Beeping in the Bible Belt


I knew last year when I went on a ya ya sisterhood trip through Mississippi that in much of the South life revolves around church and college football.

Two weeks ago I re-entered that world while visiting my good friend P. P lives in Dallas and is very active in local missions and her Methodist church.

She asked if I didn’t mind accompanying her to her Sunday morning bible class and the sermon that followed. I didn’t mind at all, in fact I enjoy learning about other faiths. So there I was, sitting amongst 20 women while they were discussing Jesus and the meaning of Christmas, and my blood sugar was sliding into dangerous territory. 

I unhooked my meter from my pouch as discretely as I could and discovered  I was 56 mg/dl. I slid a few glucose tablets out of their sleeve and into my mouth, hoping no one would think me impolite for not offering them around. Thirty minutes later, still in class, my heart was now fluttering and sweat was beginning to accrue on my brow. 

Still trying not to attract attention, funny to say being the lone Jew in a barrel full of Methodists, I took the last bite of a peanut butter cookie still in my coat pocket left over from some previous incident. My friend, having type 1 diabetes herself, whispered, “Are you OK”? I assured her, in between the debate whether one should send “Merry Christmas” cards or “Season’s Greetings” cards, that I would be. 

When class ended we walked through the very large, very active church to take seats for the morning sermon in a very large hall. As soon as we sat down, P looked at her CGM and saw she was 70 mg/dl. She began beeping (well her CGM did) as I fished in my coat pocket to retrieve the half a trail bar I’d noticed was there while pulling out my peanut butter cookie dregs. 

We bickered for a few seconds whether she should eat my last batch of sustainable-carbs. I insisted. She did. And as 500 worshippers hushed as the minister strode to the podium, we did all we could to bury our bonded giggles over just another morning with diabetes. 

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