Wednesday, June 27, 2012

(Off) Target...& Under Attack

Two weeks ago, I wrote about my first experience with glucagon. In it, I said that although I was very glad I had access to the emergency injection, I hoped I wouldn't have to use it again anytime in the near future...well, it turns out that although I didn't have to use it at all during the first year and a half since my diagnosis, I've had to use it twice now within a month. I'm not usually one for cussing, general pessimism, or texting acronyms, but this is one time I have to say WTH/FML!

It started yesterday afternoon while I was grabbing a few things at Target. My mom was waiting in the car with my sweet baby, feeding her bottle to her. I was about ready to check out when I started feeling very, very faint-like I could pass out at any moment. I'd taken a few glucose tabs a few minutes before because I could feel a low coming on, but when I checked my BG at the front of the store, it was really not that low, relatively speaking. I couldn't shake the faintness, though, so I figured I must have been dropping fast or something...thanks to my lovely luck, my CGM sensor had just timed out that morning, so I had no way of knowing for sure.

I grabbed a Coke from the fridge, but even after downing most of it I felt like I was going to hit the floor at any moment. In the meanwhile, my mom had texted me that the baby was "making me a present." I texted her back "SOS." Since I was by myself, I stopped an employee and told her that my blood sugar was low and that I was going to give myself an injection to help bring it up...but that if I passed out, to call an ambulance. I mixed up the glucagon and injected it through my jeans into my thigh, then texted my mom again to let her know what was going on. She asked if I needed her to come in, and I said yes...she told me later she didn't know that I needed help when I sent my SOS-she thought I was referring to the little one's diaper situation! When I checked my blood sugar again, it was 82...but I still felt extremely faint. Through all of this, the employee that I had talked to kept checking on me to ensure that I was okay, making sure to keep me in sight until my mom got in the store. By then, my blood sugar was up to 103, but I just couldn't get rid of that dizzy feeling.

My mom took my debit card and went to check my stuff out while I sat on the end of the next lane where they place checked bags. The lady who was running the register in my mom's lane echoed my mom's orders to stay seated until they were sure I was okay, but then followed with, "I kind of feel sorry for you, but then again I kind of don't since you brought this on yourself." At first, I wasn't sure I heard her right, but then she went on to say that her mom has diabetes and eats sweets, then complains of feeling bad. She said she doesn't feel sorry for her then. Even in my sucky, just-about-to-hit-the-floor state, I explained to her that she was referring to high blood sugar, and mine was low right then-that I had too much insulin in my system and I needed sugar to bring things back up. At that point, she told me that one of the other Target employees also had an insulin pump, that she "had to push some buttons sometimes" (Ha!) and that they have to keep an eye on her. My mom told her I took good care of myself, and I informed her that mine was T1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease. Still, you could tell that she was one of those people that just wouldn't "get it", no matter how much you try to explain things, so I gave up. A lady in line behind my mom told me she was diabetic too, and that she knew how much lows sucked...thank you, person who actually knows what's going on.

I found everything I wanted, plus an ignorant employee.

Later, I couldn't believe the employee's audacity. There I was dealing with a blood sugar emergency, and she was lecturing me about how it was my "fault" that I felt that way...seriously, how much ruder can you get? I know that a lot of cases of T2 can be prevented or improved through lifestyle changes, but lifestyle choices have nothing to do with T1. Unfortunately, most people don't know the difference between the two, so we're left to deal with the rude comments and outright judgement of our health. I'm planning on calling or writing the store's manager, not to seek punishment for the employee in question, but to make sure than any other customer with T1 (or T2, or any other health condition) can get the care they need in an emergency without also having to deal with someone's judgmental attitude.

We went ahead and finished up, then went out to the car to change Baby Girl. By that time, my blood sugar was in the low 200s...and still, I felt horrible. We started to head out of town, but I told Mom that I didn't feel comfortable riding the hour and a half home with the way that I was feeling. She turned around and headed back toward the hospital. She called my endocrinologist's office, but he was out of town until next week, so we went to the ER.

After a few hours of waiting, blood work, some fluids and an EKG, they released me with a diagnosis of blood sugar fluctuations combined with the heat. All of my labs were fine, so that made me feel a little better even though I still had a faint feeling. My blood sugar peaked at 405, but came down without issue. By the time we got home, it dawned on me that my dizziness was probably actually from the sinus pressure I've been having in my head lately. Since I'm breastfeeding, there isn't much I can take that won't affect my supply, so the nurse at my OB's office told me to try Sudafed with some Tylenol. It still may cause a drop in milk production, but I can't stand feeling lightheaded any longer.

I've felt pretty bad today, but I've stuck it out at work even though I should be home resting because my dad/boss is out of the office. I think I'll head home early, though, because I have lots of work to catch up on at home too, and let's face it-there isn't anyone else to do it for me! Even though I later realized that what I was feeling probably wasn't a low (after the fact, of course), I'm still thankful for glucagon because it gives you some power over one of the not-so-great effects of this disease...even if you're sometimes powerless over the way people treat you because of it.


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