My Baby Sister
My little sis has severe juvenile diabetes. All her life, it has been difficult to keep everything under control. I have seen her go blind from her levels being too high, but more often I have seen her go into "insulin shock." This is what happens when her glucose (sugar) levels go to low. It is a terrifying thing to witness. It's even worse to experience, or so she tells me. Thankfully, she has not had an episode in over 5 years. Until today, that is. She, like many of the people in my family, has an over-active work ethic (a relatively new development on her part). She sometimes pushes herself too hard. Once the EMTs brought her out of the woods, her first words were, "Grab the garnish for my chowder. It's burning." (She is an assistant chef of some sort. I'm not exactly sure what her current title is.) Her co-worker apparently replied, "Well, she's feeling better."
That isn't the part that really hits home for me though. It was my sister's account of what happened next that just had me in stitches.
"Well," she says to me, "first the paramedic was checking my respnosiveness. He asked me if I knew where I was. When I told him, 'yes,' he says, 'where?' I told him, 'Just like I tell everyone else, Hell. I'm at work, so I must be in Hell.' Then he starts telling me that I'd be cold and that I needed to drink juice and, etc. etc. etc. I told him that I was sick, not stupid. I have had this disease for over 25 years (since she was 2). They wanted me to eat a sandwhich to bring my sugar up, so they brought me a cheese sandwhich made of sourdough with the cheese over 1/2 inch thick."
"Okay," I say. "Wasn't your mouth already dry from the insulin shock episode?"
"So, you were effectively eating a glue sandwich."
She goes on to tell me that they were putting I.V.s in her arm, but that they kept jabbing her. She said to them, "Christ, just let me do it. I've had 3 years of nursing school; I can guess just as well as you can."
Well, I am just laughing my butt off.
"Then," she says, "they can't get my fingers to bleed. So I have to take the stick from them and punch my own finger. I have 2 I.V.s in one arm and a sandwich in the other, but I stuck my own finger."
All of this is humorous ... every bit of it. But, not one single thing was surprising to me. That is just the way we are.
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