Biohazards at Work

When I’m trying to hang on to something that I really cannot lose, I put it with the one other thing that I really cannot lose (besides my child): my glucose meter.

Sometimes it’s a necklace, or a wad of money, or some sentimental geegaw. A few weeks ago, it was a couple of receipts I needed for an expense report.

It wouldn’t be an issue if I was one of those neat diabetics who immediately threw away her used test strips, or who always remembered to wash her hands before testing and wipe with an alcohol swab afterward. I consider myself more of a freestyle tester — collecting test strips in the case until I toss them out in one confetti-like dump, wiping a bloody fingertip on a dark pair of jeans. It’s kind of gross, and I know it, but I’m generally able to keep it to myself.

But then there were the receipts. These were records I would have to share with fellow coworkers. Suddenly, my disgusting habits were a matter of agency record. That’s because the receipts looked like this:


Now, I don’t keep my diabetes a secret — especially not at work. But I was embarrassed. It looked like a tiny murder had taken place in my purse. Exhibit A: blood-soaked parking garage records.

I imagined our business manager thumbing through the stack of papers on her desk and recoiling in horror. And then maybe calling the police. I’d be known as the girl who adds a little smidge of her own DNA to interoffice paperwork.

In the end, I made copies of the receipts. And as I handed in my expense report, it occurred to me that it might look suspicious that I wasn’t turning in the originals. I was a fraud and a murderer.

“Here’s my expense report,” I explained. “I made copies of the receipts because I put them in my blood sugar checker thing to keep them safe and I got blood all over them. And that’s disgusting so I made copies.”

“Okay,” she said, reaching for the papers. “That’ll work.”

And that was it. I went back up to my office, one more chore crossed off my to-do list, to check my blood sugar again and bleed all over something else.