Next Monday I'm sitting an exam that will count towards my first post-graduate qualification.
And I'm nervous.
The English school's examination system, coupled with my high desire to achieve and my choice of degree programmes means that I'm no stranger to exams. In fact, they were a summer ritual for eleven straight summers in a row. The moment the weather started warming up and the scent of fresh mown grass and barbecues started drifting in through the windows, I'd know it was time to get my head down into my books. I'd emerge pale, pasty and blinking like a mole several weeks later to enjoy the rest of my summer.
This, though, will be my first exam in three years and that is definitely a contributor to my nerves. The ritual of revision and preparation seems strange, alien almost.
But there is more to it than that.
There is diabetes.
Being diagnosed at such a young age, diabetes has undertaken every exam with me. I'm glad to say, it has rarely been a problem (the odd French and German spoken language exams aside). But then, I've always been in a secure environment. At school my diabetes, and the adjustments that may be necessary to accommodate low and high blood sugars, were common knowledge.
Even at university, where some of my exams were sat in vast, impersonal halls with a thousand other students, my diabetes, my pump, my need for testing supplies and snacks were all listed in my record. Even if an over zealous invigilator should question what the little silver device - my Freestyle meter - on my desk was, as normally happened, I knew it would get straightened out without problem. I never felt that my sitting an exam would be jeopardised by diabetes.
Diabetes being an unregistered candidate for this exam didn't occur to me until I received the candidate information letter.
There it is, towards the bottom:
"mobile phones or any other electrical device are not permitted in the examination hall... Use of any electronic device is not permitted during the examination and regular checks of the hall will be made."
My pump, CGM and testing kit are suddenly prime candidates for getting me kicked out. Even after putting in a call to the examination office, I still feel uneasy.
As if the stress of just trying to pass the exam won't have a deleterious enough effect on my control!
So the question is, will trying to hide my pump, given that I may want to pull it out to deal with CGM alerts, end up drawing greater unwanted attention than having it "out-there". And would I be foolish to try and rely on CGM alone for the 3 hour paper? Your thoughts are welcome and appreciated.