Saturday, June 28, 2014

On Being Sick - Part 1

Twice in an Ambulance by Sheena Rose

For two weeks I was more de-hydrated than usual. I typically drink a lot of water and this would vary on the amount I was smoking at the time or my physical activity. But this was different. I drank several glasses of water throughout the day and needed to have what escalated to a cooler full of water beside me at night and I would wake up intermittently to guzzle. Something was terribly wrong. Eventually I managed to wake up at 6am to make it to the clinic for 7am to sign my name on the list before the doors opened at 8am and wait a few hours to be seen. My house-mate at the time told me I should ask for a sugar test after the muscle in my right calf collapsed the morning after a night of dancing at the 3 Canal back yard jam. I had no idea what this meant but I dutifully asked the nurses to give me a sugar test, after they took my blood pressure and weight, as is customary of every visit. Without explaining the process to me they pricked my finger and put the glucose test strip into the machine. The junior nurse looked alarmed after the beeping indicated that the reading was ready, she looked at me and carried the machine for a more senior nurse. I was then told that they needed to take a second reading, just to be sure. I was again pricked and blood drawn. The beeper acting as my alarum bell, signalling something just as terrible as the three witches upon the heath. They showed me the screen ~ HI. “What does that mean?” I asked. The nurse said that my sugar was so high that the machine could not read it and I needed to see the doctor immediately. The doctor confirmed that I was indeed diabetic and needed to head down to the St. James clinic for further treatment right away. Wait … what? WTF does that even mean? Tears began rolling from my eyes and I asked if I could wash my face. I got up and began walking toward the sink and she said, “Oh, you’re using this sink?”

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