A thank you to the commuters of Melbourne

True story. This happened a few months ago, and I just found this sitting in my Notes on my phone. Please excuse the terrible writing, I was hypo while writing!

I’m on a tram,  five minutes past midnight, and my hands start shaking

Oh my god don’t be low. This is not the place pancreas.

Test. I’m 2.9.
Fuck.
I start shuffling through my massive bag, and the two old ladies next to me joke “don’t worry, it’s in there somewhere”
I exhale, smile, and say “I forgot to pack my lollies, I’m diabetic – my blood sugar is quite low”
The girl my age across from me goes “Oh god I think I might have some gum!” and starts rustling through her bag like she’s trying to find something that could explode at any moment. As she rustles, we all continue to chat (and I continue to insist I’m fine), and it turns out the girl my age is a nurse and one of the ladies has a “very dear friend” who also has diabetes – I’m going to call her Betty, because she was English and looked like a Betty.
The nurse (after establishing she had sugar free gum and apologising profusely while I simultaneously told her not to worry) is on her way to night shift in intensive care at the Alfred, and Betty sighs “Oh you must deal with some diabetes there!”, then turns to me, and says “You guys are so strong”. Taken aback, I say “Oh there’s many more serious things in there than my diabetes”, and this lady does something that brings tears to my eyes.
Betty looked at me, touched me on the shoulder and says “It’s a very serious illness love, don’t downplay it, you’re all incredibly strong people for dealing with it “
I don’t know what to say. I open and close my mouth like a confused, shocked, and hypoglycaemic goldfish. I manage a “I love people like you, thank you so much!” just before my three new buddies get up to head down commercial rd – nurse to the Alfred, old ladies to their apartment.
“Are you sure you’ll be ok?”
“I’m sure, I only have 10 minutes until my stop. Thank you so much”
They all give me a smile, and I stumble home 10 minutes later feeling warm and fuzzy – the fuzzy was only partly because of the low blood sugar.
The number 64 may be crowded and never on time, but it’s also full of lovely people.
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One response to “A thank you to the commuters of Melbourne

  1. That was the most beautiful thing I’ve read this week. As a frequent user of public transportation in Melbourne it fills me with hope that there are people who are not so engrossed in what’s on their little screens and blaring in their ears to be concerned about the wellbeing of their fellow travellers who may be in medical distress. It also makes me so happy that you made it to your front door and the safety and security of your home. Even in a moment of weakness, you are a pillar of strength. x

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