Ahhh the fashions in 1970
How many of us have been designated drivers? As a diabetic, amongst my friends when I was younger, I would normally be the one a) that had a car (and could afford the gas/insurance); and/or b) didn’t drink to the point of total obliteration of the mind. So, after having a good time, piling into the car to head back home (for more partying sometimes) – I would make sure that my friends were okay - glass of water – few aspirins – then be on my way home if I wasn’t staying the night.
Sigh, the responsibilities of being a diabetic when your friends aren’t (I think we younger diagnosed diabetics have to grow up faster sometimes than our nondiabetic mates). To some of you, it may seem like we miss out on all the fun – but in away – I never felt I did (well – hey I did indulge from time to time –I mean I’m no saint). The main thing, I could remember EVERYTHING the next day, they couldn’t, and the stories I could relay to their kids today would be such a hoot - but I won't - don't worry.
The other day, a friend of mine, who immigrated to Quebec about 10 years ago, that I’ve known since the age of 7, called me up, inviting me over for coffee and cake (ohhh homemade cake .. NOT - they don't like to cook <lol>). I actually hear and see less of them than when we lived further apart. Their life is complicated (whose lie isn't?) – and boy oh boy – that could make for a whole other blog – but that’s their story to tell if they can write honestly.
At the time, I knew I had 4 units of insulin remaining in George Michael (my Animas 2020 insulin pump –still going strong into his 2nd year of being out of warranty – hope I don’t jinx him here by saying that). I figured that I’d be okay – my BG (blood glucose/sugar) was acting stable that day (5.1 mmol/l – 92 mg/dl) – so I knew I’d not need to correct with multitudes of insulin if I went high – even with coffee and cake.
I stayed for an hour – chatting up on what had been happening in their life over the last 3 months (boy oh boy – what a soap opera). Then Monsieur George went into ALARM mode – FEED ME NOW!! No biggie, and I guess for some of you reading this, you’re thinking “why didn’t she bring back up? She preaches this to all of us!!”. Well, I forgot, plain and simple. I also knew, that going without insulin for less than an hour would not be the death of me (not like my DKA experience back in August – 6 hours without insulin – NOT GOOD).
So as I attempted to leave (hey –they like to talk – yap yap yappity yap) – my friend was reminiscing about the times I had been low (Hypoglycemia / low blood glucose). If I could have captured the look on their face – of how I looked to them when I was “drunk” with a low – PRICELESS. It was something that I forgot about – that they’d probably seen me that way many times over the past 45+ years – and it was actually kind of neat that they would remember those details – and I was seeing how I looked in their eyes.
They work for a dentist – who is a Type 1 diabetic. They told me that they had asked their boss – incase the he went low – where did they kept their insulin, etc. The dentist was reluctant at first to tell them where it was kept in his office but in the end told them. That’s when my brakes came to an abrupt screech – and I said.
“ You would have given them insulin when they’re low? That’s the last thing you should be doing – they will go even lower!!! "
It actually freaked me that my friend, who is a Dental Assistant, who has known me for so long, would consider giving insulin to someone in that state - and would they know how to test their BG properly to access the situation?
I once again put on my “educators” cap like I seem to be doing alot lately when I'm out on the town – hoping that the simple explanation I gave to them, will ensure that any diabetic that they come across in future, that either may be going low or high (Hyperglycemia / high blood glucose/sugar). I’m hoping it retains in their noggin’ – because obviously knowing me for so long – they still don’t get it (like my Mum who thinks apple juice is sugar free).
It also proves to me – why many of us are so anal about our control – and taking care of ourselves – rather than others (even “trained” nurses in a hospital – and I speak from experience). We know what works best for us – and hope that we don’t get into the situation where we need someone to assist us – without full knowledge of what to do.
NB: When I got back home after picking up a few groceries along the way - I was reading 8.1 mmol/l - l46 mg/dl. Infusion change - fresh juice of life in my pump - back to regular programming!