An Uncommon Conundrum

Here we are, living through a rather amazing, and for some people a little frightening, global health pandemic. The modern world has never seen anything to this scale.

Now, I’m not going to pass judgement on governments and their actions, because I’m not an expert, so I’ll leave it to those who are. They know a lot more about coronavirus than I do.

As society here in Australia shrinks inward as the “stay-at-home” mantra becomes more real, social rules that have never been questioned before, or didn’t even exist, have now become front and centre. Some people are finding this quite confronting, leading to anxiety and stress. I don’t feel the anxiety that some people are feeling, but I do understand that established conventions and norms are about to disappear for a period of months. Working from home, with many of the shops closing their doors, my established routine is about to be turned upside down.

This anxiety is one reason why an early indicator that a bumpy ride was coming struck us in the form of panic buying. Again I won’t comment beyond the fact that this has led to bare shelves in supermarkets for many / most items of necessities. It is shameful, but maybe it is a normal reaction for humans under these strange circumstances.

I was at the supermarket this morning to do our weekly grocery shopping. And as I live with both T1D and coeliacs, ie. medical need for gluten free, as opposed to personal choice for gluten free, a regular item on our list is gluten free 2 minute noodles. I won’t bother going in to great depth about why these are so important, because anyone who does not live with the diabolical result of eating a micron of gluten, combined with the deathly result of not having enough carbohydrate at the right time, would find it difficult to comprehend in a meaningful way. I’ll just summarise by saying that the gluten free noodles are an important part of our weekly grocery shopping.

As the checkout lady was scanning our groceries, she got to the 6 tubs of 2 minute noodles. She told us politely that the limit on 2 minute noodles was 2 tubs, so we needed to leave 4 tubs behind. I asked, gently, if I could please talk to the manager.

When the manager, a nice but over worked lady in her 40’s, came, I explained to her that I lived with both T1D and coeliacs, and the noodles were important for me to have in the cupboard. That’s all I needed to say, so I’m guessing she either knows somebody with one illness or the other, or simply the fact I live with a chronic disease was enough for her to see requirement for practicality. She explained to me that it was out of her power to be able to let me buy all of the tubs, BUT ………. then went of to explain in simple words how I could get around the restriction.

I take my hat off to her.

I don’t expect the people in charge to understand every little nuance and nook’n’cranny of how their decisions affect people, and I am not whinging about my own circumstances. But this is just another example of how the complexity of living with T1D cannot be fully understood by anyone who does not live directly with it in the same house.

It’s just not possible.

That is T1D as I have lived it …… today.

Marathon des Sables – A Type 1 Diabetes Adventure

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