I know this is supposed to be an outdoors column but recently I had quite an indoor “adventure.” The good news is I’m home from the hospital and recovering well.
It all started three weeks ago when a tickle in my throat advanced to a very sore throat and plugged nasal passages, with some stomach pain and very watery eyes. This went on for a week, and I started losing energy and ambition. I carried on, pushing myself as I always do, but by the second week things had not improved. Then I basically slept away two days, hoping to restrengthen my body, and that didn’t seem to work. The watery eyes and sore throat lessened but the fatigue got worse. I didn’t even exercise my camera, which normally I do every day. Then I noticed some blurring of my vision, and a lack of balance, and found I was not really thinking straight at times. My son had told me recently about a person he knew with similar symptoms and it was discovered that her blood sugar was super high.
I’m diabetic and honestly I am not as careful as I should be about what I eat. The other bad habit I developed is not always checking my blood sugar every day. So on this day I decided to check it and it was not good: 366. I called my doctor, explained the situation and was able to get an appointment right away. After checking me out, he determined an extreme sinus infection had caused my blood sugar to spike — and that I needed to buckle down on controlling it. He sent me home with some good advice and an increase in one of my medications.
The day after that, I felt no better and had to force myself to go outside and refill the hummingbird feeders around my house. That became a major task because I was super exhausted. Flashing back to what my son had told me, I checked my blood sugar when I was done with chores and it was now 488.
Another call to the doctor got me back in quickly, and I was told to go to the emergency room for some more tests. Oh, no! I hate hospitals and their lack of fresh air! The office staff asked about the person who brought me in. “She’s either in the lobby or in her vehicle in the parking lot,” I said. My big mistake this day was leaving my cell phone at home; it meant I couldn’t call her. The staff said they couldn’t find her, after looking twice, and told me they were going to send me to the hospital in an ambulance. I said no. They said, “Oh, she will eventually find you.” That wasn’t my issue — I was concerned that something had happened to her, maybe a heart attack in her vehicle or she got tangled up with one of the many messed-up folks that seem to be everywhere these days.
I was now getting concerned about her, so I asked for a wheel chair and to be wheeled to the lobby and parking lot so that I could look for her myself. They said they could not do that, so the old Army Engineer OCS cry — “Drive on candidate!” — popped into my mind and I grabbed my cane and headed out to look for her with a nursing trailing behind, trying to stop me. My sense of direction was off and so my “flight path” was off but eventually I found my turn. (I’m good in the woods but big buildings confuse me).
Eventually I got to the back exit door where my friend had dropped me off. She wasn’t there, so off to the front parking lot I went, still with the nurse in tow. I was amazed by how fresh the air smelled after being in the doctor’s office for over an hour! This gave me strength and I finished the long walk to the front parking lot, but — no Maryanne. Now I was really concerned. I sat on an outside bench to think things over and the nurse went into the main lobby.
It wasn’t long before I looked up and there was Maryanne, coming out of the lobby entrance. That really perked me up and we were off to the emergency room. Come to find out she was sitting in the lobby the whole time worrying about me. Whoever said they looked and couldn’t find her really screwed up!
So, at the emergency room at the Batavia hospital they did some testing, checking, et cetera. My male nurse through all of this was Richard Dunn and boy he was a super nurse who really did a great job; he had a good working knowledge of my problem, what I was going through and what I needed to do.
Eventually a room at the hospital opened up and Richard got me there ASAP. After a four-day stay I was released in a very weak condition but they had me on the road to recovery with better knowledge about my problem. The hospital and all the nurses that attended me were exceptional. I’m recovering nicely now and have gotten more serious about my condition. So, no outdoor story today, but maybe you can pick out some helpful tips in my first “indoor” story — like, always carry your cell phone, and listen to your doctor!
Doug Domedion, outdoorsman and nature photographer, resides in Medina. Contact him at 585-798-4022 or [email protected]