I’m diabetic, don’t give me insulin if I pass out

I wasn’t feeling very well this morning, no real surprise. Some mornings my blood sugar is low when I wake up. Lately, I haven’t been able to eat enough to keep my levels up. I take very little insulin since the surgery. I sometimes resort to candy to correct the lows.  I was out with a friend and got dizzy, sat down and I guess I passed out.  

She told me that she panicked and rummaged through my bag. Seeing the insulin, she was sure that it would fix my problem. So she loaded up the syringe and gave me a good dose of it.  She had no idea what she was doing.  Later she would tell me that she saw on TV that people pass out from diabetes and if they do they need insulin. She thought that she was doing the right thing, and she almost killed me.

When I didn’t wake up immediately, she called 911.  When they arrived, she told them what she had done.  The EMT’s checked my blood sugar and it was 14. It should have been around 100.  They quickly put in an IV and started the glucose water.  A few hours later, I woke, in the hospital.  It took a couple of days for my levels to reestablish themselves.

I had a long talk with my friend, so did my doctor. She had relied on TV and movies to learn about my illness and emergency treatment.  She didn’t understand that it is more common for a diabetic to pass out from low blood sugar, where the treatment is to eat some sugar and then some carbs, then it is to pass out from high blood sugar. And if your blood sugar is high enough to make you pass out, there is lots of warning signs. Giving a big dose, unmeasured of insulin to anyone, is an almost sure way to kill them.   I think the doctor finally got through to her when he told her that.  She was told to always call 911 and don’t try to treat, unless you are directed to by a doctor. And never inject someone with anything unless you are sure you know what you are doing.  

I also have allergies and carry epinephrine in my bag for emergencies. That also has the potential to kill me.

It could have ended so much worse. I’m glad she finally understands that.