Call me crazy, but if you have dysmenorrhea doesn’t that mean you already have symptoms?
Otherwise, you wouldn’t have dysmenorrhea, right?
And this “antispasmodic”: cinnamylephedrine. It was also a potent anesthetic and caused spinal cord paralysis in frogs.
Oh, I gotta get me some of that!
And it was far from “exclusive”. Extensive research on my part, aka a Google search, shows it was everywhere.
They probably took it off the market because people were making cinnamon-flavored meth out of it.
It isn’t in Midol anymore. Midol does have an antihistamine guaranteed to knock you on your caboose. Alas, the only “stimulant” it now contains is caffeine.
Heck, a good Venti, non-fat, extra hot Dulce Latte with an add-shot from Starbucks will give you more bang for your stimulant buck.
I’m worried about him.
Young guy, looked healthy. Shows up to the ER at 0400 with a couple of family members.
He didn’t speak English.
It didn’t help that his symptoms were nebulous at best. They were so vague his translators had a hard time putting them into words.
His body was numb.
His mouth was dry.
Okaaaay. “How long has this been going on?”
“So what is different tonight; what made him feel he had to get to the ER right now?”
“He says he feels like he is going to die tonight.”
The patient spoke awhile to his translators.
“He is always thirsty.”
I asked him in Spanish if he was urinating frequently and a lot.
I put him on the gurney and grabbed a fingerstick blood sugar before I did anything else.
390. Well, that explains it.
I threw in a line, grabbed the blood, started saline and called the doctor to the room.
New onset diabetes Type 2.
A little insulin, a little fluid, a few hours of monitoring and the blood sugar began to come down.
I knew we could get his blood sugar down, that wasn’t the issue.
How do you explain to someone that they have diabetes when they don’t speak English?
His translators did their best trying to explain exactly what diabetes was and what it would mean to his life in terms of health care, diet, checking his blood sugar. I tried to make the information as basic and informative as possible. The patient just looked dazed and overwhelmed.
Then he asked his first question.
Would his leg fall off?
His only knowledge of diabetes was that an uncle had lost his lower leg because of the disease.
Oh boy. This was not going to be easy.
It was going to be harder than I thought.
He worked for cash. No health insurance. No doctor. I couldn’t even really gage his ability to take in the information he was being given.
Eventually his blood sugar lowered to the point that he could be discharged.
When did we stop admitting new-onset diabetics? Where do you learn to check your blood sugar? How do you learn what you should and shouldn’t add to your diet? How do you learn about your medications?
Oh, we gave him a referral to the county clinic.
But the only diabetic teaching he left the hospital with was what he got from me. And I don’t even know how much of that he was able to comprehend.
I do know that he was going to have to go to a pharmacy and put out a minimum of $100 for the two medications and a glucometer. He was going to have to do blood sugar checks three times a day. He was going to have to change his alcohol intake, not just because of the diabetes itself, but because of the medications prescribed.
I went to the ADA site and printed all that I could find in Spanish. I gave him our discharge instructions in Spanish. I explained all I could through the translators.
He was quiet the entire time.
Did he fill his prescriptions? Is he checking his blood sugars? Did he get into a diabetes education program at the county clinic? Is he even bothering to do anything to get control over his disease? Does he realize just what this can mean to his life?
I know it’s his responsibility and I have no control over any of it. I did what I could with what I had to offer him in the middle of the night.
But I can’t stop thinking about him.
Maybe because it was a year ago this month that my husband received his diagnosis of diabetes. I remember the shock, the initial numbness, the learning curve with diet and figuring out the new glucometer and the emotional roller-coaster that he went through after the diagnosis. I went through it with him and it was just as scary for me, and I knew what was happening.
Now, if I’m a nurse and was thrown by a diagnosis of diabetes, how much more would it affect someone who didn’t have a grasp of the basic concepts.
All he knew was that his leg might “fall off”. How frightening.
Maybe by letting him know that a controlled blood sugar could help him avoid an amputation in the future, I was able to impart some motivation to take care of himself.
I hope so.
I still worry about him.