Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Things I Don't Say, and Who I Don't Say Them To

1. Some time ago, I was responsible for a diabetic man who had an extremely symptomatic hypoglycemic episode while we were together on a bus. I gave him the food I had, but he was semi-conscious, I called his caregiver. She told me to put him on the phone; when he gave it back, she told me to call 911 (which is the number for emergency services). I called 911, the 911 operator called an ambulance. The bus was stopped and everybody had to get out and wait for another. The paramedics came. They tested his blood sugar. It wasn't even all that low- the kind of number I see a few times a week. The paramedics told me I did the right thing and how dangerous it was, and squirted a sugar gel in his mouth and gave me a lecture on how it wouldn't hold his blood sugar up, etc. The diabetic said I saved his life, etc.

I didn't tell the paramedics I'm diabetic. I didn't tell the bus driver. I didn't tell the bus driver's supervisor, who came by to confirm he hadn't stopped the bus for his own fun and games.

I'm not sure why. But a lot of times when I'm the nurse's aide accompanying a diabetic to an appointment about feet or eyes or whatever, I don't say anything when they lecture us about how you  have to take care of those diabetics...
I dunno. It just doesn't feel comfortable.

2. When people talk about how avoidable complications are, I usually correct them. But not if they're somebody who doesn't have diabetes complications, and does have diabetes, and not if they're a parent of such a person. It's just mean.

3. I like to act like I know everything that's knowable. It's a character flaw. Sometimes I say I have no idea why my blood sugar is doing something, when I have some idea. Sometimes I say I know why my blood sugar's doing something, when I really don't quite know.  I don't like being uncertain about uncertainty.

4. I have been burned regarding putting personal information on the open internet where anybody can see it. But I created this blog because I wanted to document how menstruation impacted my blood sugar and I wasn't comfortable mentioning the fact that I menstruated elsewhere in the diabetes internet world. As a matter of fact, I think I menstruated exactly four more times after creating the blog, and it's ancient history to me now, but I am still very quiet about the things about my life that separate me from normal people other than diabetes, in the diabetes online community, for fear of breaking the tenuous links I make.

5. When I am trying to teach people about diabetes management, I tend to either: not mention it if my bloodsugar is high or low, or to act like it's a no-big-deal thing. I can deal with all kinds of blood sugar; over 500 and under 30 are both reasonably comfortable terrain for me. However, that does not mean that I have anywhere near the level of certainty with them that I sometimes claim. And I'm not a stranger to either sort of number, as occasional as they may be.

P.S. 6. I rarely mention health issues that I'm ignoring. Diabetes- I'm pretty on top of. My teeth? Not so much. Sorry.

So in conclusion: If you call me on something, I will answer you true (unless you're a jerk). But there are things I often don't volunteer.

This post was prompted by the

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