This is my 9th year of living with T1D. This blows my mind, time has seriously flown by. To celebrate, here is a fun little tale about the time a police officer mistook a diabetic for a drug user….
When I was first diagnosed with diabetes I used syringes. The idea of the pump scared me at that time. It was November and nearing the busiest shopping time of the year. I was on my way to work, taking the back roads to enjoy a view of the ocean like I always did. Then out of the corner of my eye I spotted a police officer. Panic instantly wafted through my entire body and I hit the breaks because for some reason my body thought that that is what you do when you pass a police officer. I checked my rear view mirror, he was following behind me, the light turned yellow just as I crossed it and relief swept through my body as I pulled into my works parking lot.
But then the worst happened and the officer turned on his lights jetted through the intersection and was on my tail. I pulled into the nearest parking space and began to freak out. I reached into my purse to grab my wallet, when I opened it, fear set in, I couldn’t find my drivers license. I watched as the officer got out of his car and began to walk toward me, I rolled down the window and began frantically looking for my license. He got to the car window as I was throwing out everything in my purse including my syringes.
The first words I heard from the officer were “miss please step out of the car”. I was trying to explain that I couldn’t find my license, but it had to be somewhere. The officer repeated the same statement again and I got out of the, my legs instantly became jello, this couldn’t be happening. Immediately the office put my hands behind my back, began patting me down, and checking my arms for track marks. He then started to ask me why I had syringes. I explained that I had diabetes. He then went on to explain to me that I was very jittery and if I was on anything. “NO”! I exclaimed, “I’m freaking out because I don’t know why I am being pulled over and I can’t seem to find my license”. The officer said that he felt I was acting strangely while driving and asked if I had any proof that I had diabetes. I told him I had a blood glucose monitor and a vial of insulin, and he asked for more proof. I began to fight back the tears because I had no idea what other proof he needed. The officer finally decided to believe me and let me go with a warning for not having my license. I replied with a thank you and got back in my car.
I watched and waited for the officer to leave. I repacked my purse still shaking and holding back tears of embarrassment. He left and I drove to my work parking spot, walked into work and completely broke down. It was the first time I had ever been searched by an officer or even thought of as a drug addict and it was done in the middle of the mall parking lot. All of this because he noticed the needles in my purse…well dumped out of my purse. It was horrifying really, but that is the tale of the time a police officer mistook me for a drug user.