13 March 2009

Heart It Races

I was asleep yesterday, taking a nap. My mother ran into my room, screaming and waking me up.

My diabetic little brother took 24 units of his fast-acting humalog instead of the slow acting lantus. For those without a family full of diabetics, just know that this is bad. Really bad.

So we called 911. EMTs came in a fire truck. We busted out the half-2 liter of Coke that we had from Thanksgiving and realized we had nothing else in the house that's not diet or low-carb. My older brother was sent to the gas station up the road and bought more Coke with all the change from his car. When he was told by our parents that wasn't enough, he drove back up to the gas station where the man gave him a snickers bar, saying he'd given him more than enough change and to go! go! back to the house. They threw the dog at me, so he wouldn't jump on the medics etc. and told me to look up on the internet anything we could do.

This was the most terrifying night of my life. I had to sit with the puppy, looking at all the ways an overdose of insulin can kill you, how when there's not enough food in your system (And know that there's no way to have enough food to justify 24 units. Average after a meal is like 5.), the insulin will start basically to break down your organs and this is how people commit suicide. Arthur had to have like 230 carbs to justify that much insulin. Eight ounces of Coke is only 27.

So my ten year old brother had to drink Coke and eat cookies until he was sick, while his heart rate slowed down, he sweated, and had low blood sugar and talk to EMTs. My family was freaking out. My neighbor called, assuming my grandmother was the one hurt. "It's Arthur? NO." It was the longest hour and a half ever, waiting for his sugar to go back up and know that he wasn't going to go into hypoglycemic shock and then a coma.

You know what my older brother said, after the medics left and everything calmed down? "Think of all the times we did this right. In five years, we only messed up once, and it was still this bad."

We only messed up once.

We only messed up once, and it was still this bad.

I was shaking all night and couldn't get to sleep. My heart didn't return to normal speed until I woke up to get to school. Arthur is fine now. He's fine. But we're lucky. My little brother who draws Mario figures and told me he voted for Obama in his school election "so other kids with my diabetes can get healthcare" is going to be okay.

It's scary how it only takes so little for everything to mess up. I'm not entirely sure what I'm getting to here -- maybe something about how we should all be careful and grateful or maybe something about how life isn't really fair -- but I think more than those things, I'm telling this story to show how people come together to handle things. I'd never have believed my family could have gotten through that as smoothly as we did. Sure, I was shaking. But not even my mother cried during the ordeal. My neighbor offered to come help. Even the man at the gas station did his part to make sure things worked out.

Despite that comfort, I know I never want to wake up to that again.

04 March 2009

It snowed in Georgia

Hospitals turn off coffee makers on the weekends.
But I found money in my pocket this morning and am going to eat a chikfila biscuit. Everything is proof of balance, I'm still convinced.

Somewhere along the line, I got the idea that things in life are balanced. No, I’m not suddenly overly interested in Chinese philosophy and yin yang signs. It’s more that I had to think that in order not to go crazy.

Call it self-fulfilling prophecy, but this idea of mine has just been reinforced repeatedly. Even if it is all in my head, I'm okay with that.

(My mother is reallllly into serendipity and signs and being spiritual. I’ve never been convinced of that whole God business and signs and all, so you can’t chalk this up to that.)

What do I mean? Well. I had a pretty awful July, but it was followed by some of the best months of my life. I thought everything was crashing in September, but without that scare I wouldn’t have appreciated October.

I lost powerfully in a senatorial election I worked on (even with landscape maps), but I got into college. I didn’t get into my “dream school” but did get to work on a campaign.

Yeah, this mindset makes me nervous when things are going well. But I also think it makes me enjoy it even more. It’s modified karma, I guess.

Blehhh. The chicken biscuit connection fell through. But hey, my art history teacher shared her coffee creamer with me, and I am going to the river after school. Things will ultimately be okay. Or balanced, at least.

An elegy (but without the poetry part)

They said it wouldn’t be worth it to fix anymore. Not worth it? They just don’t know.

I’d known you for half my life. You watched me grow up, in a weird way.

I went from watching sing a longs in the backseat with revolving OM teams to driving around at all hours of the night.

I sat in Waffle House parking lots and even a liquor store one on Halloween. A long, not funny story. Not bad either. Just. A story.

You were the quirkiest car I’ll ever have. The lights turned on when we made left turns, locks locked and unlocked, a scar down the right side, and a missing handle that was a battle wound from the night you spent in a Denny’s parking lot. My car sounded like a go-kart.

Up until the end, I found door hangers in places all around the car.

I’ll remember you always.

I’ll remember going to drop off more walk packs, only having that one Janis Joplin cd and singing Me and Bobby McGee more that anyone should. And I’ll remember another election day, futiley saying, No, please don’t bring a wine glass into my minivan at 2 in the morning when I’m already past curfew, not supposed to be driving other people, and don’t have my license since I lost it a few months before and have been driving anyway.

Seriously. I’ll miss my minivan.