Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Diabetes Dilemma

Yesterday at work was a little more interesting than normal. For those of you that don't know, I work in Human Resources for a local company. A diabetic employee down on the manufacturing floor started feeling dizzy and cold/clammy. They brought him to me because the nurse had gone to the gas station for lunch and everyone there knows I'm going to med school this fall, so of course I must know everything already, right? Ha! I'm getting all geared up to tell them I'm clueless and that we should just call an ambulance when they describe the situation. All of a sudden, I kicked it into doctor mode because I actually know some about diabetes and yesterday I just got certified in first aid / CPR / AED training, so everything was really fresh. I was really hoping he wasn't about to go into I an insulin overdose-induced shock or something. I REALLY hoped he wasn't having a heart attack. However, I knew what do to if either was the case.

I asked if he had any chest, arm, or jaw pain or pressure (because I learned the other day that a heart attack can present with jaw pain more often in women, the elderly, and DIABETICS), but he said there was no pain or pressure anywhere. He said he felt normal now, just a little dizzy. I asked about his diabetes and found out that per his doctor's instructions, he regulates his blood sugar level with diet only, so no insulin injections. Sigh of relief! He had no clue why he was feeling ill, as he said he had eaten a good lunch with grilled chicken, greens, and fruit. After I prodded him about whether his diet today had been abnormal in any way, he remembered that he normally eats a bowl of sugary cereal before he leaves for work (around 3:00pm), but that he forgot to do so today. It turned out that it had been five hours since he had eaten anything. I made sure he got some juice and he was feeling better in a few minutes.

Even something this small felt so awesome to be able to do - and to have people depend on me to do - that it was another great confirmation that I am definitely going into the right field. By this time, the nurse had returned, and she confirmed that everything I had done was right. I can't imagine what it will feel like to do stuff like this (and stuff far, far more significant than this) on a regular basis...

1 comment:

S.A. said...

I hope you can remember this feeling, especially when you will be stuck in lecture for the next 10 months.

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