On the day-to day, being a diabetic doesn't bother me so much perhaps because I was so young when I was diagnosed. I know nothing different. But I work in a family business with my father who is also a T1. After 36 years he has no complications. He is an extremely active man. He's also on the go. Despite him having diabetes, he's healthy as horse, stubborn like a mule. In my mind's eye, he is one of the smartest people I know; He is one of the strongest people I know (both mentally & physically) even at age 68. He's simply a rock.
This past Friday one of the secretaries called up to me and just said, "Jane your dad". At that I jumped up and saw my dad lending against the door frame, eyes closed with the office refrigerator wide open, staff food on the floor, and a bottle of some sort in his hand. He obviously needed help. So I told him to give me the bottle and I could see he was trying hard to release it but just couldn't. As his glucose dropped his testosterone increased and he became angry. He threw his arms up (I caught the bottle) and he walked like a one year child new to his feet to his desk. Plop. Now he's thrashing his legs, swinging his arms and speaking in tongue. He's body and mind were not insync. He was mad. Just mad and angry. He didn't want to lose control. He looked like he was fighting off some sort demon. "Dad you need to calm down", I spoke very sternly. "Dad you need to let me help you." After many attempts and as staff members were running to safety (even I had a hand on the back door handle), he finally settled. His heart looked like it was going to jump right out his chest. His breathing was labored. His black t-shirt soaked with sweat. In a quick minute I injected him with glucagon which stirred him up again. He stood up but his arm was caught in the chair so he thrashed the chair around then fell to the ground. Once his arms was released, he stopped. He was quiet for a moment. "Dad open you mouth". Very compliant he opened his mouth as if I just pused a button. I squirted honey into the side of his mouth. He didn't like that much but now he was tired. He didn't have the energy to move. He laid there on the dirty office floor in a fetal position. Sticking his tongue out in disgust. I gave him a spoonful of frozen concentrated orange juice (can you tell my office is prepared), which he seemed to enjoy. He laid quietly for a few minutes. Then said, "blueberry juice". "Blueberry juice", I asked? "Blueberry", he confirmed. I shook my head and put a smirk on my face because I knew he was coming to. "Dad can we get you to sit up?" "Ok." I expected him just to sit up from the fetal position but no he got up on his feet and sat in his chair. Still having no energy, he lend his head on the back of the chair, eyes closed and asked for some juice again. He got orange juice. Still lacking the coordination to put hand to mouth I poured the orange juice down slowly. At this point, staff knew the excitement was over and started getting back to business. My uncle walks in and immediately knew the situation. "He's he ok?" "Did you give his juice?" I rolled my eyes, shook my head and let out a big breath of relief. My dad began to talk regular business with my uncle and things began to normalize.
So what happened? Apparently in his a.m. rush he accidently gave himself his dose of long acting insulin using short acting insulin. He picked up the wrong vial and was in such a rush didn't even realize. 15 units of humalog instead of lantus. After 36 years, this rock proves to be human. He made an honest mistake that could have killed him. I thank the lord that he decided to stop by the office to see if he had any phone messages instead of going directly to the job site like he normally does. (He spent the rest of the day at the office.)
So the injections, the blood testing, the restrictive diet - you can throw it all at me. It doesn't bother me so much. Watching my father go through a hypoglycemic event like this makes me hate diabetes with a passion. 36 years with no complications and one low blood sugar could have killed him.
So happy everything worked out!!!!! Sounds scary.
This just had me in tears. I am glad he is ok and that you were there and know what to do for him.
What a scary experience. How fortunate for him to have you there. I'm sorry you both had to go through this - and thank you for sharing the story. Glad he's okay now.
I so understand. I just had a break down last night. After having diabetes for 20 years I was so frustrated at waking up at 3am to cram food or juice down my body because I chose to workout that evening...how frustrating!!! Trying to lose weight with excercise then having to eat more stupid calories to bring it up...a vicious cycle indeed. I just want one year to be normal. To work out like a mad woman and restrict my diet and not have to do major calculations everytime I stick something in my mouth...If I was a normal woman I would have abs of steel and be looking like a workout queen but no, I have to workout 5times as hard to just look "normal". I do a really good job at keeping positive and trying to enjoy my life but I have moments when I just break down and bawl and have a good moment of feeling sorry for myself. I know there are tons of people that have it a lot worse and I have to keep reminding myself that, but it doesn't make it any easier to look at it in the face everyday...
Good job with you fast response....you truly can emphathize with how frustrating it is watching your dad and really knowing wihat a low feels like. Super star!
It was soooo good that you were there to help him through this scary experience. Thank you for sharing. I am sure your Dad is thankful that you were there.
jaco1199, i'm so sorry for this experience but i'm glad that your dad will be back to himself again and that you were there with your dad.
with regards to your last paragraph, the feeling that you have of hate and anger with having to watch this happen to someone that you love, respect and look up to is normal for all of us and many of us feel this way toward our own dealing with D.
But I'm so glad that as you stated your dad didn't go right to his work site that morning.
Wow. Just the "nature of the beast."
What you said about "36 years...and one low could kill him," definitely sticks in my mind more than anything else written.
I'm very happy to hear that your dad is OK. I, myself, have grabbed the wrong vial (22 units of Humalog in stead of Lantus). I realized it right after finishing the injection but that is when panic set in. It didn't help matters that we had just gotten home from our anniversary dinner and the thought of food made me want to puke. The glucagon I had, had expired 2 months prior so I didn't DARE try it. I called 911 and was not comforted when I had to stand by the door and talk to dispatch saying that I could see the officer down the road and he needed to go forward a couple more houses (considering we live next door to the chief of police you would think they could find the house without problems). All turned out well, other than the high I had after all the smarties and sweet tarts the paramedics feed me.
That being said, there are MANY times that I have mini-breakdowns and hate D. It isn't fair! I feel like a walking chemistry lab/pin cushion that can do nothing right to get my numbers where they should be. I watch what I eat, and exercise but not too much and end up either crashing over night (into the 30's) or being super high (over 200) in the morning.
My son (age 5) was diagnosed one month ago and this is the first time I've been to this website. The main reason is because I guess I'm still in denial, and I just hate hearing about stories like yours! I am so glad he's ok. And I too, was brought to tears. I gave my son humalog the other night at bedtime and it was supposed to be lantis. It was one unit, so he had quite a few carbs before bed! It can happen so easily.
I too hate diabetes w/ a passsion. And if one more person tells me, at least it's treatable, I am going to explode. Yes, I am glad it's treatable, but wouldn't it be great if there was a cure???
I don't know how you folks wake up in the night in the 30's. I sleep too soundly at that point. I'm so thankful for my husband. He is truly an expert. He can bring me up from seizures. He makes the OJ thick with sugar and then just puts it in my mouth where my gums absorb the sugar. Since I've had the pump I haven't had a rescue low in the night. My night time basal is 0.3/hr.
Thanks everyone. It is upsetting to see someone go through a severe low like that. It's been so long since I've had a low blood sugar where I needed someone else's help. But when I was young I had bad lows all the time. In the days when there were just urine testers, it was a very common occurance in my home with both my father and I being type 1. But it's probably been 20 years since I have been in the condition my father was in and seeing him like that just brought me back. Modern technology has personally helped me greatly. I've taken this opportunity to convince my dad that it's time for the pump and CGM. Something similiar could still happen even with this equipment but since he is so active I think it would be a better choice for him. I've been trying to convince him for years and he has finally agreed!!! Of course, my father doesn't remember most of what happened but he knows it wasn't good.
I like your reaction that if one more person tells me, at least its treatable, Iam going to explode...I feel the same way !!!!! I hear that a lot. Well at least its not cancer, or there is so much worse out there. I want to scream and say THEN YOU LIVE WITH IT AND I BET YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR TUNE!
I have to laugh when people make comments like. It's just social ignorance. I think we all know that cancer and many other diseases can be gruesome so we don't need to be told that. It comes off like it's minimizing the difficulties of living with diabetes to nothing when it really is something major.
My next door neighbor hosted a playdate for her daughter whose friend is T1. Like any other playdate she always offers the kids a snack and drink. So she made chocolate cookies and the little girl asked to call her mother because she didn't know how much insulin to take to cover the cookie. At one point my neighbor had to get on the phone with the girl's mother to explain how big the cookie was, i.e. diameter, weight , etc.... My neighbor was just taken by how much thought went into this girl having a chocolate cookie. Later when she told me the story she just said, "Wow, I just take it for granted that I can eat what I want, when I want, how much I want with no thought at all." (This is a woman who suffers from severe asthma) So I laughed and said, "Well I take it for granted some times that I can breathe." She laughed.
We all have something and I wouldn't exchange my life for anyone elses - cause I don't know the difficulties that they are or have had to deal with.