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.