I have a friend Evelin who has been living with diabetes for years she is type 1 diabetic and she has been dealing with hypos while working in our office for 5 years or more. The challenges she faced were kept to herself until recently, as although she was living with diabetes on a daily basis she told no one at work of her condition as she was embarrassed and didn’t want the attention. Her insulin dependent injections she gave to herself discreetly and no one knew she was a type 1 diabetic – not even me!
After lunch one day I was working at my desk and from the corner of my eye I could see Evelin just looking ahead but looking at nothing in particular with a glazed over look. She made her way to where I was sitting and I asked if she was OK. She replied that she was confused and didn’t know what to do. Looking at her she looked as though she had a liquid lunch meaning that she had been drinking as she struggled to find the words to tell me exactly what had happened over lunch and if indeed she had been drinking a few Chardonnays too many.
I walked her back to her desk and was observing her at work; her movements at her desk were exaggerated and robotic as she struggled to type. And all she was saying is that she can’t deal with this today. I asked her where her cell phone was as I knew her husband and thought I would call him. After locating the cell phone the battery was dead so that was useless I worked it out for myself that indeed Evelin had not had a few too many drinks over lunch she was in fact a diabetic. I basically knew that she needed sugar and needed it now. I was able to find a bottle of lemonade and a few lollies to bring her BGL up and this was able to help her straight away. I now know that Evelin has been living with diabetes for over 15 years and has never had a hypo at work – until now.
Living with Diabetes helpful hints:
– When you start a new job tell either your boss or work colleague how to help you if you have a hypo
– Diabetes is nothing to be embarrassed about, if people know then they can help you. It’s also helpful to let those close to you know what type of diabetes you live with.
– Get a contact number from the diabetic of whom you should call and keep it close by
– Ask the diabetic the action plan should she have a hypo at work again and although the diabetic has been living with diabetes for some time you have not and need to know what to do should it happen again.
Living with diabetes – what signs to look for?
Everyone should have some education on how to help a diabetic, as you never know when you could help someone that has diabetes that can’t communicate what is wrong with him or her.
– Low blood sugar scenario could have the person start out looking a little vacant as confusion sets in.
– As the (blood glucose level) BGL plummets lower still the glassy glaze has set in and they may try to communicate but have trouble stringing a sentence together. It’s with this appearance that they are mistakenly thought of as being drunk.
– If people do not know about diabetes they are also helpless to help you this is why is so important that you talk openly about your type of diabetes.
– The diabetic could fall asleep where they are and this is becoming dangerous as they may slip into a diabetic coma
– Work colleagues have called an ambulance and as the ambulance brings you around the diabetic looks around to find her concerned workmates are all worried and looking down at her.
– After this incident the diabetic is exhausted and embarrassed to have caused so much fuss and all she can do is to go home and recover
Living with diabetes is something diabetics do daily, but please tell someone so they can help you should you have a hypo there is nothing embarrassing about this as the information shared could save your life and speaking about your specific type of diabetes struggles could help someone else save their own life some day.