Now imagine this, you’ve had enough of 6th form/school, you want to get away, you’ve worked hard away from school to save the money and it finally all falls into place. You have your flight booked to Australia, you’ve sorted out 6 months worth of insulin to carry around with you and you’re off! You arrive in Sydney, your body and diabetes getting over the jet lag, a few minor hiccups but nothing worth writing home about. We decide to visit Bondi beach…
Arriving at Bondi beach its a lot smaller then you think, but we bypass that for now and check into our hostel. We are staying there for 5 nights and there was a kitchen with a communal fridge so I thought that it would be a great idea to take advantage of the fridge and take my insulin out of the FRIO pack for a couple of days… how wrong could I be.
I place the insulin in a plastic bag, inconspicuous I thought, go down to the kitchen and put it at the back of a fridge. Thinking everything would be okay I go for a day sunbathing on Bondi Beach, thinking i’m the Hoff off Baywatch, I relax and enjoy my day.
Its getting late and i’m getting a bit peckish so we head back to the hostel to make some grub before going out for a few beers. I go to the fridge where I’ve put my food and 6 months worth of insulin, my foods still there, that’s good no bastard had nicked it but HANG ON, the insulin has gone. I immediately start to panic, thinking i’m in the wrong fridge so I tear around the kitchen, looking in every fridge, have I made a mistake, maybe I didn’t put it there at all, but deep down I know its gone. I head up to reception to ask if anyone has handed anything in or if anyone new anything. The receptionist, who happened to be the manager, informed me that there were CCTV cameras in the kitchen and he would “look at every minute to catch the ***** who stole from you as it could be a matter of life and death.” He found nothing. Looking back now I think it was him who stole them.
Its getting late and I don’t know what to do so I go and have a beer to evaluate my options. I’ve got enough insulin in my current injections to last me another 3 days, which I suppose gave me a bit of time. How could I be so naive. I knew that you had to pay for insulin in Australia, so to leave that much lying around in public was stupid, it was probably already being sold on the black market. I decide my only real option was to visit a chemist in the morning and see what they could do.
The next morning I trudge half way across Bondi, with my tail between my legs to a chemist and explain my situation. They informed me that as long as I had a copy of my prescription they could have the insulin for me by tomorrow, as it had to be ordered in. I obviously had to pay, I can’t remember the exact amount as it was 7 years ago now, but I remember being surprised at how cheap it was. The next day I head down to pick it up and vouched never again to leave any insulin in a communal fridge. If you’re staying in a hostel and want to give your FRIO packs a rest then speak to reception, they always have a staff fridge and from my experience are more then willing to help you out by storing your insulin in a safe place behind the desk or out the back, but if i’m honest the FRIO packs work the whole time, so there is no real need to do this.