Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tomato: To Eat or to Throw?

One of the experiences we were most looking forward to on our trip to Spain was La Tomatina Festival. It is an annual tomato fight in the town of Bunol, where locals and visitors alike prepare themselves to be pelted with tomatoes.

The experience was definitely intense, to say the least. It's basically a mosh pit with tomato juice.
Everyone pushes into a small square in the center of Bunol and wait for large trucks filled with tomatoes to plow through, leaving buckets of sauce in its wake. As the trucks come in, insanity ensues! The crowd pushes together to make room for the trucks, to get leverage, to cop a feel (which I was on the receiving end of, the downside of the festival), to catch a breath, grab a tomato, whatever else you can do in a crushing crowd of hundreds of people.

At one point, I had to yell for Jerry's help as I wasn't able to breath in the body crush of the crowd. Finally making it over to a wall that provided a little bit more stability, there was a lull in the onslaught of trucks, allowing me a quick moment to hold out my hands.

Shaking hands. Not a good sign.

Jerry looked at my hands and immediately asked, "You're low?!"

Tears began forming in my eyes. The festival had just started. There was no easy way out of this crowd and I had stupidly not brought in anything to treat a low. I checked for the other usual signs. Was I getting hot? Was my mind slowing down? Did I feel shaking anywhere else in my body? Was this just the result of an adrenaline boost to the system from being squeezed by tomato-soaked Spaniards? Should I just start eating tomatoes in the hopes that it rises my blood sugar?

I took a deep breath. Calmed down a bit and said no. I don't think I was having a low. Just a slight panic attack. I promised Jerry if I started to feel weak, we'd push through the crowd and get something to treat it immediately. We stayed in the center of the madness for another 20 minutes before we both agreed to call it quits. Once out of the pit, all feelings of hypoglycemia faded away.

We warned to not carry anything as things got a little crazy and would pretty much be destroyed. I took that suggestion too far, forgetting that, as a diabetic, the concept of "not carrying anything with me" just does not apply.

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