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Paper Cranes

Last week, I had a pretty sneaky low pounce on me while I was on the treadmill.  Readings have been steadily improving but aren’t back on track yet.  So I’m erring on the side of caution as much as possible.  This is resulting in many “dead test strips.”

My initial meter reading when I started my workout was 170 mg/dl.  The pump was stashed in my purse and I had a bottle of juice and my kit on the treadmill with me.  (Not running beside me, mind you, but in the little holder compartments.)  Fifteen minutes into my workout, I was 100 mg/dl.  That’s quite a drop.  Sip the juice, keep going.  At the thirty minute mark:  84 mg/dl.  Hmmm.  I’d rather finish my workout at 200 mg/dl then have to stop because of a low, so I finish the juice off.  Forty minutes:  113 mg/dl.  Spot on.  No problems.  Fifty-three minute mark … all of a sudden sweating like a maniac.  I was reading the closed-captioning on the TV screen just a few minutes earlier, but now the words are dancing along the bottom of the screen.  Headache.

We know where this is going.

Turn off the treadmill.  As the machine stops scrolling back, I prick my fingertip.  51 mg/dl.  Damn it.  113 mg/dl only thirteen minutes earlier.

Reaching into my kit, I grab the only money I have on me:  a one and a ten dollar bill.  Walking determinedly towards the juice machine, I notice that juice is two dollars in this (god-forsakenly expensive) Connecticut town.

“Excuse me.  Can you please break a ten?”

“Sure thing.  You want me to break it like I’m a ninja?  Put my hand straight through it?”  The guy behind the counter grins and means so well, making jokes with me, the New Girl at the Gym.

“It’s okay.  Just ones are fine.”

“I can make it into a paper crane.  Watch my paper crane.”  He starts to fold.  I lean on the countertop.  This will not be a repeat performance of the Showcase Cinemas episode.

The money shift under his hand and I watch as wings take shape.  I’m running out of time to wait.

“Listen, I’m a diabetic and I’m having a low bloodsugar reaction.  I need to buy some juice.  It’s okay.  Just please give me a dollar and I’ll come back for the rest of my change.”  I smile.  I’m not a completely hypoglycemic mess so it’s easier to be in control this time.

“Sorry.  Here.  Here you go.”  He casts his eyes down, hands me a five and five ones and I wander off to the juice machine.

I drain half of the bottle.  It’s going to be just fine.  A few minutes pass.  I test.  94 mg/dl.  Back on the climb.

I walk back over to the counter, where the man behind the counter is deliberately not looking at me.
“I’m sorry if I was short with you.  I just needed a hand.”

He didn’t look at me.Paper Cranes

“I appreciate your help, you know.”  I start to walk away from the counter.


I turn around.

He gently places a paper crane made from a post-it note on the countertop.  Wings flutter from the ceiling fans.

“My cousin has diabetes.”



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Oh, Kerri. Why do you always make me cry?

That is so amazing, how you were sure it was going to end up like the awful Showcase episode, but instead, you got an understanding person at the end. :)

Kerri, of course he was flirting with you.

I continue to be amazed at your resolve to keep up the exercise despite such difficult challenges.

You truly rock!

Great post...

Another great post Kerri...and I agree with Johnboy....you rock.

Nice. Sounds like you have a new ally at the gym.

i kept going lower during and after exercise. I stopped my pump for like an hour b4 exercise and an hour after and took no insulin for the meal or snack before the work out and i'm always ok.

what julia said.

What an absolutely touching story. I want to go and give that boy a big hug. There is nothing more uplifting than to run into an unexpected "random act of kindness."

Great post Kerri. I, too, find at times that I seem rude when low. It happened at work one time and I apologized to the guy but he said it was cool. His wife is diabetic(she's my asst. at work) and she can be the Queen of Mean when low so he understood. LOL. But that was truly sweet of the guy at the gym.

Way back when (1986ish?), I was in the Diabetes Teaching Unit (DTU - where they sent the NC folks for a tune up) at Joslin, and there were a few Japanese fellows/residents/doctors there to learn about diabetes. One afternoon, one of the doctors taught a bunch of us how to make paper cranes. He told us that they were a symbol of hope. It's always stuck with me.

Wonderful post, Kerri.

Made me cry, too.

This was funny and touching at the same time.

This could only happen to you :) How many girls would have a guy make a paper crane for them?

Brendon knows how to make origami whales....does it everytime with a napkin during dinner :)

My cousin has a friend who is really sick (& has been all of her life). One spell in the hospital really scared both of them. During that scare, my cousin came across a Japanese fable that says something to the effect of "1000 paper cranes will take a wish to the gods for you".

With that in mind, my whole family sat at parties and gatherings making all size paper cranes until we had 999. The last one was made out of a huge sheet of posterboard and we all signed it. It was pretty impressive to see a room covered in cranes.

It must have worked because the girl came out of the hospital and is doing pretty well now. Never underestimate a paper crane.

Dang, girl! How do you do it? How does you life have such great writeable moments? It couldn't have been better if it was scripted for TV. Bravo. Clearly you have the magic touch in more ways than one. :-)

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