In addition to insulin shots, finger pricking (for checking blood sugar), and dietary restrictions, having diabetes also means that you may at times experience sudden plunges in blood sugar levels, resulting in disorientation or even passing out. My mother, who has been diabetic for over 20 years, has had such unpleasant experiences on several occasions. This morning turned out to be yet another one of those occasions.
I heard a few loud thuds coming from kitchen this morning, so I hurried downstairs and found my dad propping up my mother, who was sitting on the kitchen floor dazed, quivering, and sweating–all signs of having experienced one of those sudden severe drops in blood sugar. We gave some orange juice (to help get her sugar level back up) while my dad had to continue helping her sit upright. She remained too disoriented for a time to get up, and her left wrist was hurting badly.
We knew she was going to have to have her wrist checked, so when she had finally regained her equilibrium my dad drove her to her doctor. Sure enough, her wrist had a compacted fracture, apparently the result of her having landed on it at an awkward angle when she fell down. My mom doesn’t even remember falling; she just remembers being in the kitchen to get something to eat and realized that her blood sugar was dropping. The next thing she knew, she was sitting on the floor with my dad holding her up. A coworker of mine who is diabetic, when I told him about what happened to my mom this morning, said he has also had episodes when he said or did things he couldn’t remember later because his blood sugar had dropped too low, leaving him in a mental fog.
My mom saw an orthopedist this afternoon and was told that she he’ll have to have minor surgery on her wrist next week. Right now, her left wrist and forearm are bandaged up tightly and have to rest in a sling. But my mom’s staying in good spirits about it all. The doctor told her that they’ll have to attach a device called an external fixator to her wrist and arm to help the bones heal. This weird-looking little device, which she’s jokingly calling her “fascinator,” will have to stay on for 6-8 weeks. Well, if nothing else it should make for a good conversation piece. And in the meanwhile, my dad and I are going to have to do a lot of waiting on her. One of the nurses at the doctor’s office told her she needs to keep a little bell on hand to ring when she wants something. (But she actually deserves some pampering anyway, as she’s done so much for us over the years–which I’m sure those of you who are wives and mothers will understand!)
Prayers would be appreciated.