Sunday, November 27, 2011

What happened was this:

On Friday evening my husband injected insulin at 8:30 – he was working at his computer, as usual. I called him to his food at 9. (I don’t like eating so late, but it is the schedule he prefers.) When he hadn’t turned up at 9:40 I went to fetch him – it is dangerous to delay food after injecting insulin.

Fifty-four years of marriage should have taught me that the moment when I set forth to call him again, is the moment when he finally comes. But I forgot, and collided with him in the dark just outside his study door. We both fell.

I was all right, but he didn’t seem entirely conscious. I called our nearest neighbour for help. He decided at once that what my husband needed was not to be levered to his feet, but an ambulance. It came promptly. Our neighbour helped me pull myself and the necessary things together – my husband’s medicaments and a repeat prescription form to provide a list for the drs; a telephone; and some knitting. That, at least, was ready to go – the current travel sock is always in its Royal Botanic Gardens hessian bag in the stash cupboard, ready to grab.

I told the ambulance people the story. They tested blood sugar, which was indeed dangerously low, and started dripping glucose into my husband while the ambulance bumped along. At the hospital they examined and x-rayed him and attached him to a machine which monitored various things but low blood sugar remained the only identifiable problem.

And after a while he got to be more conscious again.

The hospital expected to keep him but he wanted to go home. By 2 a.m. he seemed close to normal to me, and proved able to take the few steps necessary. I promised to bring him back if I got worried. We got to bed at 3:30. I wonder if we had ever been so late, even in our raucous youth. We spent most of yesterday in bed and continued to improve.

After all we had read about the Scottish Drink Problem, we were surprised at the calm and peaceful aspect of A&E in Edinburgh’s main hospital on a Friday night. At least 5/8ths of the clientele seemed to be Silly Old Fools like ourselves. No blood, only one brief episode of obscene shouting. We remarked on this, towards the end, to the kind and intelligent nurse in charge of us. “Shhhh,” she said, “we don’t use the q-word.”

I made great progress with the current sock during all this. This is the one being knit of Kaffe’s “hand-dye effect” from Regia, the surprisingly soft and fluffy yarn which is very gently twisted rather than manifesting the firm, crisp ply of other sock yarns. The colour is wonderful, and the resulting fabric deliciously soft. But will it be strong enough? It’s got 25% “polyamide” and 5% acrylic in it, which ought to be plenty, and Regia ought to know their business, but I think I will reinforce heel and toe. I haven’t done that, or needed to, for years.

There is a good deal more to say both about knitting and about the state of the world, but I’ll leave it until tomorrow.


  1. Oh dear what a horrible episode -and how quickly the sky seems to fall on us when it is our turn to get the trouble. So glad it is over and seems to be alright now.
    Sympathy from me.

  2. Oh goodness! I do hope you are both quite recovered now. Thinking of you both.

  3. Glad to hear that this turned out well in the end. My husband's stepmother learned that a packet of biscuits and something to drink is a good idea for A&E, as the waiting around can be endless.

  4. Oh dear. I hope that day mostly in bed did the trick and that both of you are back to normal now. Even we youngsters can be pretty shaken when we fall (this from the 52 year old who put her foot in a pothole walking the dogs after dark on Thursday and ended up planting her face on the road!), so it can only be good to rest well afterwards x

  5. Best wishes for a full and quick recuperation!
    Glad you remembered to bring your knitting. The repeat prescription list is also a very good idea.

  6. Those must have been some frightening moments as you waited for the ambulance. I am so glad to hear you are both okay. Is there any chance your husband's blood sugar had been low for quite some time and that is why he was slow to respond to your initial call for dinner?

    Hospitals and sock knitting seem made for each other. Having the presence of mind to grab your current sock project was brilliant. My personal output of socks would be much lower had it not been for all the times my youngest daughter was in hospital. My record for finishing a pair of socks was just under 24 hours during one particularly scary hospital admission with her. I am glad you did not have the opportunity to beat my time!

  7. ouch, I'd say you've been lucky to follow your neighbour's advice! low blood sugar can quickly lead to something worse! as bad as going to hospital is, at least you've been checked out properly. I hope your husband will be alright again after a day or two of rest.
    have a nice 1st advent sunday:))
    Bettina (from ireland, but essentially still german with the christmas traditions:))

  8. Oh, dear, Jean--so sorry to hear of this mishap, and very glad that everything is all right again. So great that you were able to grab your knitting on the way out! I hope you and your husband both continue to feel better.

  9. rosesmama2:04 PM

    For my little diabetic student at school, we test his sugar, have him eat his school lunch (which we never know in advance what will be served) and *then* give his insulin right after. His control could be tighter, but we don't have the dangerous lows that result of him deciding he doesn't like the lunch, or getting distracted and not eating.

    I'm glad all turned out well in the end, and that you had knitting to see you through.

  10. Anonymous2:16 PM

    Golly, you live an interesting life. I am glad that, just like my favourite novels, it had a happy ending. I think you need a Wonder Woman T-shirt to wear. Remembering all those lists and especially the knitting bag was brilliant. Hope things are back to normal soon.
    Ron in Mexico

  11. Anonymous5:28 PM

    I am grateful you are both home. My best to your husband for a full recovery. I follow every day and my heart jumped when I read this. Take care.


  12. skeindalous6:43 PM

    So sorry to hear of your troubles. At least you had the presence of mind to bring the knitting. How can one get through office visits and meetings without one's knitting? Hope you both continue well for many years to come.

  13. Robin8:17 PM

    Jean, you are a strong woman. You seem to have recovered very quickly from a very scary event. Best wishes of health to you and your husband.

  14. I second everything Barbara wrote. Glad you both spent the day in bed recovering.

  15. =Tamar3:37 AM

    I join the others in being thankful that the mishap turned out to be minor. Stay well-rested, and knit on.

  16. Oh I am glad to hear you are both okay!

  17. Oh dear - you poor things both. RIE A&E is not much fun, even when quiet. I spent most of a Sunday there a year or so back when my husband was ill (and with two small children in tow...) Glad to hear you are both recovering well, and the sock is progressing too. I'd be interested to see the socks turn out - I've got some of that yarn in my stash...