Someone Went Low, Someone Had to Step In……Someone Else DID NOT Care……THAT was a Mistake!!

low meterIf you looked at my FB page you would see that last night was time for a little fun in Boston.   I’m here at the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific sessions and it has been nonstop for three days.   All good, but none stop busy none-the-less.

Our friends at Dexcom hosted a party at Fenway last night, home to the Boston Red Sox.  I should have known that it was dangerous ground for ANY NY baseball fan.  Like…..everybody was there….it was surely the most crowded of all gatherings during the week,  To answer my dear friend Susan who wanted to know whether the Bosox would know my deep affection for my NY Mets?  My answer is that since they/we were using the stadium after the game that took place that day, my allegiance was safe as I was not REALLY at a game.  Right?

But in all seriousness, any true baseball fan would appreciate the history of Fenway Park.  And I was no exception.  But as diabetes would be, it didn’t care that we were having a good time, diabetes is like that, isn’t it?   And I feel horrible because my actions. well, my emotions got the best of me……and here is what happened……I leave it to you to absolve me or give me my penance.

There were three friends who were having a good time together.  I did not know them but happened to be in the area where they were having fun.   But I noticed one of the friends swaying ever so slightly.  But honestly, there WAS free-flowing beer and maybe she was just feeling a little ‘better’ than normal.  But truly, my ‘dad’ instinct said otherwise.  She had a soda in one hand and with her free hand, she took out her Dexcom.  Heck it was a ‘Dexcom’ party so THAT made sense, right?

One of her girlfriends asked, “what des that mean?”
I glanced over.  I notice the Dexcom receiver and the graph is flat-lined all the way at the bottom and I think, “Crap, that’s not good.”

I go grab a chair and bring it to where the young lady is standing and I instruct her to sit. We are congregated in front of the bar and I go to the front of the line and I said excuse me, twice, and after being ignored I state quite loudly, “…..I need an orange juice for a medical reason and I NEED IT NOW.”

I bring the juice to the young lady, her hands are shaky but she can hold the juice and she starts to drink.  I instruct her friends to stay one on each side of her.  Now I think to myself, she is ‘going to go’ and I look for some help.  Of course there are a million people in that room who are experts and for 3-4 REALLLLLLLY LONG seconds I see no one….and then I see Dr. Henry Anhalt; Henry is a friend and a friend with 20 years clinical practice and I go to where he was enjoying himself.  “Doctor I have someone severely low and I could use your help.”

Without hesitation he joins me and I bring him back to where I left the young lady with her friends.

And then it happened.

As I returned, I see the woman standing and an employee is moving the chair.
“What are you doing?”
“Yeah, you cannot sit in front of the bar, I’m moving them.”
“She is having a medical emergency.”  And I really said it calmly.
I take the chair and sit her down and Henry is tending to her.
“You have to move from here.”  I turn to address her again and she steps closer to grab the chair again and I step between her and the young lady.  “I need to move them now.”
……and she got in my face.
“We need to take care of this first, okay.”
“No, now.”
……..mmmmmmm I’m thinking, bad move lady.
I look at her and say, “You need to leave here now and either you go back to your work behind the bar or I will physical put you there myself.  This man is a Doctor and there is a situation here”
“Don’t yell at me.”
“You have not heard yelling yet and I will not ask you again to go back behind the bar; last chance” (and in the spirit of fair disclosure, there were words used that I am not  sharing here). I stared her down and she realized I was not just talking….and I surely wasn’t.
She left the area.

I have felt horrible since I did that.  It’s not me.  I started calmly.  But I still felt bad.  But truthfully, I had no desire to find her and apologize either.  The young lady’s blood sugar started to rise and shortly after; the evening was over.  People were leaving in groups.  I quickly left by myself and went back to my hotel room.

My hands were shaking.  Not a proud moment for me.

I know what I did, I did to control a situation for the welfare of someone who needed help.  Why this woman did not care to see we were all helping someone, I do not know.  Of course the friends of  the young lady in need thanked me emphatically.  But I do not like acting like that; we are all human and I tried to explain numerous times what was going on.  I know I did what needed to get done; I should not feel bad……………………………….but I do.

I do hate diabetes, I do.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.



33 replies on “Someone Went Low, Someone Had to Step In……Someone Else DID NOT Care……THAT was a Mistake!!”

Don’t beat yourself up. I worked in the tourist section for almost a decade and saw a few medical emergencies. There’s a time for regulations and a time for ignoring them.
Good on you for stepping in 🙂

You did the right thing. You told her it was a medical emergency and she chose to ignore that. Never feels good to have to get tough with someone, but she did not give you a choice in the matter.

And you are worried about … what?
The bartender won’t make that mistake again, you made sure of that.
It’s all good.
Including you and Henry 🙂
Man, I am so jealous not to be in Boston!

Its our parental instinct kicking in. It goes back thousands of years and its saved our children thousands of times. Its in our DNA and its there for a reason. The bartender will get over it. In fact, she’s already over it. But that girl going low would not have ‘gotten over it’ if you hadn’t stepped in. Its fine. You did the right thing. We all would have responded the exact same way….at least I would have 🙂

You did the right thing – this could have been one of your children. Do not feel bad. You have nothing to apologize for, she should be apologizing to you. Her making money was more important than saving a life.

Without a doubt, you did the right thing. No need to feel bad or apologize. I’m hopeful that the person behind the bar may have learned that not everything appears as it is sometimes. Great job! I’m hopeful that you have been thanked profusely by the person you helped.

You did the right thing! You were an angel coming to help! What are the chances of someone standing next to her and recognized what was wrong! You safe her live! You are a DIABETES DAD!! Blessings to you and yours!

You did the right thing. Can’t be nice to all people, especially in an emergency. Be a proud Diabetes Dad.

Isn’t it interesting how you, who tended to and stuck up for, a woman having a life-threatening situation feel bad; but that woman probably only remembers the jerk who wouldn’t follow her orders?
You did good dad. Sometimes nice, polite people have to firmly plant their feet and not allow the not-so-nice among us shove them around. That girl/woman needed a dad to protect her and you stepped in beautifully. Good job!

You did the right thing, no ifs ands or buts. The employee was out of line and while I totally understand where you are coming from, because I always end up feeling guilty after rightfully standing up to someone, you have absolutely no reason to feel bad. You stayed calm and explained for as long as you could.
You really should be proud of yourself. *pats on the back*

She is a daughter. You are a father. I think you followed your heart and there are a mother and father somewhere who may not know and may not thank you for saving their daughter so those of us in the DOC will thank you for them. Thank you for being a diabetes dad.

You are a good and kind person, but you did not shirk from protecting someone who wasn’t capable, in that moment, of protecting herself. Too bad the employee was too ignorant to understand what was going on. Next time I see you, remind me to tell you the story of how I literally ran down and screamed at a man in a park in Manhattan for leaving his toddler with strangers only to find out I was being punk’d by some film school students in a “what would you do” sort of segment… When he started laughing and hugging me in the middle of my rant…boy was I embarrassed…I’m a nice person–I swear!! But when vulnerable people need protection, it brings out our inner lions!

Absolution or penance is not needed. You alerted the bar worker there was a medical emergency. She should have offered to call management or 911 for you. Asked what she could do to help. But no.. She was too worried about rules about chairs. She could not hear your reasoning and did not care. So you had to raise your voice and concern until she could hear you. And she should have apologized to the group of you trying to help the young woman. Hero status!

Tom, thank you for what you did. I do not know this young woman or you but as a diabetes mom, thank you. Aggression is not always aggression. In this instance it was to literally save a life. This young woman could not help herself. Her friends did not notice she was in trouble and may not have until it was too late. Her health and well being trump any harsh words necessary to save her. I’m so glad, for her sake, that you were there and had the presence of mind to get her help. So, thank you and please do not allow the bartender’s actions or your absolutely necessary reaction to cause you one moment of disquiet.

Thank you for your sweet words…..I truly just did what anyone else would have done….well….until someone ‘got in my face’…..I just never thought it out—my goal was the young lady and only the young lady. nothing else mattered. Thanks again.

You did the right thing! Likely the worker thought she was drunk and was irritated. There is a time and place for T1D education and one for emergency action. You handled the emergency. That’s all that matters.

Sometimes we fight diabetes, sometimes we fight ignorance, sometimes we fight ourselves over how we fought. When the battle is passed we must let go of it to ready ourselves for the next one.
The Bartender was being anal and controlling not rational and required your firmness to cease being a detriment to care. You absolutely did the right thing.
Perhaps you would feel better if you informed her supervisors about the issue so that sensitivity and first aid training can be implemented.

Tom, as the mother of a 19 y/o daughter and 16 y/o son, both with Type 1, that could have been either one of my kids!! Thank you for not ignoring your T1 dad instincts and helping that young lady recover without 911 assistance. If it had been one of my kids, I would be forever in your debt.

When other people do not listen to a calmly stated request/explanation, what comes out of our mouths next is the only language they apparently understand. Not our best moments by far, but what is necessary to get our kids the help they need in that moment. No penance from me!

I wouldn’t apologise for it – and I think its pretty poor that the staff serving alcohol at a dexcom party didn’t have some basic knowledge of what to expect in a diabetes environment.

Maybe a great starting point for bring more public/community awareness to hypoglycemia via Zoe Heineman’s fuscia/purple “Where’s Your G?” (Glucose, Gel, Glucagon, candy, etc.) campaign. Just like seeing an “H” means “hospital” , anyone in the community knows about hypoglycemia and knows where to find glucose by finding the fuscia “G”.

As the person you helped, I thank you! I’m sorry I put you in a position that made you uncomfortable, but you acted very professionally and I appreciate all you did then and all you do everyday to help the community with type 1 diabetes mellitus!! I hope to get to meet you again someday soon!

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