One Foot in the Grave

It was a surreal experience, as I drifted in and out of a conscious state. I eventually found myself in the office chair and had no memory of how I came to sit down, or even the memory of walking to my office. I can remember bits and pieces of what seemed to be happening to me, and only in the fragmented segments of my memory. I was later told that I was fading in and out of consciousness for about an hour but I do not remember much at all with the exception of having the taste of orange juice in my mouth, and I do recall hearing people asking questions, but could not quite make them out clearly, or who was even saying them. The Juice in my mouth tasted good, but I don’t remember buying any orange juice, or even lifting any container up and drinking it. I don’t remember who was around me, where I was, or even the time of day it was. My situation seemed very unclear as I could not appear to process any information with any detail at all. I later found out I was resisting those trying to help me, and was uncooperative to those that were desperately trying to bring me back from where ever my consciousness dwelt. I heard other people’s voices asking me questions that I could not completely make out. I was in a dream like state, not knowing if I was sleeping or if I was dreaming.  My body was functioning enough to stand, walk, speak, and appear to be conscious, yet my memory of this event has little or no rendering of the reality of how I was perceived.  Thinking back on it; the last thing I remember was talking to another company member at the end of my day. I vaguely remember saying that I was feeling a little funny, tired, and from that moment on, I slowly sank into a daze.

I do not speak of Nacolepsy, having no control over the sleep functions of the brain is not the subject I am directing my thoughts about. Rather, a much more common condition that effects approximately 24 million people. When I finally came back from the bewilderment I was in, I was sitting in the office chair with two I.V.’s; one in each of my arms. There were at least four paramedics around me trying to revive me out of the potential diabetic coma I was heading for.

The paramedics were telling me as I slowly came to my senses, that I was very uncooperative and that I became “salty”, and was giving them grief about some of the procedures they were enacting upon me to revive me. I guess I amused them during the revival attempts, and that they understood my condition and that they were used to these types of reactions from other Diabetic’s undergoing an insulin reaction. It is an extremely odd occurrence for someone like me to act in this manner. I was not my normal self, and I apparently get upset when others are imposing themselves upon my personal space, despite the lifesaving attempt they are trained to do no matter what the perception I had at the time. I find it fascinating that even when others are trying to help me, my own perception, or altered perception under such conditions, is that they are intrusive to my personal wishes. I do not yet completely understand what is happening to me, and what the reasons they have for working on me as such. I do not even register that I am in a potentially dangerous situation, and they are trying to help me. Yet I continue to refuse help, or I would strongly disagree with the decisions that are made without my full consent, not fully appreciating the potentially dire circumstances I was not cognizant of in the first place. When your glucose levels are low, the content of your thinking can be greatly effected but such an event. This can be a very bad circumstance if you do not react fast enough. When you do not realize just how close you are to passing out, or going into a “dream-like” state before you can make that decision to remedy a potential insulin shock event, the probabilities of not again waking increase dramatically.

This is not the first time such a situation has occurred in my life. I have been under the care of paramedics reviving my near comma experience a handful of times in the past 20 years. I have only had the disease since the early 1990’s. Early adult onset Diabetes struck me when I was in the prime of my life. Quite literally I was diagnosed during a time when I was in my prime physically, the best shape of my life, having my optimal weight, an optimal fitness level, and BMI measurements that were in the top 10 percentile of my age. I exercised with weight training frequently at the gym, and additionally had plenty of cardio workouts. My eating habits at the time were stellar, yet the irony of the having the disease mock’s my existence day after day. At times the disease has brought me down on several occasions to a level that concedes a near death experience, and shows me just how precious our lives can be and truly understand the mortality of our human forms. I would say that I do not have a death wish, but have almost met my maker on several occasions due to the poor management of my disease. I must admit that at times I have struggled with depression which has a strong correlation to the disease of diabetes, but I suggest to you that it is most likely a partial bi-product of having such a condition in conjunction with my personality type and coping skills. Diabetes is ironically the most controllable disease we know about.

The bulk of my thought about this matter is precisely more about the very strange state the mind ensues when this occurrence happens. The bio-chemistry, the spiritual implications, the mind/body dilemma, the fragility of our existence makes a very nice conversation piece after the fact, but the reality for me is that the moment one looses the control over one’s conscious thought, the moment one entertains the idea that one can possibly cross over to some other semi-conscious state. I do not remember that alternate conscious state if indeed it is possible to remember, but I do have these haunting fragments of memory that play back the split second episodes of consciousness I did have during my lapses. My blood glucose level was around 31 mg/dl. I believe I have even been at a lower level in previous times. Why I survived such an event I may never know, but I am thankful for the paramedics for giving aid to my need. Life is a precious gift, and I believe I am here on this earth for a reason. surviving such an event makes you think a little harder about what changes you may make in your life, to better understand your role in the world. I for one am grateful for getting this chance to serve others that may one day need my help. I do not know how much longer I will be on this earth, but I do know my existence here can make a difference in somebody’s life. I do not fear death, but I do appreciate and I am thankful the the life I do have. This is a very mysterious and wonderful world and I have some unfinished business that I intend to accomplish before I leave it.

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“Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”
Bob Dylan

Mama, take this badge off of me
I can’t use it anymore.
It’s gettin’ dark, too dark to see
I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door.Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door

Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can’t shoot them anymore.
That long black cloud is comin’ down
I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door.

Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door

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