A Cautionary Tale

A friend of mine went on a trip, and left her Type 2 husband at home. She called him every day to make sure he was OK, and he got quite irritated with her for doing that. Then, a couple of weeks ago, she called him on Friday, and he continued to say he was doing fine, but when she arrived home on Sunday, he wasn’t at the airport to get her, so she called a friend, who took her home. They found him face down on the bed, unresponsive.

Of course, they rushed him to the ER, and his BG was 1400. They put him in the ICU on dialysis, and he lingered for 3 weeks, but finally died last week.

Don’t let ANYONE ever tell you that Type 2 is the MILD diabetes, or that you can just pop a pill and forget about it. Type 2 can KILL.

The sad part is that as this man’s BGs were going up, his brain was getting increasingly foggy, and he probably really DID think he was doing OK. Maple syrup for blood causes the brain to function like in dementia, and the person is no longer capable of clear thinking or judgment. If no one is around, or is sufficiently alert to notice behavior changes, the person is SOL.

I am so sad to hear of this totally unnecessary death, and my heart goes out to the widow in her grief. She’s probably being tortured by thoughts of “what if…”, and yet there is truly nothing she could have done about it – she didn’t know what was going to happen when she went away.

And if you have Type 2, or know someone who has it, don’t get complacent. Diabetes of either type is a serious, lethal disease. :frowning:

Natalie, another important thing is to not let anyone tell you that hypos are NOT dangerous. They certainly are!

I’m truly sorry for your friend’s loss, really I am. But what I get out of this cautionary tale is how important it is for either Type to test their blood sugar on a regular basis. My guess is if this man did tha he would have caught the problem long before it rose to 1400 and he became incapacitated. Sad.

A big problem for Type 2’s is that if they are on oral meds, they may not be able to DO anything about high BGs, and if their doctors are not alert and responsive, they may pass the threshhold into “dementia” when they may no longer be ABLE to test. I don’t know whether this man ever called his doc – his wife was away, and he wasn’t telling her anything. We may never know everything that went on while he was alone and getting sicker and sicker. It’s just a heartbreaking tragedy! :frowning:

The thing about high BGLs is that oral meds do not effectively treat them. Once a T2 hits the upper 200s, good luck getting any oral med to adequately bring the level back down quickly.

Testing and responsible dieting could have probably prevented this tragedy. It’s a very sad story. :frowning:

I agree that Type 2 is not the mild variety. There is NO mild diabetes.

I was misdiagnosed with it, and had a chest infection and went into DKA - not knowing what it was. I was in a homeless hostel at the time and the staff presumed that I had been drinking and were threatening to throw me out! Eventually one person took me to the doctor, to prove that I was drunk - who also thought I had been drinking, but sent me to the hospital anyway (smell of ketones) and where it was discovered that I was in collapse and when they finally did get some blood out (from my groin) my blood sugar was well over “hi” in other words over 33 mmols. Apparently I was within 1/2hr of dying. No alcohol in my blood (I knew that!) and a doctor who is one of the diabetologists at the hospital walked into the room and sniffed and said “That is diabetes”. The problem is that most doctors and nurses, and of course many lay people simply do not know the difference between the smell of alcohol and ketones, and presume the worst.

I was then also asked why I had not taken my insulin - well, that was because it had not been prescribed! I was on tablets!

Long story short, I was given insulin and then forgotten about - consequently went hypo! It took them 4 days to get me down to a decent level. I was the lucky one.

My heart goes out to your friend and her loss. I wonder if the sugar levels in her husband is what was causing the irritability. But it is not her fault! Nor his. I pray that she will get the councelling that she will probably need and come to realise this.

So Sad…heartbreaking.

Diabetes sucks. It’s an evil, nasty disease.

This tragic story is why I get so furious with lazy, ignorant doctors.

If he’d been on insulin – with excellent training and support – he’d no doubt be alive today.

Such a tragedy. Sorry for your friend’s loss.