So mine is the @*%# Vol 1 story on the diabetesmine blog. If you haven't read it, it is kinda sad, a wee bit comical, a tad dramatic, and shows what a bad place I was in. I want to thank everyone that read it, especially those who gave such beautiful comments, and to Amy at diabetesmine, sixuntilme, and the'betes, who all gave me the courage to start trying again. It is so important to feel supported because this is a disease that can eat you alive and no one would notice. So I have been doing soo much better in the past few weeks and am meeting with a new diabetes team at the Naomi Berre center after Thanksgiving.
In the recent past I have been less than keen on sharing my diabetes tales of woe with the world because I though "who cares." Well come to find out people do. And not just other diabetics, tons of normal healthy people (ok well I don't really know if "normal healthy" people actually exist - more like non diabetics) care as well. So recently I have taken to gushing at anyone who asks.
Most people ask about the diabetes because of the Medic Alert bracelet, or the testing, or the needles (side note: has anyone else ever pretended they were shooting up something other than insulin because they were tired of people on the train/park/restaurant staring at them? I have and it is hysterical) and then another 25 questions follow. Generally people are fully freaked out to hear I got the DB for no apparent reason. I swear I had a flu bug that sounds like it could give the Avian Bird Flu a run for its money, and then came the DB. I explain the shots, the carb counting, the lows, the highs, the sugar tabs, all of it. Everyone love the stories of the lows because they tend to be quite funny once you are safe.
Anyhoo the whole point of this diatribe is that my friend Erin recently saved the life of a diabetic because of my incessant "educational" stories. She had a patron at her table who started off very talkative and became progressively quiet as the night went on. She thought maybe he had a bit to much vino, but was worried because he didn't finish his meal and was just not with it. She also assumed the woman with him was his wife and would let her know if her was not OK. After eating and paying the bill he asked for a glass of OJ. Now FYI, once you have paid and tipped your server it is time to get up and give her the table back so she can make more money, therefore most servers would ignore such request, not wanting to open a whole check for a glass of OJ and running the risk of you camping out. But Erin has a diabetic friend (Me) and so her first thought was "Steel Magnolias" and "Shelby drink the juice" and "Julia Roberts bugging out" so she got him the juice ASAP.
It was already to late. He was slumped over and not responding, drooling and unable to take any sugar. She called 911 and when the paramedic arrived it took them a full 20 min of pumping him full of sugar to get him back!!
PLEASE tell others you have diabetes! The woman he was with was not his wife, but a co worker who had not idea what was going on. I always think I will be able to deal with a low and explain the situation but this makes me think that will not always be the case. This story scares the #@$! out of me and makes me realize a few things. We have a responsiblity to ourselves and all other diabetics to talk about this disease. Many people would have thought he was drunk and left him alone. The general public has gotten their diabetes education through Steel Magnolias and that is not OK. (to be perfectly honest that was all I knew when I got diagnosed. When the school nurse said diabetes I literaly had to fight the urge to say "juice is better") We are the only ones who can change these misconception and the only way we can do that is by talking about it.
I don't mean to be preachy and as this blog progresses you will see that, but...I have recently felt very empowered by my diabetes and am determined to see it as a positive instead of a negative. My diabetes saved someone's life and that is about as positive as it gets.
I have to go test now. You should too. Bye