You never know when a team of emergency responders and your landlord and your neighbor and your boss (and a few others along for the ride) will spill into your living room after an ambulance crew gets called on your behalf.
I write from home after awakening from what I at first thought was a dream.
"Mr. Hansel, how long have you had diabetes...?"
"Um, it'll take me a minute to figure that out...."
That's my first awarenss after what I'm told was a rather combative performance I gave when first responders arrived and tried to raise my blood sugar.
I fell asleep last night after taking the first dose of a medication I won't ever take again. It was intended to decrease pain from teeth grinding, something I apparently do while sleeping.
Unfortunately, the medication prevented me from awakening when my glucose monitor sounded an alarm that my sugar was low -- and I never awakened for an important work-related meeting.
Thus began a scramble at the newspaper to figure out what happened to Hansel. Not like him to disappear for something this important, editors reasoned.
The kind Gold Cross crew (the only name I caught was Jeff, because I began answering every time someone asked the paramedic of the same name a question) allowed me to express my preference to get a little extra IV fluid before disconnecting and made sure I had an escort to a nearby restaurant for a full meal.
And even though I apparently fought quite well when they first arraived, they treated me as if I'd been my normally pleasant self the entire time.
Kudos to them.
It's a strange feeling to know that so many people saw the midst of my rearrangement process that I started about six months ago, meaning there are still piles of books here, piles of clothes there, my great grandmother's wooden stool disconnected in pieces on the living room floor with sandpaper swatches scattered across the living room, a shelf that's not been dusted in two weeks and the kitchen rug which hasn't been laundered longer.
On the one hand, I wonder why I didn't have this company two weeks ago when my place was quite spiffy, considering. But, on the other hand, I'm quite glad that I took out the trash yesterday, that I'd done the dishes (except the bowl and spoon from last night's dinner still sitting on the end table).
My point, I guess, is that emergency responders must see quite surprising things when folks aren't necessarily expecting company. And they're quite kind. Also, a simple pill could have ended my tenure on earth, when combined with my normal medication.
Do your coworkers know who to call if you're found at home unresponsive?
Pulse on Health
By Jeff Hansel, member Association of Health Care Journalists
Health Reporter for the Post-Bulletin newspaper, 18 1st Ave. S.E. in Rochester, Minnesota 55904
Twitter Hansel's Pulse: @Jeff Hansel