Today, we’re excited to share with you another guest blog from Katie Janowiak, who works for the Medtronic Foundation, our company’s philanthropic arm. This time, Katie takes us back to her college days at Michigan State University and comically demonstrates the importance of always thinking ahead and being prepared when living with diabetes. If you missed Katie’s last blog, Teenage Dreams and a T1 Diagnosis, you can check it out here.
There will be, for each of us, defining moments in life… the ones that, should your life be turned into a biopic, would undoubtedly become the most quoted scenes of the movie. You know the type. Professing love. Accomplishing the unreachable. Or, as one tends to do every now and again, embarrassing yourself in front of 400+ peers.
Not that I know anything of this.
It was my sophomore year of college, and I was late.
As a communications major at Michigan State University, ads for doctorate student studies would often pop up on overcrowded corkboards and bill an hour’s worth of an undergrad’s time as “extra credit.” I was (and in many ways still am) a typical “type A,” and thus easy bait to anything that promised to pad my already precisely calculated GPA. This explained why I was in a tiny room answering questions on the sexual tension present in a Friends episode I had just watched. And late for an exam.
Frantic to finish and book it down the hall to class, I rushed through my responses and raced to gather my bag… Oh Crap! Consumed with the thought of being late for my exam, I hadn’t stopped to realize that it was 1:30 p.m., and I hadn’t eaten lunch. No food packed. No sugar pills in my bag. What a prepared diabetic! (When parents worry about their T1 going to college, typically their fears surround binge drinking, oversleeping and a strict diet of burgers and fries. Not the little everyday thoughtlessness to which an over crammed collegiate brain succumbs.) It was then that I spotted the table at the exit of the room, with a bowl filled with some sort of candy. Extra credit saves the day! I hastily stuffed a greedy amount into my backpack and beelined it to my exam.
Once at my destination, I struggled to find one of the last seats open in the 400 person stadium-style lecture hall. As I clumsily weaved through the mass of people to a middle seat in the center of the room (with the accompanying groans that one might expect should they be entering a movie at the pivotal point and blocking the picture as they squeeze their way through fixated viewers), I hear the age-old exam instructions to put everything away. Thinking of my candy, and not wanting to draw more attention to myself mid-exam with suspicious digging through my bag should I need it, I quickly grabbed as big of a handful as I could reach and smacked it down on my desk. (Situations like this always seem to make the puffed-chest diabetic come out. “I dare him to question whether I can have this on my desk!”)
The teacher’s assistant passed out the exam forms to my row and I could feel people start to murmur, laugh and stare around me…that deep nervous feeling pitted in my stomach overcomes me, as my face instinctively flushes a color Crayola refers to as “radical red.” Something is definitely not right. But what?
…As a large handful of colorful condoms lay piled on the desk in front of me, I realize that in my haste I had not, in fact, grabbed candy.
, diabetes management
, living with diabetes