I was on my way home yesterday and as I was in the airport I noticed a commotion going on. As you know, I’m not really a ‘gawker’, and there was surely enough first responders on the scene that any help I might have provided was not needed. But as I kept walking the ‘patient’s’ insulin pump caught my eye.
I slowly moved closer and watched as the paramedics were working frantically on the patient who visually had sweat dripping off his face. He was in his early twenties; not too unlike you both. My observations were that they were surely interested in getting him off the chair and onto a gurney; but little reaction dealing much with his diabetes. There was a young woman also on the scene who answered my questions about glucose numbers, pump suspension, glucagon, and treatment.
She informed me his blood glucose number was 24.
Barely conscious and clearly completely out-of-it; I asked why the glucagon kit was still sitting here. “The paramedics did not want to use it, he was not passed out; and they were unsure how much to give.”
Passed out is a very relative term.
They told the woman who was there, that she could meet them at the hospital. The plane would be missed, the next few hours would be a blur. Clearly as I watched her pick up his cell phone and tablet, all still turned on which means this young man was in the middle of what anyone would do while waiting for a plane when he was struck down where HE HAD NO CONTROL, she said in a quiet voice; “He always says he ‘has this’ and that there is nothing to worry about, I had no idea what to do.”
She gathered the belongings and I watched her walk down the hall.
I have not been able to stop thinking of this woman all night; and also thinking of both of you. Now clearly mom and I ARE versed enough to know what to do. But the young lady with this young man…..did not. THAT is what I cannot get out of my mind.
I know. I know everything you are thinking but when she said the words “he always says he ‘has this’…….well those were words I have heard many times.
But, my dear children, IT IS NOT enough that you ‘have this’ because you only have it until you no longer do. This young man dropped like a rock. Do the people around you ‘have it’ also? Do people with whom you interact know what to do when/if you go low; and surely as the sun rises……you will. The question is how low will it be on that day?
You are on your own. I get it. The ‘policing’ we do has surely diminished. But today, I got scared. Really, REALLY scared. I trust your judgment. I know you say you ‘got this’. I also saw a group of people who were working on a young man’s medical needs and as they left; the vial of insulin in his pump was no longer in the insulin pump and dangled from the gurney as he was pushed into a waiting ambulance—-this was how they turned off the pump.
This might have all been avoided. The woman with him, did not know.
Please tell me the people in your lives do. And if those who do not, they will soon.
I saw your faces today, and I got scared. Please assure me, and mean it, that you AND ALL those around you…..’got this’?
I love you,
I am a diabetes dad.
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