Today’s prompt for Day 28 of the Wego Health Activist Writer’s Challenge is, “First Time I… Write a post about the first time you did something. What is it? What was it like? What did you learn from it?”
I started passing out from lows for the first time in my diabetic life in 2008. I really do believe that part of the problem was because my thyroid went out of whack. I had to appeal to my insurance company to get a CGMS and although I had a couple bad lows slip thru, the passing out came to a halt – at least until the summer of 2010 when I started on my pump. At the time, I didn’t realize that my pump was defective and spitting out extra insulin, but that is a whole other story!
My first time story occurred in the early hours of a Monday morning but had actually started on Saturday morning. I woke up Saturday morning laying on my bedroom floor. At first, I couldn’t move and couldn’t even scream for help. I finally was able to get to the phone, but when I pulled it off my nightstand, I also pulled the cord out making the phone useless and I couldn’t get it back in. I crawled over to the windows on the other side of the bed and somehow got my window opened to call for help. After I got the window up, I laid down on the floor and it was at that point, I realized my blood sugar was probably low so I ripped my pump out. By the time EMTs got there, my blood sugar was in the 50s and I didn’t think it was necessary to go to the hospital.
I felt like crap the rest of the day and didn’t do anything. On Sunday, I cleaned my bedroom – apparently before I passed out, I was throwing everything in reach. My bedroom looked like a cyclone had hit it. In the process of getting the window opened, I also pulled the blinds down and broke those. I borrowed the blinds from my spare room and had to take my curtains off in order to put the blinds up because I have a valance over the curtains. I cleaned the windows and washed the curtains but needed help to get the curtains back up.
When I went to bed Sunday night, I went to close the blinds and saw the curtain rods laying on the floor next to the window. At first I thought I should put them someplace where I couldn’t step on them, but then I thought I never got out of bed on that side so they wouldn’t bother anything where they were.
The next thing I remember, I could hear voices talking – there were both male and female voices. I didn’t know who they were or what they wanted. For that matter, I didn’t know where I was. Every once in awhile, I would hear, “Kelly, are you still with us?” I was afraid to answer them. I really thought they were there to hurt me.
When I get scared, I keep my eyes closed. I was afraid to open my eyes and they would see I was awake. Every once in awhile, I would try to open my eyes. I could see a woman bending over me that had a patch on her shoulder. I wasn’t sure what the patch was. At one point when she bent over me, I could see the bedskirt to my bed so I knew I was in my bedroom.
Finally I heard one of them say blood sugar. I realized that I must have passed out. They weren’t there to hurt me, they were there to help me. I heard them ask again, “Kelly, are you still with us?” This time, I said yes.
One of the first questions that I asked was how they got in. Apparently, I was banging on the wall and screaming so my neighbors called the police. At first, the police officer was going to leave when he knocked on the door and I didn’t answer, but my neighbor insisted that he try to get hold of the manager and try to get in. When they found me unconscious on the floor, they called for an ambulance.
I also asked about my dog and they said that the manager had put him in the other bedroom. I knew he was terrified because when I passed out Saturday morning, he just sat and shook.
On the way to the hospital, the EMT asked about the curtain rod. I was still out of it at that point so I don’t know if I was holding it or why she asked, but when I got home from the hospital, the curtain rod was on my bed.
I also ended up with a huge blister on the side of my foot. Several people thought that maybe I had a seizure and was tossing around. The manager said when she came upstairs, I talked to her but it was just jibberish and she couldn’t understand what I was saying.
I know in talking to other people that passed out from lows, they were also confused and scared when they heard strange voices. Anytime I have a chance to talk to EMTs or medical people that encounter unconscious people, I tell them to tell the person what is going on when they are talking to them. Had I heard something about my blood sugar sooner than I did, I would have talked to them a lot sooner! I also never leave anything out on the floor, even it is on the side of the bed that I never get out of!
Please visit Wego Health’s Facebook page to see other Health Activists’ First Time posts. Whew, only 2 more to go. I might actually make it!