A Deadly Mistake?!?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by righteousdude2, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    The other night, I went to the kitchen to take my nightly dose of Lantus. As a diabetic [type 2, insulin dependent] I've been taking Lantus for years, and reaching into the fridge to grab the bottle had become routine.

    With the bottle in my hand, I grabbed a syringe and drew down 49 units of Lantus. After swabbing my stomach area with alcohol, I injected the Lantus, and disposed of the syringe, My next move was just another in a bedtime routine that I had been doing for years, so having finished injecting the Lantus, I grabbed the bottle and immediately placed it back in the box where it is stored.

    As I gently guided the Lantus bottle back into the open box where it was stored, I noticed right away that it was not Lantus that I was replacing. Suddenly my mind and body were overcome with a numbing fear that caused my body to tremble and tingle having discovered that it was Novolog that I had drawn down and injected myself with. I just injected 49 units of fast acting insulin, 7 times the amount I take three times a day, the fact that I may have just committed a mistake that could kill me, took control of my mind, and I was overwhelmed with sheer panic.

    The first thought I had was to get as much pure glucose products into my body as fast as I could, which led me to grab a can of Pepsi, and swiftly drink its contents, to the very last drop in the can. I then went to the food pantry and grabbed two bottles of Dex4, a fast acting liquid glucose drink. Like an alcoholic, I chugged down the contents of both bottles, hardly taking a breath between each bottle. The next thing I did, was grab a banana because I knew the potassium would be vital along with the sugar contents of this fruit. As I peeled back the skin on the banana, I walked down the hallway to our bedroom, and informed my wife of my mistake.

    She asked what I needed her to do, and I requested that she call the hospital Helpline Nurse, and ask them what I should do next. I already knew that I'd have to go to ER, but, it gave me a few more minutes to come to grips with my deadly mistake. While my wife was on hold, I hunted down the Fast Acting Glucose Gel tubes, and having found the last two tubes, I twisted off the caps and squeezed the contents into my mouth as quickly as I could.

    Finally, my wife got through to the Advise Nurse, and after explaining to him what I had done, the nurse wanted to talk to me to make sure I hadn't started to lapse into hypoglycemic symptoms. He asked me a bunch of annoying questions as to how I was feeling, like, did I have any nausea, chest pains, a headache, etc., and to make matters worse, he repeated the questions each after I told him that at the present time, I didn't have those symptoms. After reassuring himself that my actions to get as much fast acting glucose products into my system to counteract the initial response to the 49 units of fast acting insulin, he told me to get to the ER as fast as possible.

    Believe me, it didn't take the nurse to tell me to get to the ER ASAP to get me going. Within 7 minutes of making my deadly goof, we were unlocking the gate outside our house, and heading to the Hospital ER. The problem was, it takes about 30 minutes to get to the ER, so I took with me a box of chocolate covered cookies, two additional tubes of Fast Acting Gel, and three more bottles of DEX4. These were my "just-in-case" resources to prevent me from lapsing into a hypoglycemic coma.

    This, and a whole bunch of other scenarios ran through my head as we drove the back roads to Riverside, and my active, and at times, oft wild imagination, was having a field day with my mind. This didn't take into concern the herd of rumbling elephants that were rampaging through my stomach and intestines. Then there was the repeating words of "you should have looked more closely." Still, no matter how badly I beat myself for this stupid mistake, the fact was, I made a mistake, and it could be life threatening. Time was of great importance, and it seemed to take forever to get to the ER.

    I looked over at my wife, who had the gas pedal to the floor, and knew that it was the fast actions that I took in the first minutes of seeing what I had done, and our fervent prayer for God to intercede with His supernatural hand of protection, that had kept me from going into a coma to this point. I know she was praying as hard as I was, and I could think of nothing more than giving Him Praise for the situation not being as bad as my imagination had been painting before my eyes.

    While she made the 30 minute drive, in less than 23 minutes, a new record, I had tested my glucose several times, and at the moment of arriving at the hospital, my sugar levels were still in the mid 100's. A blessing, and a miracle in the making.

    Of course, it took more than 8 hours of continued observation by ER staff, and a very good doctor, who assured me that this mistake takes place more often than he could put a number to, to take my mind off of feeling so intense with personal guilt about my "bone-head" mistake.

    The earlier morning hours had finally turned into late morning, and the 8 long hours of worry and wondering if I was going to be OK, finally ended with my nurse coming into the room with my release orders, and suddenly, the tension of the last nine hours was all but a memory. A memory I would not soon forget, but, still a memory. And at last I could express to God my thanksgiving for a job well done.

    By writing this, I hope to remind each of my diabetic brothers and sisters just how serious a medical problem this is. To begin with diabetes is a life-long, chronic disease. It will not go away, and it will more than likely be the cause listed on our death certificate. If not the direct cause, diabetes will be indirectly related to our final breath in life.

    :wavey:We need to take our self-treatment of this disease very seriously. Every time we draw down insulin, ingest oral medication, or, simply follow our restricted diet, we are making decisions that will either extend, or shorten or life. We need to be very careful to not become complacent in our self care of this major disease. It is much more serious than too many diabetics stop to realize. And for those of us who take it seriously, we can never let down our guard in how we treat this disease. There will be mistakes, so always have a plan, and don't hesitate to act.

    In my case, had I not noticed that the bottle was Novolog and not Lantus, I may not be here to write this article to you. I want to take this time to wish you all my best in your battle against this disease, and tell you to be safe as you administer your medications, orally of through injections, just be careful and never become so complacent that you make the kind of mistake I did. However, if you make that life threatening error, act quickly, and have a plan in place. I have decided to make sure my wife gets up with me at bed time and actually hand me my Lantus to make sure I never again make the same mistake. God's speed to all of you. And may your life be long and with as few of complications as possible.:thumbsup:

    Shalom,

    Rev. Paul G. Zimmer, II :type:
    Proud Author of Prodigal Daze and Thorn Daze
    at www.removethehaze.com
     
  2. menageriekeeper

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    Scary indeed! Glad you suffered no ill effects.

    I already hand out the meds at my house and I double check cause dh is on enough to make a meal out of (he uses Novalog pens too). Easy, easy to make a mistake.
     
  3. windcatcher

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    Brother Paul,
    I thank God that you recognized immediately and started self-care and alerted another (your wife) as to what happened so she was informed and could assist. Thank God you both made it safely to the ER. Praise God that he brought you through this crisis. When you have a health condition like diabetes.... its good to know emergency procedures like you did, and already have supplies on hand. I hope your experience will encourage others to take an active part in learning all they can about their own conditions of health and to know how to increase their chances of survival in the event of an emergency.
     
  4. righteousdude2

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    Thanks...

    I appreciate your kind words brother, and your prayerful thoughts. I am doing OK, but, my blood sugars are running high right now. I was taken off all oral and injected meds for 24 hours.

    As for the emergency supplies, my wife and I think they are a necessary keepsake. By the way, now I'll have to go to Target and resupply. A cost that is well worth it.

    I just hope this article serves to remind others to be more cautious when medicating themselves for their diabetes.

    Shalom,

    Pastor Paul :type:
     
  5. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow
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    I am also a type 2 diabetic who uses insulin. I regularly take 50 to 75 units of 70/30 twice a day, so I would not have been concerned. I do not take any oral medicine. I would have went to Krogers, bought a half-gallon of Bluebell Ice Cream and had a field day. :laugh:

    I am glad you are alright and have not suffered any problems. You don't need me to tell you, but be careful next time!
     
  6. Aaron

    Aaron
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    The maintenance manager in me is asking: What steps are you taking to prevent this kind of mistake in the future?
     
  7. righteousdude2

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    Thanks for Asking

    In my very last paragraph I had this statement: "I have decided to make sure my wife gets up with me at bed time and actually hand me my Lantus to make sure I never again make the same mistake."

    so far, it is working.

    Pastor Paul
     
  8. Aaron

    Aaron
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    May suggest investing in small second refrigerator, keep it in a separate room, and keep the medications separate?
     
  9. righteousdude2

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    Great Idea

    However, I'm on such a limited retirement budget, that I can only afford the one fridge.
     
  10. Steven2006

    Steven2006
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    They are surprisingly inexpensive.

    Here is one of those mini fridges for $69.00 at WalMart.
    (I messed up the link, but search at WalMart site for:$69.00
    Haier 1.7 cu. ft. Thermo-Electric Compact Cooler, White )

    Go to a pawn shop you can probably find one for $25.00
     
    #10 Steven2006, Mar 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2010
  11. Gwyneth

    Gwyneth
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    :godisgood:praise God :1_grouphug: and take extra care Brother. So glad there was a happy conclusion to your mishap.
     
  12. pinoybaptist

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    When (not if) I make a mistake and it could be fatal, I just wish I'd go real quick.
    I have high blood pressure and type 2.
    My bp is under control, but I can hardly say that of my diabetes, and that's because as Filipinos we just don't recognize many of the vegetables and recommended foodstuff.
    We're mainly rice, bread, fish, chicken kind of folks.

    Now, having said that, your experience remind me of a couple of Korean friends of my wife, both in their late 60's, who really tend to be on the absent-minded side. Both of them.

    The wife is the one who prepares the husband's medication since they can't remember when, and one day after a fitful night of sleep (you know of anyone over 50 who sleeps like a baby ?) she got up as usual and started to prepare her husband's regimen of pills for the morning.
    He's got high blood pressure, kidney issues, diabetes 2, atrial tachycardia, and some prostate issues and takes about 8 pills in the morning and the same number at night.
    Well, there she was, dropping each pill into the palm of her gloved hand, then she takes a glass of water, then pops the first three of the pills into her mouth, then the next three, downing each set with a couple of gulps of water, then she walks back to the room, and her husband asks: you got my pills with you, honey ?
    They, too, had to spend the rest of the day in the ER.:laugh:

    Now, the wife doesn't drive, the husband does, so the husband ritually takes the wife to work each morning she has to work, and you known how routine and ritual becomes so mechanical ?
    One morning, as usual, the husband and wife wake up, she goes to the bathroom to bathe, then he, then they get dressed, sat down for breakfast, had their coffee and etc., then the husband goes down to the street, into the car, drives off to drop his wife off to work, and was halfway there when he realized she wasn't there.
    He forgot she said wait for her while she got her purse in the bedroom, and just mechanically started the car and drove off. :laugh:

    One of those marriages that have been so lifetime the husband no longer opens the door for the wife, so he doesn't even know she's not there !!
     
  13. annsni

    annsni
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    Another suggestion would be to mark one in something like neon orange. It would make it quite obvious which was which then.
     
  14. menageriekeeper

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    Tape! Ann is on to something. They make brightly colored tapes that they sell somewhere around the paint supplies at Walmart. Can't cost more than a dollar or two. Tape won't rub off like a sharpie might and you can mark each in a different color or only mark one and leave the second one like it comes.
     
  15. SolaSaint

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    Paul,

    Praise God you're OK. :thumbs:
     
  16. righteousdude2

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    Thanks for the Great Advice...

    ... I really appreciate all of your suggestions. My Diabetes nurse had me place the bottle of Lantus in an empty Glucose Tablet tube. The bottle fits neatly into the tube, and I used Duct Tape on the outside of the tube to write in large letters, LANTUS, BED TIME ONLY. This, with my wife's help should ward off any further mistakes.

    However, the ER doc told me that my error happens more times than he can even begin to tell me.

    I love and appreciate ALL of you for caring so much to provide such great ideas. This was the reason I joined the BB, and despite some often heated exchanges with a few more radical members, I am happy I stuck it out. This Board is the most loving, most responsive group of individuals I've ever come across. :thumbs:

    I wish I could honestly try all of your suggestions, and if I ever mess up again, I'll return to this post and peel off one of these ideas to keep me safe!:flower:

    Shalom,

    Pastor Paul :type:
     

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