An Emergency…….What Would YOU Do??? Panic!

Plan ARecently, I read, with great interest, a story about a woman who was completely stressed out that her child’s pump malfunctioned.  She went on and on about how her entire life was now upside down and she had been fighting with all sorts of people on the phone to get it fixed immediately and she was in a rant about how she and her child would  EVER survive.   I’m reading this entire scenario on-line and finally I wrote:

Why not just give your child shots until the pump situation is corrected?

Yesterday I wrote about the possibility of failure in technology.  Today I ask; should there be a failure in technology, what is your back-up plan?  What is your ”B” plan?  What is your alternative course of action when ‘life’ hits?  Have we become so dependent on our world of technology that we just assume it will always be okay?  

That is a mistake.

Years ago I read about a mom who was stressing about what could happen at an airport with her child as they went through security.  She was overly stressed about all of the possible airport scenarios of bells and whistles going off, and pat-downs, and ‘all of the stress’ that would be added to her child’s life upon reaching security.

I wrote to her: “Why wait?”  I then suggested that she run a few scenarios at home before she got to the airport. I suggested that she not call it a game but rather tell her daughter what happens at an airport; take a tool from the garage that she may not recognize that sort of resembles a wand and have her lift up her arms and do what a TSA officer might do.  Do that once every two or three weeks until it is time to actually leave and it will be second nature to her.

The same with a back-up plan.  Now if you wait until such time that the pump breaks, the stress level will already be on the rise.  In advance; this weekend; today; all in advance; show your child what will be used if you have to inject insulin because the pump does not work.  Make them part of the process ‘in the calm’ and not in an overly charged stressful situation; you will lose that battle.  Open it, look at it, show them and instruct your child without inflection when showing the needle at the end of ‘a pen’ syringe.  Discuss it and make it normal.

Kids will be fine with most things as long as they are not being shocked or surprised with it; so go over back-up plans in advance of when they will be needed.  You will be glad you did.

With that in mind, also run a few ’emergencies’ with your spouse/partner with expired emergency glucagon.  DO NOT wait for the first time you use it to be in the case of an actual emergency, you will be glad you ‘rehearsed’ that scenario as well.

No one opens in a show on Broadway without much rehearsal to get it right; ‘rehearsing’ in life for REAL situations is so much more important, don’t you think?

I am a diabetes dad.

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Emergency at 43,000 Feet.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking…….”

The tone in his voice sounded different from when these normal-type announcement comes from the cockpit.  Up until this point we were on a non-stop from the UK to NYC’s Kennedy Airport on an uneventfully calm flight.  This was about to change.

The Captain continued, “We need to know if there are any medical personnel aboard, if so, please hit your flight attendant bell.”

Ding.  Ding.  Ding,  Ding.   Well at least that was a good sign.  Four people rushed forward.  Much activity as we were asked to hold our seats.  And after 15 minutes of activity the Captain returned.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain again; we know this is a nonstop flight but I have just requested for an emergency landing in Halifax Nova Scotia for a medical emergency.”   An obvious heart attack. I was sure.  We landed, EMS came aboard and the patient was removed.

As I left the plane when we landed in New York, the flight attendant noticed my Children with Diabetes shirt I was wearing; “If I knew that I might have called upon you.”

“Excuse me?”

Our medical emergency was someone with diabetes who left what she needed in case of an emergency ‘low’ (she was quoting the person who was traveling with the person needing aid) in her suit case.”

“You mean glucagon?  You probably should have made an announcement; we have one with us that we gladly would have given the medical personnel.”

Now there is much wrong with this conversation in my eyes and at the top of the list is what was this woman thinking that she did not have everything she needed with her while traveling?  I cannot answer that question and the woman dropped so low that she went into convulsions; hence the emergency landing.

So we learned, as we knew, that NO ONE who has diabetes should not have EVERYTHING they need when on a flight.  You would think common sense….no?

The second is a suggestion we might want to use.  When traveling with diabetes supplies, you might….notice the word; MIGHT, want to consider letting the flight attendant know that should a diabetes emergency occur while you are flying that you have many supplies with you for whatever the reason (you have diabetes or your child has diabetes).

This may never happen again, but when flying again with one of our kids (when we will have most of what is needed, as much as our kids will have as well…I know they are old enough to have it on their own….it’s a ‘parent thing’….parents know what I mean), I will absolutely make sure the flight attendant knows.  I may not agree with ‘how or why’ this emergency happened but once at the emergency stage, it could have been really helpful to know that there was help just 10 rows back.  That would be a good thing.

If we all did this every time we travel, perhaps one life might be saved, and then it would all be worth it….don’t you think?

I am a diabetesdad.