- swarms of bees
- running out of milk
What will I give my children? Water? Juice? Beer? Ok fine, but when can I get to the store? Should I just buy a cow? Is unpasteurised milk safe? What the hell is homogenisation anyway? And what the hell will I put in my cereal? AAAAH!!!
If that's my reaction when I run out of milk, imagine what my reaction would be if I were to run out something really important, like a medication. I'm not talking about aspirin or ibuprofen here, I'm referring to medication that prevents you from really bad stuff like, you know, dying. I like to think most reasonable people with an IQ higher than that of a cabbage would actually be worried about running out of medication, especially when it's something as necessary as insulin.
I guess Carla's IQ falls somewhere below "cabbage".
Carla (not her real name) came to the hospital when she was no longer able to stand. She was pale, sweaty, and weak, and her blood sugar was off the chart. No really - it was so high that the meter didn't go that high. Her blood was dangerously acidic, and a test of her urine showed not only that her kidneys were spilling glucose into her urine, but ketones as well. The emergency physician appropriately diagnosed diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially fatal complication of diabetes which can happen when blood sugar gets and stays dangerously high..
"But wait, that's a medical condition, Doc. Why the hell did they call you?"
Damn it, I was getting there. In addition to being half-dead from diabetic ketoacidosis, she also had a tummy ache. And as we all know, everyone who has abdominal pain needs immediate surgery . . . or so this particular emergency doc apparently thinks. I suppose he missed Diabetes Day during his training or else he would have learned that abdominal pain is a frequent symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis. Regardless, he ordered a full workup including an ultrasound and CT scan, both of which were shockingly normal. And despite the normal results he called me.
"What exactly would you like me to remove?" I asked him.
He stared at me with empty eyes. I've seen smarter eyes on a potato. Needless to say I did not schedule her for surgery.
Two days later her blood sugar was under control, her abdominal pain had vanished (amazingly without any operation), and her medical team sent her home. Before she left though, I asked her why she had stopped taking her insulin.
"I just ran out and didn't feel like getting more."
I tried to comprehend the words coming out of her mouth, but they made no damned sense in that order. It probably didn't help that I knew I had to stop by the store on my way home and was reviewing my grocery list in my head.
Any guesses what was #1 on the list?