Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Clinic Fun Times

This afternoon is my second local diabetic clinic.  If it is as hilarious as the last one I will enjoy it immensely.  The other people in the class are providing me no end of giggles, not on purpose, they are just so appealing to my own sense of humour.

One of the fellows there is not diabetic himself, but is there to learn how to best support his diabetic wife.  He seems to be a very nice man, kind of a "local yokel" sort with a good heart and a good sense of fun.  He is fixated on a diabetic friend who apparently tests his blood sugar before having any sort of alcoholic drink.

Every time a question was asked of us by our presenters, this fellow would leap into the conversation, no matter the topic of the question, to let us know that his friend would test his blood sugar before having any alcohol and depending on the reading would decide if he could have one or two drinks, or none at all.

What was hilarious about it was this dear man bringing it up so consistently throughout the two hours we were in clinic.  I stopped counting after the 8th repetition.  haha

Presenter: "Please state your name and what course of treatment you are presently taking to control your diabetes."
Various answers and then:
Man: "Well, I have this friend who..." (followed by head shaking and guffawing)

Presenter:  "What sort of instruction have you received for taking care of your test monitors and strips?"
Various answers and then:
Man: "Well, I have this friend who..." (followed by more vigorous head shaking and guffawing)

Presenter:  "Can anyone explain to me exactly what diabetes is?"
Various answers and then:
Man: "Well, I have this friend who..." (followed by intense and ongoing head shaking and guffawing)

Presenter: "Would anyone be able to explain their understanding of what an A1C is and what it tells the doctor?"
Various answers and then:
Man: "Well, I have this friend who..." (followed by head shaking and guffawing and a bright red face)

Presenter: "In what way do insulin injections assist our bodies?"
Various answers and then:
Man: "Well, I have this friend who..." (followed by red faced head shaking and guffawing, with the addition of knee slapping)

You get the idea.

The man's awe and delight over his friend's behaviour seems typical apparently of the local sense of humour I have often run across here.  The simplest things of smallest humorous value are worth repeating over and over again in a short time frame with the laughter growing bigger with each repetition.  More subtle or sophisticated humour is largely ignored even when understood.  Sarcasm goes right over peoples' heads or is construed as deep and hurtful criticism.  

I have had to rein in my own sense of humour over the years I have lived here and learn a new way of appreciating tiny bits of humour that have been a struggle for me to catch onto.  It has been a good stretching exercise for me, a way to grow in appreciation for a type of humour I have never been exposed to before.

Whatever is going on in the minds of my fellow diabetics at our afternoon clinics, I find it delightful. One lady sat through the 2 hours unabashedly eating an entire giant bag of potato chips and another over a litre of sugar sweetened soda as she talked about how high her sugars have been and how lousy she is feeling. I couldn't believe neither of them could see any incongruity in their own behaviours, (and aren't we all guilty of that faux pas in some area of our lives).  By the time we were done session one I came near to rolling on the floor with laughter, despite being made conscious once again that I am from "away" and therefore not worthy of being looked at, certainly not worthy of being spoken to...not yet....maybe by the end of the last session.  

It will take some time to wiggle my way into the group, even just a wee bit. But I am tenacious.  By the time we are done it will happen.  Just a wee bit......

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