Friday, November 19, 2010

Greedy Vending Machines

Many of us People With Diabetes have some important items that make our D-Lives manageable.

1. Sugar, in case of Lows. (I prefer Glucose Tablets over anything, but won’t gripe if I must turn to Skittles as a 2nd choice.)

2. Diet Coke, to get through the day. (The no-sugar but caffeinated beverage is a lifeline).

But when we’re deprived of these two items, well it can be like…. Well, one hellish day endured recently on my part.

Thankfully and quiet honestly by total surprise, I survived and have lived to tell the tale.

You see, my ordeal began the night before.

Leaving work at the normal leave-work time, I ventured downstairs by elevator from my second-floor office and arrived on the lower level to walk outside and make it the parking garage a block or so away. But something wasn’t right. I just felt “off.” You know what I mean.

Quickly, I formed the opinion that it could very well be related to my blood sugar. So, I did a test and sure-enough saw a happy 51 smiling at me from my OneTouch UltraLink.

Grumbling, I realized that just wasn’t a safe number. Especially not one to have just before a brief walk outside and then a 30-minute commute home. Normally in this situation, I might have several options to ponder for a sugar boost. But being that I was in a lower lobby and actually standing next to a vending machine stocked full of candy, I opted for that immediate choice.

Sure enough, bags of Skittles smiled at me from the far-right side of the near bottom row. I was happy.
After fishing a tattered dollar bill from my wallet and ironing it out by hand, I stuck it in the money slot and pushed E10. I waited for my reward, imagining that rainbow of colors coming to life in my mouth.
The machine whirred, but the front Skittles bag didn’t move. At all.

“Son of a…,” I blurted out, not ending my statement as early as I do here. “Come the Eff on. WT (Fructose)!”

Had I an extra dollar, I would’ve considered sticking it in the Curse Jar, because I've been known to generously contribute to that fund. But that had been my last dollar. Wasted on the stupid greedy vending machine.
I kicked it once, then tried shaking it to prove that I was the dominant one in control here. Nothing happened. A few strangers appeared from the elevator and another nearby door and eyed my frustration suspiciously, but moved on without a word. The video camera above my head peered down at me like a Big Brother, and I thought twice about shattering the vending machine front with my fist.

“You A-hole,” I told it, again not being so vulgarity-free In Real Life.

Glaring at the Greedy Vending Machine, I challenged it with my eyes. Yet still nothing happened. I could almost hear the laughter of the little hamster in the vending machine, and those watching me from the other side of that video surveillance camera.

My shoulders hung low and realization set in that I’d remain without Skittles. And still Low. Then, I remembered that earlier that day I had eaten the final two glucose tablets in the desk drawer jar back in my office. Moneyless with only an emergency $10 and a plastic ATM card, I resigned myself that I was SOL and wouldn’t find any needed-sugar boost there. I ventured off to my car and after stopping at each of the six levels for others to depart, I was able to get to my car parked on the roof. There, I munched on some glucose tablets that live in my center console. Waiting, a new test after 6 tabs showed me at safe levels to drive home. It was a pretty uneventful evening to report on, but this wouldn’t be the last time that Money Eating Vending Machine would play with my mind.

The next day brought a slew of work deadlines and, of course, a broken coffee pot. I just wasn’t in the mood to walk anywhere for my morning fix, so I grumbled along without it. Luckily, my BGs were steady all morning and the rest of the day. But at lunch, I was desperately tired and stressed and needed something to just feel better.

A Diet Coke came to mind. And in our break room, several cold ones were calling to me.

But no change was in my desk as usual, and thanks to that Greedy Vending Machine from the night before, I was without a single dollar bill. Sure, I probably could’ve asked a co-worker for some change. But my luck, this Diet Coke Vending Machine would realize its greed and steal that borrowed money, too. I just wasn’t up to it. I expected failure. So I didn’t even bother. Sometimes, you just feel “Blah” and that’s how it was on this end. Water became my drink, until mid-afternoon when I just couldn’t bear it anymore and gave in – stepping out to my local Starbucks for an even more-needed caffeine boost.

4 p.m. Friday Update: It happened AGAIN! The same Diet Coke vending machine that I'd looked at earlier in the week apparently learned of the downstairs Greedy Vending Machine's reluctance to give me Skittles, and decided to jump on the greed bandwagon! Today, it stole my 75 cents and refused to release an ice-cold Diet Coke can into my hand... I almost flipped. Yet, determined, I reported this misconduct to our office Vending Machine Tamer and she relinquished my lost change to try again. There are three rows of this soda on the other side of the glass, so this time rather than trying the fussy B4, I went with B5. And got my Diet Coke! But seriously: it's like a D-Conspiracy by the Greedy Vending Machines!

The Greedy Vending Machines, while possibly humorous, just pushed me closer to the edge.

On top of all this, I’ve felt a little under-the-weather following my annoying three hour trip north for a seminar earlier in the week. And with the holidays approaching but the house cleaning not taking care of itself, I’ve just felt a larger sense of “Blah.” Not to mention some typically higher-than-normal BGs that aren’t making me feel all too cocky about my mid-December endo visit where I’m hoping for a lower A1c.

But as is often the case, my Type 3 Wife saved the day.

In my lunches both days, I found a surprise waiting for me inside the lunch bag: a ham sandwich covered with… BACON!

Yes, I am a Bacon Fan. And yes, my wife was my hero for this. [I didn’t tell her then, because I wanted to SURPRISE HER NOW :))))] This awesomeness isn’t anything new, it’s just another example of why she is simply truly and ever-awesomely wonderful.

That is my tale. Use it as you may see fit, to always keep extra change or a dollar bill on hand or just to sidestep those greedy vending machines completely. Because they can be evil, just like those ever-shady wasps that try to assassinate me. But know that even in these dark no-Skittle or Diet Coke days, some silver lining surprises can bring smiles in the form of Bacon or whatever treasure you may appreciate.

4 comments:

Renata said...

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall watching you at the machines. I am pretty sure it would have been funny as.

Terrie said...

Those Mean Machines stealing from you like that. My Hubby has lots of fights with them also...but he doesn't have Diabetes. For heaven's sakes Michael.....get a Man-purse. Many carry them you know. I don't need Greedy Vending machines cuz I carry everything in my purse and it's not that big. Glad you're okay now.

I hate wasps way more than Greedy Vending Machines. The minute I stick my nose out the door....ATTACK!! I definitely agree with you there. I was viciously attacked by 16 of them no-goods when I was about 11 y/o.

Cherise said...

LMBO!!! I love this post! LOL

Thiruppathy Raja said...

Really well done for the blog.these are so sweet and pretty!


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