brought to my face to know that I am not the only person to wipe my finger on the inside of my meter case. Thank you so much for that! 🙂

  14. Meagan says:

    I’m thinking PWD’s should get a discount on travelling to Key West now!

    I am disgusting in that I generally just lick the blood off if I don’t have a tissue…ew, I know. Maybe that’s too much info. No ants though! 🙂

  15. uzma says:

    that’s great! I’ve always feared that would happen to me. . . never knew my nightmares could occur in someone else’s life. lol!

  16. This makes me really, really glad now that J wipes his finger on his clothes! At least they get washed! Eewww. (yep, he wears dark clothes all the time, thank goodness, so the blood doesn’t show)

  17. George says:

    That is soooooo freaky!!!!!

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