Like religious conversions, lifestyle changes are often dramatic and sudden. In one week, I went from being a needle-phobic, stout-chugging burrito funnel to being a teetotaling, needle-carrying veggie muncher. It just so happened that my personal transition happened via the insistence of several doctors and nurses, plus one clinical dietitian. On a Friday.
The following Saturday, my wife and I were to attend a daytime birthday party. For many of you, mentioning that the party was during the day will seem unnecessary, but for a child-free couple in their late 30s, daytime birthday parties on a Saturday imply a couple of things:
1) This party will be for a child.
2) There will be other children there.
I don’t have a problem with kids, and neither does my wife, despite how she likes to pretend she hates them all. Our decision not to have kids was an actual choice we made after much discussion and taking into account certain possibilities that are none of your damn business. When people ask if we’re planning to have kids, I have no problem launching into a detailed explanation of our sex life, use of prophylaxis, and history of onanism in response to what is ultimately a frank and public question of whether or not we bareback it in the bedroom.
We do, in case you were wondering. Always have for our 13 years together, and not one pregnancy scare because she’s always been on the pill, and I insisted on pulling out like Ron Jeremy for the first four years, despite her insistence that medical science had it under control. That was until the fateful evening she locked her ankles behind my back at the moment of fruition so I couldn’t escape.
“Isn’t that better?” she asked.
It was. But again, we’re in our 30s with decent jobs, a house we own, and ample resources should she accidentally and unexpectedly get pregnant via my godlike, ultra-fertile man gravy.
Pull out, kids! If you’re not going to take the time to slap a Trojan on your junk in the heat of passion, at least have the decency to save yourself a lifetime of wondering “what if?” by pulling the hell out of Dodge before firing off your sidearm. It isn’t difficult.
All they saw was a giant, tattooed man ducking into a side bedroom every 30 minutes with a zippered case that looks not dissimilar to John Travolta’s heroin gear in Pulp Fiction. This was followed by rapid zipper noises, clicking of equipment, and me walking out minutes later with a tiny bit of blood on my hands.
So we were at a 2-year-old’s birthday party, and I had brought with me my fashionable new black clutch containing all my glucose testing supplies. I had done this because, about an hour before our arrival, I ate four chocolate doughnuts with the intent of giving myself a glucose tolerance test.
In a lab setting, a glucose tolerance test begins with the victim getting his fasting blood sugar checked before he ingests a syrupy beverage containing 75 grams of sugar. By my calculations, four chocolate doughnuts and a small orange juice were close enough for my purposes.
There were obvious flaws to my approach, such as the lack of uniformity regarding the way my body would break down all the sugar in the frosting, juice, and doughnut. But this was for my own edification, and I didn’t have access to whatever magic juice the labs use. I could’ve just drank a bottle of Coke, but it was Saturday morning and I was hungry. Shut up.
Want to guess how it went?
Predictably. My blood sugar shot up over 200 and I felt dizzy. Then it came down incrementally over the next couple of hours until I was back to healthy levels.
Four doughnuts is more than I’d consider normal for a human meal, but it wasn’t unusual for me at that point, given the option. I’d already taken the opportunity to get to know myself a little better. Getting this out of the way early taught me an important lesson about how my body used the crazy amount of sugar I’d become used to and what it felt like when I was spiking. It also forced me to admit I have some insulin resistance that deserves my attention.
So goodie for me.
Remember: This happened at a child’s birthday party full of kids and parents who don’t all know me. All they saw was a giant, tattooed man ducking into a side bedroom every 30 minutes with a zippered case that looks not dissimilar to John Travolta’s heroin gear in Pulp Fiction. This was followed by rapid zipper noises, clicking of equipment, and me walking out minutes later with a tiny bit of blood on my hands.
I decided to let it go. Over-explaining my body hacking would probably come off like me making excuses for my all-consuming opioid addiction, if not just a weird thing to be up to on a Saturday afternoon. At a 2-year-old’s birthday party.
The weirdness of the situation helped. Well, at least I found it helpful. I doubt the parents there found it very comforting. Testing myself over and over for a few hours completely got me over the fear of stabbing myself and the shock of making myself bleed like a high school kid who just discovered The Smiths. The path toward controlling my “disease” had begun.
Now for the second phase of the attack: beginning an exercise regimen. Oh, and the little matter of going back to my urologist for a follow-up to sort out the excitement that started this little adventure.
Say it with me: “scrotal ultrasound.”