You may recall my experience several weeks ago when there was a “code blue” called in the oncology clinic at Swedish Cancer Institute. 20-30 medical personnel swarmed over from the hospital to attend to a man who had lost consciousness during his medical exam. I had a similar experience today except that the “code blue” occurred in my office! I walked out of my office to the waiting room. My friend and office mate, Steve, opened his door and quietly told me, “My patient is having a medical situation. He is really disoriented and I called 911.” I asked him if he needed help, he declined, and since there were people in the waiting room, I decided the best thing I could do would be to go back to my office and calmly carry on until my next patients arrived.

Paramedics arrived a couple of minutes later. It turned out that the patient was diabetic so they thought he probably just had low blood sugar. So Steve came by and asked me if I had any food. I gave him a granola bar and some crackers. Having worked with teens with diabetes as a psychology intern, I knew that people can get really cranky when they have low blood sugar. Sure enough, Steve’s patient was not thrilled with the snack options that I dug out of the bottom of Jennie’s and my desk drawer. Steve went to one of the restaurants nearby and got a soda. Apparently, he was not drinking it very fast so Steve asked me if I had any sugar packets. No luck there so he went off again to one of our neighboring restaurants.

I didn’t see any of this, but Steve told me that in the few minutes it took him to return with sugar packets, his patient had sprung back to life. He’d gotten enough soda into his system. The paramedics left and the patient drove himself home. Crisis averted!

So maybe this isn’t really a “code blue” but again, I am not a physician so how am I to know? I admired Steve’s calm throughout all of this. I’m glad that there are safety nets in life like 911. But people, take care of yourselves! If you have diabetes, breakfast skipping is not allowed! It was a good reminder to me to continue to care for myself and try to remain calm during the bumpy parts of life.