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Being Calm in the Face of Emergency

On the way back from Gatlinburg, my husband, Carl collapsed. An ambulance took him to Haywood Medical Center, Clyde, NC near Maggie Valley where we discovered that he has diabetes and his sugar level was 1000. Compassionate and skillful doctors, nurses, CNAs, and other staff members got his sugar levels down and sent us home Monday Night with insulin and meter machines to check his blood levels. No one in his immediate family had diabetes.  Scary experience for both of us. He is doing better now. I am thankful he is alive. He’s doing very well now. He’ll go to doctor here on Monday, December 7, 2009.

Being calm in the face of an emergency will help you not to give up. I remembered my advice in my Elder Care Guide. Have a notebook to write notes in. I used a folder and asked the registration lady for 5 pieces of typing paper. She gave me about double that. She said, “I’m giving your more, just in case you need it.” I wrote down the numbers of all the people to contact in case something went wrong. However, everyone took excellent care of Carl. I spent the night with him. I slept in a recliner chair. I wrote down the doctors and nurses names who took care of him. I remembered to ask questions and if they didn’t know, I was going to ask, “who could tell me? How can I find out?” But they gave me all the information I needed. Dr. Fox even printed out information about diabetes for Carl’s daughter, Susan and me. She  and her husband, Jeff drove up from Belmont on Saturday at 6:30 a.m. and stayed until late that evening.

I kept thanking God for all the things he was doing to heal Carl and get his body back to normal.

The diabetic educator came and showed us information about how many carbs he could have for each meal.

Sally, one of the nurses, brought Carl an orange (which he named HARVEY) to practice giving shots of a saline solution. It really helped having us to learn step by step, little by little instead of all at once 30 minutes before we left the hospital.

They took an MRI to make sure Carl’s slurred speech and weeblywobbly walking was from dehydration and the high blood sugar and not a stroke or other cause.

As I understand it:

Carl’s pancreas stopped making insulin or his body stopped being able to use the insulin his pancreas was making.

Then he got thirsty – he would drink and drink. However, there was no insulin to use the sugar to keep the water in the body, therefore he became dehydrated.  No matter how much water he drank, it could not be utilized by his body.

Also, in the blood cells, the sugar made the blood thick, very thick.The following link has a doctor explaining this phenomenom:, it shows how with all that sugar in the blood cells it’s like putting syrup in water. It’s thick syrup. The brain says, “I need more water to dilute the sugar in the blood.” However, when it gets it, it can’t be used and the only place to store it is in the kidneys which just gets it out of the body. This will leave the body dehydrated and the electrolytes will get out of balance.

I didn’t realize this is what happened with diabetes and why people got so thirsty and yet urinated it all away because the body couldn’t use it.

My advice to Carl and to others: It’s better to know than to worry, wonder, and be filled with fear.

Get the doctor’s opinions and tests. You can always disagree with them. You can always pray to change the situation in your body. You can use positive imaging and feelings to change what seems to be the fact at the present time.  Miracles happen every day.  Go to the doctors and find out.

Carl agreed that next time his body was doing weird stuff and he didn’t know what it was, that he would go to the doctor.

I just kept praying and thinking God will show me how to handle this situation.

God answered my prayers.

I’ll tell you something funny. When we got home from the hospital, I told Carl I was going to be his shadow until he got to walking in a steady manner on his feet.  When I had him to walk through each room of the house on Tuesday morning, I followed  a step and half behind him. He didn’t know I was behind him. He sensed someone was behind him. He said, “Gosh. You really did mean it when you said you were going to be my shadow, didn’t you?”

I said, “Yes.”

Then I told Carl, “I think you must have prayed to God, ‘Dear Lord, Please make Joan and I closer.’ But you didn’t specify specifically what you meant.”

We laughed and laughed. By Tuesday night he was not weebly wobbling any more. He was walking straight so I didn’t follow him any more.  Carl was excited that he had graduated to being on his own with a little more freedom.


Search for knowledge and meaning


Have faith that God will send people to help you when you need it.  As Flip Flap Floodle’s Grandma said, “Everyone needs a little help once in a while.”

Carl and I definitely needed help and we got it.

Thank you, Lord.


3 Responses

  1. I will continue to pray for you both. God is good…and knows our needs even before we ask. I am glad you two have each other, my friend. Your love is evident, even in this post! 🙂



    • Dear Donna,
      Thank you for your prayers for Carl and me. Every day seems to be better. I will take him to the primary care doctor here in Charlotte near SouthPark tomorrow.

      God is good to me.

      He sends me friends like you to keep me afloat in the sea of life.

      I love you.



      • I love you, too! 🙂


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