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Re: [IP] SCARY
I'm so glad that things are o.k. You'll probably have many answers to your
questions, but here's some thoughts (I've been "out" a few times in my 41 +
years of diabetes - none since the pump, thank goodness)
>This is the first time this has happened in her life. Is there any way I
>can get sugar in her if she's not swallowing ? I think some sugar from the
>OJ did get in her blood through her mouth - is that true?
>Does glucose jell get absorbed through the mouth ?
Yes, and it can be quite effective, especially if the person is
unconscious. The glucose will get absorbed through the tissue inside the
gums and mouth. I keep a tube on my night stand. This sounds strange, but I
*never* move it, so my wife and I know *exactly* where it is. Anything
liquid does not work as well, since most of it will probably spill on the
person. There is some increased risk of choking when administering liquids
to an unconscious person. Remember to watch out for your fingers when
administering anything orally - I've bitten more than one person during
incidents like this as I thrashed around.
I also keep Glucagon on the night stand. This is packaged as a "kit". It
contains a syringe, with two vials. The liquid from one vial gets mixed
with the "powder" in the other vial, drawn back into the syringe, then
injected into the hypo patient. You don't worry about swabbing the site
with alcohol, you just "mix and stick". It works very quickly, usually
within minutes. Most medical professionals advise that this product be kept
readily available for use in emergencies. Ask your wife's doctor for a
prescription for this. It's very important stuff.
>When will pumps have an auto shut-off if the sugar level is low?
There's progress being made, but the systems are not quite ready yet. Pumps
are currently referred to as "open loop" systems. In other words, they
don't have the ability to adjust to the pumper's blood sugar levels. It's
up to the user to tell the pump what to do. However, you can program the
pumps to shut off automatically if a button has not been pressed for a
certain amount of time (you figure the amount of time which gives the
pumper the greatest safety margin). This may be useful for many pumpers. In
your wife's situation, it might have shut the pump off, preventing further
delivery of insulin, but this all depends on how the shut off was
programmed. One "feature" of the pumps automatically shutting off is the
beeping alarm when the shut off is triggered. This may attract attention to
the pumper if they are not able to help them self.
>How close was I to losing my wife?
I don't know if there is a good answer here. The body will tend to release
glucose reserves from the liver in situations like this, which helps the
person come around. I know of people who have frequently recovered
unassisted from these situations, with no harm.
>Is this common in other diabetics?
It's a known risk, but I don't know if I'd describe it as "common". I've
been in this situation a few times, but never in the time I've been pumping
(over 2.5 years). I know others who've had diabetes a long time who have
never been in this situation.
>I'm very upset and needed to talk to someone. This scared me so much.
>Everytime I think about it I lose it. Any kind words would be great,
Your feelings are quite understandable. Good fortune was with you all, and
things worked out well. I would advise some close consultation with your
wife's health care team. There may be a need to adjust her insulin delivery
rates as well as other aspects of her diabetes management plan.
Please feel free to "chat this subject up" on the list. There's a lot of
folks here who've been through this and can help work through some of these
issues with you both.
Take care :-)
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Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/