It’s just after dinner time and I am half-way through my twelve hour shift. For the last twenty minutes or so I’ve been feeling low, but I’m with a patient so the whole shoving food in my face gets put on hold. Finally finish up with my first patient and proceed with the shoving food in my face bit before I say I’m available for the next call.
Oh well. It is that kind of night when they don’t even wait for you to clear yourself on the radio before giving you your next call. Basically my pager is their way of telling me, “We know you’re out there not doing anything so, we thought we’d send you this one in the meantime…”
Dispatch: 56 we have an out-of-town secure van going from [this hospital] to [this facility] up in Denver. Juvenile female requesting female driver and…you’re it.
Wonderful. At this point my blood sugar is determined to stay in the cellar, despite all the carbs and sugar-sweet goodness I throw at it. My brain is going fuzzy, I’m shaking, sweating, the whole nine-yards. Finally feeling somewhat alert, I arrive at the hospital to pick up my patient. When I check my BG it is stubbornly refusing to creep above 75, so I sit another ten minutes in the van outside the ER to give the 60+ carbs I’ve eaten a chance to do their thing.
Okay, we’re good. I still feel like hell, but my patient is waiting and I’m counting on about fifteen minutes before I’m actually driving. When I walked in, I knew I looked sick. How could I not? I felt pale, shaky, I was sweating and still struggling with the whole ‘following conversations’ thing. So when the ER nurse looks at me and apologizes for some paperwork that needs to come through before I can leave, I just nod and assure her that I can wait…while at the same time trying not to go completely vacant-stare, fetal-position low on her. It’s the little things.
About twenty minutes later we’re finally ready to when I check my BG one last time.
YES! Still feel a little low, but that usually happens after a struggle that long. Off I go to Denver with a bolstered BG.
This was an unusual situation which resulted from me changing an important basal pattern without realizing the consequences. It was fixed the next day, but it’s still a situation I have to potentially deal with every time I go on shift.
My job impacts people directly and because of my diabetes I have an additional responsibility to my patients and my coworkers to handle my diabetes and avoid becoming a patient myself. Still trying to fine-tune that…