A few months ago I went to my GP surgery because I was feeling unwell and needed antibiotics. I knew I needed antibiotics because of the many previous times of feeling unwell which was embodied by a raging angry abscess and high blood glucose levels to accompany them.
I sat on the chair opposite the GP. He wasn’t my usual GP that I like to see as this was a short notice emergency appointment. I explained how the abscess had sprung into life the evening before and was now hell bent on meddling with my blood sugars. The area around it was sore, swollen and red, the lump was visible. He started to prescribe a course of antibiotics when all of a sudden my insulin pump bleeped. It was warning me of an impending high blood sugar level. The GP asked me what ‘that’ noise was. So I explained it was my insulin pump communicating a warning with me. He appeared irritated by the bleeping noise and then uttered the words ” can you turn it off please?”….
I sat there in utter disbelief, dumbfounded in dismay by the suggestion. The only ‘positive’ I could retrieve from those words was the polite use of the word please! If the noise had come from my mobile singing a tune then I would have understood his irritation of the noise. I always turn my mobile on silent or off when in an appointment. But turn my insulin pump off ?!?!? No way! Absurd! Insane! An abomination for myself a Type1 diabetic insulin pumper. If the bleep hadn’t sounded then my blood sugar level would have continued to increase at an alarming rate due to the infection hijacking my body. The CGM sensor I wore enabled my pump to warn me. If I turned the sound off I would have been completely unaware. If I turned my pump off I would be turning off my life line and throwing myself into some seriously hot water. The insulin needs to be pumped when wearing an insulin pump (hence the name) and the warning sound needs to be heard.
I immediately without hesitation argued my case for the bleep. I defended my pump with pride. I explained everything calmly and concisely whilst feeling saddened that I was forced to explain and defend my bleep to the GP.
Hopefully he learnt something that day. I know I learnt something. I learnt that sometimes some people regardless of profession, status, or intelligence need a helping hand and educating. So I hope in the future where necessary I can turn off the ignorance of others whoever and wherever they may be in a positive way. When ignorance is a poison let us be the antidotes.

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