Teachers' Lounge in High School

Our high school had vending machines. But the drinks were all high-sugar beverages. Though, due to dietary rules for schools, they weren’t sodas. No carbonation, just pure sugar.

These machines were useless to me as a diabetic student. Oh, sure, if my blood sugar went low, I could get some M&Ms I guess. But I couldn’t get anything from the drink machines at all. I was involved in after school activities some days. My insulin regime called for me to have some sort of snack after school. Once school dismissed, I would wait ten or twenty minutes for everyone to clear out, then I’d go to the teachers’ lounge. They had their own vending machines – ones with sodas. So I’d go in, get a bag of chips or pretzels and a diet soda. A few times teachers saw me, but generally no one cared. School was over, no harm, no foul. Until one week, a teacher took offense at my presence in her sanctum sanctorum and tossed me out.

Not long thereafter, I had a regular appointment with my endo at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville (about 2.5 hours from home). As always, my doctor would ask how I was doing. I casually mentioned the lounge incident. He got a bit mad about it and told me that if I ever needed to get a snack, no teacher should ever interfere with that. He told me to stand up to them if need be, because my health was more important than their private room. Then he wrote me a note, on a Vanderbilt prescription pad, saying I had permission to go to the lounge anytime I needed to get a snack. Yes, a doctor at the state’s best-known teaching hospital wrote me a prescription to get snacks from the teachers’ lounge.

I kept that prescription in my wallet until I graduated from high school. I never had to show it to that particular teacher ever again, I don’t think. But I did have to use it from time to time. My blood sugar would get low and I’d use the note to get out of class and go get a snack. At least once or twice, I went to the lounge during school. It always resulted in raised eyebrows. (And smoky clothing! Teachers could smoke in the lounge back then.)

And, yes, I did use that prescription a few times to sneak out of class, just because I could. I didn’t abuse it often, though.


No human teenager could resist that particular temptation 100%. A Vulcan teenager, maybe. But not a human. :wink:


I guess I was a Vulcan teenager then because I was a strict rule follower, if I said I was going to get a snack then you better believe I was going to get a snack. Then again I was a bad liar and I knew it so I wouldn’t have gotten away with sneaking out.

My school cafeteria had my snacks (or they were brought from home) so I never got anything from a vending machine but my school did have sodas in the machines so maybe they had pretzels and chips too.

I was in grad school when I joined The Club, so I didn’t have to have permission for a snack. Back then, though (1983), we had this “exchange diet” thing. The day I was dx’d, after showing me how to do the injections, they gave me this list with three columns: stuff it’s ok to have (a very short list), stuff you can have if you trade off something else, and stuff you just can’t have. That last one was alphabetical, and the top item was… Beer! “Doc,” I said, “I can deal with the needles, I can deal with the hypoglycemia whatever that is, but beer? You’re telling me I can’t have beeeeeeer???

May not be an exact quote but the feeling is accurate.


I do not miss exchanges.