I carry a purse. I know it may seem odd about how a 58 year old man in Indiana to carry a purse. It is a diabetic story told in 4 parts. I hope you enjoy it.
Part 1 onset:
In 1974 when I was diagnosed with diabetes men were men and women were women and yeah, never mind, it was the same then as now. Anyway, when I was diagnosed men carried two items reliably, a billfold and keys. We carried change because what other good choice did we have? We are men after all.
At any rate, I swore I would never carry anything that looked like a purse. We (me actually I guess) could not imagine a male carrying a purse. We did not have book bags and only rarely did we see boys with paper bags full of books. If you believe this picture (I lived it so I do) girls never carried book bags or paper bags. Let’s face it, if girls would carry big stacks of books, then boys would never carry such bags.
Enter diabetes. In 1974, boys had to be sure and carry one of two things: 1. We needed glucose tabs (these were awful) or 2. We had to have $10.00 in our billfold for gas and lunch. (Gas and lunch being two separate things not lunch with gas). Being a boy and not willing to carry a purse I opted for the much more practical $10.00. Purses and boys were not all that compatible. Diabetes or not.
Part 2 the 80’ and 90’s.
Glucose testing came along and with it pocket sized glucometers. Yes, I needed a purse if I were to use one of these things. Yes, they were big and clumsy and had long wait times with only slight accuracy, but they sure beat urine test strips. This was the moment of purse choice. If I were to use glucometer and use it like envisioned, would I carry a purse? No, of course not.
I may be lots of things, but soft willed is not one of them. I refused to carry a purse. Instead, I decided to forgo testing, lest I be forced into purse mode. Hanging on to my 1970’s vibe, I decided that a man needed keys, a billfold (now $20 inflation after all) and a front pocket for change. Ha, I was set forget that craziness of purse carrying.
Part 3 Vacation purse 90’s and 2000’s.
By the late 1990’s technology had caught up with me and I was carrying and using a glucometer. More specifically Sheryl carried my glucometer in her vacation purse. What you have never heard of a vacation purse? Let me explain, vacation purse is a big purse weighing a ton stuffed full of everything a family might need for a day or so. It was typical to find sun block, those special treats, camera, film (yes there was something called film) paper, pen, road maps, telephones, and for the very modern person with diabetes, glucotabs, apple juice, glucometer, extra pump supplies or syringes full of insulin. The list goes on and on.
What was rarely in vacation purse was anything related to the one carrying the purse. Let’s face it Sheryl could put whatever Sheryl was willing to put would put in her purse so long as all of our stuff got in. We (my sons and I), did not have to carry it around so heck yes toss another log on the fire, so to speak. The basic thing, was whatever we needed could be stuffed in vacation purse, let’s just say we were not in in tune with the issues involved in carrying a vacation purse. By the early 2000’s diabetes stuff grew in the vacation purse. Notably vacation purse included more apple juice, the meter and more syringes or pump supplies as the technology changed.
Part 4 present day
Over time vacation purse became not just for vacations anymore. It really included everything diabetes and not much else. It was about 2010 that the discussion of rick carrying a purse became more prevalent. My mind was made up (remember I said I have a tough mind to change) so we reached a stalemate. We discussed the topic off and on even as the junk I carried grew. I finally set a cut off. I told Sheryl I would carry a purse when I saw 5% of men carrying purses. I thought I was safe.
In 2014 the day came. I recall it like it was yesterday. Sheryl called from work and said she had observed at least 5% of men carrying purses. I have to mention here that Sheryl worked on a college campus so her perspective on what comprised 5% was a little less than objective. When I set the 5% limit I never said it had to be 5% of all men, and I think Sheryl found the loophole, she determined the population and the die was cast. However, I am a man of my word and on that day I surrendered to the idea. Once surrendered I had no choice but to carry forward. First a small little item that looked like a camera bag. I carried it for only two weeks, before I said look I need more style.
Thus came the real purse. And my blog about it all on TUDiabetes, which you can read here if you wish. The thing is I sort of like my purse. But before you talk about it, please do not tell Sheryl. After all, I do not want to get saddled with Rick’s vacation purse, a practice that I notice is creeping into my purse. LOL
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