I glance at the watch on my wrist. I know that it will only take me a minute, but it’s 4 o’clock and I really want to get out of here already.
I make the trek outside, where my car is conveniently parked in its usual spot at the end closest to the centre door. It’s a longer walk in the morning, when I have to come in through the back entrance, but completely worth it at the end of the day.
I hop inside my car, and place my belongings on the vacant seat beside me. I know that it will only take me a minute, but I really just want to start making my way home where afternoon coffee is calling my name.
I place my keys in the ignition, lock my doors and wind down my windows. I reverse out of my spot and make my way out of the carpark, cutting through some of the quieter residential areas in order to avoid the pile up of traffic on my way out of the centre. I make one final right, which takes me back out onto the main road and in a far better position traffic wise.
Finally, I have what I’ve been waiting for as I begin to apply my brakes, slide my gears back into neutral and cars begin to bank up in front of me. A red light.
I only have a minute, but I know I can do it.
I dive into my bag, pull out my travel case and grab my meter, strips and lancing device. I quickly pop open the cap on my test strip vial and slide out a fresh strip, sticking it into my blood glucose meter. I prick my finger with the lancing device, and squeeze my fingertip. A little drop of blood appears on my fingertip, but I know its not enough. I squeeze again, harder, like I’m holding on tightly for dear life.
Part of me knows I don’t have enough blood, but the other hasty part of my brain watching the traffic light tells me I can do this. I bring the meter closer to my fingertip, and let the blood slide onto the end of the test strip.
A shrill BEEEEEEP! Sounds from my meter as a strip fill error appears on the screen. My absolute pet hate when it comes to living with diabetes.
I furiously rip out the useless test strip, pop open the cap on my vial of strips and slide out a new one. I stick it onto the end of my meter, shove my lancing device right up against the tip of my finger and prick again. This time, blood flows more freely. Satisfied, the test strip laps it up and decides to give me a blood glucose reading.
I quickly wipe the excess blood on my fingertip against the side of the test strip as the light changes to green and traffic begins to move. I fling everything on the passenger seat beside me, which I’ll clean up during the next red light.