Saturday, April 7, 2007

Right-handed Lefty

The southpaw is indisposed at the moment. Instead, my writing is on hiatus as is most tasks requiring the use of my typically-used left hand.

A morning reaction is to blame.

After a late-night of writing and exploring about church, religion and the origins of Easter and Lent, the eyelids lost their battle and closed. Awakening some time later in the morning, I migrated to the bedroom from the green recliner where the cat rested near my feet. She wasn't happy, but I was tired and it didn't matter. A thought crossed my mind about a night-time blood test, but I shrugged it off. The clock in the bedroom hovered somewhere near 4:30 a.m. So, I climbed under the warm covers to seek shelter from the outside world for a brief set of hours.

Enter apple-juice boxes that have - if you've read my past blogs - been known to "pee" on occasion. Flashing in and out of consciousness, but not recalling it at the time, I can now vividly recall the images of juicebox straws being forced into my mouth. I struggled, but don't know why or how exactly. The world whizzed around me, and Suzi was there with the juiceboxes in all her glory.

Something clicked. A stray voice that didn't fit. A male voice. Why is there a guy in my bedroom in the middle of the night? I heard my name - a different voice, female this time. But not Suzi. Somehow, I felt myself shaking my head. Oh no, I managed to say to myself. Tell me this isn't happening. No, no, no, no.... "Michael, can you open your eyes?" one male voice says. "I've got it. Ok. 45," another male says. The reality of what's happening finally sets in. Eyes opening, the white, swirly ceiling pattern greeted me next. The obviousness sweeps over me, closely followed by embarrasment and the notion that I'm still shaking my head. Five strangers linger nearby. Paramedics. Greenwood Fire Department. My tax dollars at work. But there they were, publicly serving my diabetic behind and pumping me with glucose through an IV in my left hand.

Later, after thanking my local FD paramedics and shaking hands, I filled in the blanks. It all began about 6:15 a.m., according to my loving wife. I put up a struggle. She tried with the juiceboxes, but (as we always say and encourage) she opted for "better safe than sorry." 911. Couple minutes later, the fire engine and rescue unit arrived with full-blaring siren and flashing lights. Bet the sleeping neighbors loved that! But, they arrived and helped out efficiently.

As a result, I know have a white gauze pad attached to the top of my left hand with white, silky tape. Writing's out. Along with washing the dishes anytime soon. Or heavy lifting. But, at least I can type a blog.... I'm making due.

Can't say I've ever had paramedics come to my house before. Growing up, the 6'5''-tall dad always helped secure my struggling self. Of course, I was younger then to. In the past, I've had paramedic encounters before - once at a new job, once on the road (which by far is one of the most regretful, scary experiences I've had). They are never welcome, but I thank my lucky stars they welcomed me back to reality each time. And, have I mentioned my loving, supportive, can't-live-without spouse? Well, ditto that.

Tight control has its side effects, especially in the puzzle-networking stage where basals and boluses are in flux and under constant review. In times like this, I almost wish for higher blood sugars and a lack of control. While long-term complications go in line with that extreme, at least there isn't Lows. Lost time. Lack of bodily function. Little to no control over what you say or do, and no inhibitions to stop it from happening. This is the thought that keeps me up at night. Makes me sweat and want to cry. It's hard to fathom for yourself, this drunkenness without the alcohol high. As a husband, this scares the hell out of me. As a father someday, there's no words to describe that fear. What if? At least the cat had enough sense to run and hide under her favorite gray chair downstairs when things got scary. Wish I could. But as all seasoned diabetics know, there's no hiding from this, no pulling a blanket over your head. Test often, test always - even when sleep is on the line.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And you used to just shake you head at me and say something was terribly wrong that I couldn't do better when I had lows. I was also trying to gain this "better" control. Hopefully you'll see the A1c under 6. It makes it seem a little more worthwhile sometimes. You might want to consider some glucagon. At least Suzi can give that herself and it doesn't involve an IV and paramedics.
Mom