So I went to Bonnaroo last week . . . let me be up front: NOT MY SCENE. However, I really wanted to see some of the bands (Tool, The Police, Fountains of Wayne, Franz Ferdinand) and my husband's friend was in from Sydney and was dying to go. It felt just a bit too stick-in-the-muddish to say "Nah guys, I'll sit this one out." I also hate whining about how much unfun it's going to be to worry about diabetes in a hot, sweaty camping situation for four days. What am I, 75?
As it turned out, my diabetes was surprisingly well behaved. Yes, I had a few lows, but the highs were nearly nonexistant despite me tossing back frozen lemonade, pizza, pretzels, beer, and ice cream. I joked to my husband that I should walk around all day for the rest of my life - I was about 80, constantly. Amazing! (Incidentally, as soon as I returned to work this week - on travel - I began spiking to high 200's and 300's...seriously peeved here, but working on it.)
I took myself by surprise, though. I've posted before about being sick "for real" and how it annoys me and makes me feel seriously put upon. I guess I feel like since I have diabetes, a seriously scary PITA, I should be exempt from the myriad of other petty human ailments (or even the not-so-petty ones). The feeling's irrational and self-pitying, but it's there.
On the last day I'd be at the festival, this past Saturday, I got up as normal and was sitting outside of the tent reading a book. Enjoying the weather before it got too hot. I was sunning my feet and generally enjoying not thinking about much of anything. The boys got up and we headed to the main festival grounds for some grub. While walking there, I noticed that the insides of my ankles and lower calves were turning seriously red, and getting itchy. I thought back to anything I might have gotten into that could cause this, even though I've never been the type to have sensitive skin / get rashes. Putting my feet in the grass last night? Nah.
I stopped by the medic tent and was diagnosed with a case of heat rash. They gave me some sort of anti-itch balm. Okay cool, I can deal with this. I smeared the stuff on and rejoined my pals. Twenty minutes later, the itch turned into a "IT BUUUURRRRNNNNNSSSS!" sensation anytime that the sun happened to shine on the rash (which was constantly). So freaking weird, and so freaking miserable. It felt like I was holding a hair dryer on high right next to my skin, or pressing my skin onto the hood of a car that has been parked in the sun all day. The only thing that brought me any relief was to sit in air conditioning and cover my legs with a wet cloth / aloe.
Unfortunately I was at a rock festival with limited amounts of any of those things. I had some sort of mental breakdown at this point for whatever reason - I had spent a lot of money on these tickets, I had been having fun despite limited sleep, no showers, and being surrounded by roving, drunken hoodlums for the past three days (:D), and no one else here I saw had stupid heat rash. Everyone was having a great heat-rash free diabetes-free time, and stupid defective me was going to end up spending most of the day inside at a ROCK FESTIVAL. Am I truly not allowed to have any fun anymore, even when I make the conscious effort to be adventurous and try?! I was incredibly angry at myself and stomped off, cursing and crying, into a lukewarm tent sponsored by MTV (haha). My husband was extremely supportive (if a little exasperated with my overreaction) and made the trek back to our tent to get me some novels to read until the sun went down. The burn abated as long as I stayed inside, and when I ventured out around 4pm the worst had passed.
Looking back it was so silly; of course there were other diabetics there. Of course more than one person left those camp grounds in the back of an ambulance, so really the rash I got was so minor. I just have no patience or tolerance for my body anymore when it doesn't do things exactly right (or exactly as I plan). I never got a sun burn - and had religiously applied sunscreen, kept hydrated, and wore a wide brimmed hat the whole time I was there - and I still walked out of the festival with an injury. My red rash is fading, but I still hate feeling like a fragile, delicate flower who should give up anything the least bit "rugged" and spend the rest of my summer in a library. I was angry and full of self-resentment at the time...just one of those days I really wished I was NORMAL, dammit. Back in the day I would've brushed the rash off as inconvenient and painful, and I wouldn't have let it escalate into a personal attack on myself. Having diabetes makes me beat up on myself on a daily basis already. I gotta learn to check the baggage for the rest of life's little PITAs in the future.