I was just on another diabetes support site (I won't mention names). The members were advising people to not go to the ER unless they were in a coma or having seizures. That is the most idiotic, dangerous advice I have EVER heard. Sorry. Just had to vent. I'm glad I found this site!
I woke up in the ER. They wanted $4500 for waking me up with glycogen. I’m working in 100+ temperature again but this time I have CGM. That time I blacked out the world got strange. Another time I was given the choice of ambulance to ER or police car because I had spaced out at a stoplight and traffic backed up for miles. Thaw ambulance wanted $400 more than insurance paid them. And once I refused an ambulance ride to an ER because I was recovered. I’ve never convulsed or been in a coma. Sooo whatever advice your other diabetic site displayed doesn’t apply to me. Who could such advice possibly apply to? No one.
Actually I work for ER docs. It happens if your blood sugar is extremely low or high AND you are close to death. Very scary stuff when a patient with diabetes is that sick. They may not recover… that’s why I got upset with them…
While I haven't had to use the ER due to The D, my husband was an EMT and an Emergency Manager/Incident Commander for Portland before retirement. The ER is there for all of us and we should avail ourselves of its services as needed. It's hard to imagine a situation in an ER that Isn't scary for all involved.
The cost my be prohibitive for many of us and I hate that. But it is also better to get help, than not....I do know from my own non-emergent surgical situations that my nursing caregivers, though kindly and wanting very much to help were clueless about caring for my complexly interwoven chronic illnesses: T2/controlling well with diet & exercise, fibromyalgia, arthritis.
It's never easy, but it might just save your life to get there---what else is there? We can fix the rest later, if we live....Blessings on us all...Judith in Portland
I don't know what kind of people wouldn't advise an ER visit for more situations than that. DKA being a prime one and you don't need to be in a coma or having seizures for that to warrant an ER trip. Heck, I even think if your blood sugar is unusually high (for me? Over 240 mg/dL would warrant this) and can't bring it down after insulin injections and hours and waiting and drinking water? Er trip regardless of ketones as that can still be incredibly damaging. Also if you get sick with the flu, pnuemonia, some sort of more serious condition than the common cold? Doctor first but ER not out of the question if it affects your blood sugars (ESPECIALLY in small children or elderly people, just go to the ER) . Run out of insulin and can't get an rx from the pharmacy or doctor's office (samples) at all? ER trip is a good idea. I work in healthcare myself, though only a secretary, and this is what I've observed to be good reasons to go to the ER if you're a diabetic.
I agree! Don't fool around with your health. I've only been to the ER twice for mine, once when I was diagnosed with type 1 and a couple months ago when my blood sugar was so high it wouldn't read on my meter (over 600)! I went at my husband's urging because that had never happened and manual injections and chugging water was not bringing it down. It was funny though, I ended up pretty much treating myself in there b/c the doc wanted to give me huge doses of insulin after I was hooked up to IV fluids and I said "no!" let's wait a little while and see if it comes down....and it did. He was very nice about it and I learned that when I get really high, to drink electrolytes like Gatoraid or Emergen-C and that helps it come down faster. Those powder emergen-c packets work great and really help when I'm feeling sick or dehydrated.
In my experience (personal and observed) often the ER isn't the place to go. If the EMTs/Parameds get you going, and you can handle eating something. Stay home. Of course, if you've lost consciousness then by all means take them up on transport to the emergency Dept. From what I've observed, people dealing with diabetes related emergencies often wait too long for additional bg tests, are overfed (to the point that the bg shoots up to the 400's) and have to beg for insulin to cover the overfeeding. All too often, ER staff only know type 2 and dont really handle people with type 1 appropriately. IF the patient is a pumper, the infusion set is pulled out, and they go without insulin (having been admitted for hypo) way too long. ERs don't carry spare infusion set so it can be a real roller coaster ride. I did luck out in DKA and got the correct Dx, I had been mis-dx'd with type 2 (after presenting with classic type 1 symptoms) but ever since then, in observing other ER's I'm not about to go if I can be handled at home.