Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Of Type #3 Friends And A Diabetes Game Plan Re: Extreme Low & High Blood Sugars

My friends know I have type 1 diabetes & they've always been both proactive and interested in what they can do re: my diabetes. They understand the difference and causes of both a low and a high blood sugar & they've been with me during both.  
Still, sometimes I forget that my diabetes isn't just about me. 
I forget that my friend(s) worry about their FWD (friend with Diabetes) and they want to help and be there for me. 
In order to do that, it's crucial to have a D game plan in place in the event I was actually unable to tell them what to do. 
I hope to God it never comes to that - And so do they. 
 But with that being said, we still need to have a game plan - And so do you~  

Over the holiday weekend, my friend (who, for the rest of this post shall be referred to as T,) and I went out to get our first official cone of the summer. 
There's something about a small vanilla soft-serve ice-cream served in a plain cone the does for it me. I love how sweet it tastes and I love how the plain cone eventually gets drenched with the vanilla in every crevice and fiber of the cone  - Seriously, I could wax poetic about soft-serve vanilla on a plain cone for hours - But I digress & back to the story.

T and I battled the tourists and took our cones outside to sit at one of the tables outside the ice cream shop and caught up on life.

I forget exactly what we were talking about when all of sudden T said: 
What should I do if you were to pass out right now - besides of course calling 9-1-1? 
And how would I know if it was due to a low or a high blood sugar? 
I mean should I test your blood sugar while you're passed out?  I know how to do that because I did that for my mom.
And if it was because of a low, should I put that gel/icing stuff in your mouth - I could keep some in my car.
Seriously Kel, I need to know what to do. 

And in that second I was reminded that my diabetes affects my friends and family - That they worry more than I realize - Even when I think I’m not giving them a reason to.
My diabetes, good or bad, isn't just about me. 
And I felt both grateful and guilty all rolled into one. 
Grateful because I had friends who cared about me and wanted to be there if I needed help - As well as when I don’t. 

And guilty because they worried. 

So then I was like: 
Re:passing out due to a high blood sugar/ DKA, I'd like to think if I was to pass out of because of DKA, I’d be symptomatic  before hand. 
Symptoms like fruity breath, nausea, thirst, ketones elevated blood sugars.  
I  hope it wouldn't just appear out of the blueI mean that’s how it happened back in college when I had the flu & DKA  and I had to be admitted. 
Buuut, with that being said; if my pump tubing got disconnected and I didn't  realize that it was disconnected, DKA could happen out of the blue, like in a few hours. 

Also, re: DKA,  I'm afraid of anyone but an EMT messing with administering insulin to me, unless they know and understand insulin dosing. JUST PLEASE CALL 9-1-1.

T: I didn't know that about the pump & I remember when you had DKA in college. 

Of course she remembered it. 

T, her twin sister U, and I had been friends since the first day of freshman year at college. We'd had our typical college escapades, but they’d also helped me with my sister Debbie and they’d both come to visit me in the hospital when I was admitted with the flu and DKA our Jr. year. 
I was in intensive care and it must have been incredibly scary for them to see me all hooked up to IV's. 
Their mother had been diagnosed with type 2 in her 60’s, so they experienced life with diabetes - mine and their mom's - And it impacted them. They knew a lot more about D than most people who don't have diabetes. 

T and her sister were very versed in my telltale low blood sugar phrase of “I have to eat now,” and never questioned it. And sometimes when I didn't have to eat ASAP, they still got all Jersey with the wait staff. 

T & I discussed the possibility of passing out from low blood sugar and glucagon, which we'd never actually talked about in detail. 

I explained that even if I needed glucagon: 

A. I’d have to have the glucagon with memon my person
B. My friends would actually have to know how to prepare and administer glucagon for it actually work.

Me: Bottom line you need to call 911, ASAP! 
And if I'm passed out cold, please don't put anything in my mouth - I'm afraid of my airways being blocked and the possibility of chocking. CALL 9-1-1, ASAP and PLEASE make sure I’m breathing. And read this, this and this.

And then T said: Get your glucagon RX filled and invite all your friends over for cocktails and show us how to set it up use it!

And once again I reminded of my lucky duck, status..... And our conversation stuck with me all weekend. 

Also: I need to get a CGM .

Bottom Line: Our friends worry about us - even when all is well. And that is a beautiful thing, it really and truly is. 

I understand that nobody likes to talk about the diabetes what if's, including me. But we have to - We have to tell our friends how to handle situations that hopefully will never happen.  

Do you and your friends have a game plan in place if (God forbid,) a low or a high blood sugar renders you unconscious & or unable to fend for yourself and unable to articulate what you need them to do?  

If you don't, you need to make one and have that conversation, ASAP.

For instance, do your friends know the warning signs of DKA?  
And on the opposite end, do your friends know what to do if you should pass out from a low?
Have you discussed glucagon with them and do they know how to use it? 

Have you stressed to your friends (and by "stressing" I mean screaming at the top of your lungs) that that under no circumstances does a low blood sugar require insulin, EVER. 

You need to - Your life depends on it - So does your peace of mind - And just as importantly, their piece of mind~ 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great post. Ironically, I had an encounter with an ice cream cone this week - I was 61 1 hr. after taking insulin for it. I should've waited to take my insulin after eating it. Lesson learned :). Seriously though - great post. There was definitely a time I pulled out my Glucagon in front of my friends and told them all about it!