Living with diabetes is a challenge, after thirty five years the rules have changed so many times it is not funny, about the time you think you have a handle on it something changes in your body that changes everything else from treatment options to how many cookies you can sneak without getting caught by the glucometer.
Hypoglycemia is a condition when your blood sugar drops too low, when this happens a lot can happen in a small amount of time, over the years I have had a lot of episodes that were not funny at the time but if you cant laugh at yourself then you just have to listen while everyone else does, the first serious “hypo” I remember was when I was about eighteen years old, I was working for a construction company out of town during the week and home on weekends, I remember being on a scaffold and everything just started to not make sense, the foreman was angry because I wasn’t getting anything done and sent me off the job, it was about quitting time so the rest of the crew and I went back to the motel to get ready to go home for the weekend, I woke up in the Emergency Room back home not knowing how I got there, I had stitches in my knee and a bad headache which comes along with a good hypo. I was later told that we got our paychecks back at the jobsite in Waynesville, North Carolina, went back to the motel and packed up, while coming down the stairs I evidently fell busting open my knee and tearing the knee out of my jeans, we elected not to eat because “Jimmy was feeling bad” Strike One, and headed down the mountain for home, we arrived in Greenville, South Carolina where our cars were parked and I am told I walked away, they all loaded up their cars and found me in a store trying to cash my paycheck for a canned coke, my friend who found me explained that I was a Diabetic and traded the Coke I was trying to buy for a Diet Coke, Strike Two, I was then helped back to my ride and taken home, I lived in Easley, South Carolina at the time and when I got home had to unload my luggage and tools to carry into the house, Strike Three he is out, down I went and that’s when I was taken to the hospital.
We learned then that a balance of good nutrition and exercise is key to controlling this condition, get too much of one and not enough of the other and bad things can happen, the above came from too much exercise and not enough to eat. Now that I am an expert do I control it properly all of the time, you bet I do, just ask my wife she will tell you the truth. Cindy could tell you quite a few stories about me on this subject and I will share some of the stuff I remember or have heard the stories about.
Once in the middle of the night after being wakened by our dog she called 911 to come help because I was not responsive, evidently the paramedics arrived and were attacked by our poodle who did not want them messing with me, after the dog was rounded up they came to the conclusion that the gurney would not fit down our hallway, they were going to walk me out to the living room and load me up there, I am told that it took four of them to get me through our bedroom door because I grabbed the doorframe with both hands and feet, no wonder I was so sore the next day. After several rounds with paramedics, to which I wont go through them all Cindy finally figured out it was easier to call our good friend Nan and treat the low blood sugars at home.
Over the years we have learned that Orange Juice will raise my blood sugar quickly and also over the years I have come to Hate Orange Juice with a passion, Cindy and Nan tag teaming me usually got the OJ into me and my blood sugar raised without tying up the ER, once when this happened in the early morning hours Cindy called Nan for help, all I know is when I woke up I am propped up in bed leaning against who I thought was Cindy’s chest with a glass of OJ in front of me to which I was biting the straw, Nan’s voice is saying something like “Dammit Jimmy quit biting the straw” I take a drink and look up to see Cindy at the foot of the bed standing next to Nan’s Husband Bill, that is the morning I woke up with another woman.
Thank You Nan for making Cindy’s job easier and Yes I still hate Orange Juice.