Im wondering how many out there have had bad experiences with store owners during hypos. In 27 years of IDDM I have been given free drinks, I have been allowed to consume beverages and pay later.
Prior to last Saturday, the worst experience I had was a store employee teens my early telling me i had to pay for a beverage prior to consuming it (something I do all the time when low, and wander the store while waiting. I've even once seized and paid for the items after paramedics revived me.) Anyhow, the employee backed off when I explained the situation
So, this past Saturday I had the worst experience in 27 years. I had a rapid onset hypo. This is not uncommon for me, due to a conflicting condition although rare in frequency. I have medications to protect from both. I normally carry all medications on my person, but in the summer its hard to carry a 3ml 2inch syringe, a vial of sol-cortif, glucagon kit, and 2 vials of liquid dextrose. Hence they are stored in my car along with medical documents and reverse printed ems symbol stickers on my windows explaining where the documents and meds are.
For some reason the parking lot i was in that day did not have a disabled spot (yes i need one) I had to park about 8 spaces away. As I was shopping in a computer store I could feel a rapid low coming on. I abandoned my purchase and went to a cigar/variety store right next door. I made my way to the coolers with the soda, and was suddenly blocked by two men with smiles on their faces saying I had to be 19 to buy anything in the store. By this time my vision was blacking out. I said I was about to lose consciousness and have a seizure, was diabetic, and needed sugar ASAP. Their response, while smirking. "How old are you?, do you have ID?" Me: I'm 29! (Expletive deleted). They chuckled somewhat and stepped aside. I did happen to notice a $5.00 debit minimum sign by the register. I grabbed 2 bottles of coke, and one diet coke at 2.50 a piece and brought them to the counter. I didn't know if my vision would be good enough to use the keypad, but figured i could open/consume one bottle first. After placing the three bottles by the register, one of the men smirked again and said that you can only use cash for anything but cigars (this directly contradictions their own website which does not place payment type restrictions on anything they sell) I again said i was about to black out and they would now have to call 911, and was instead told there was an atm machine at the subway about a block away. They smirked again and said "sorry"
At that moment I was in desperation, I didn't have my cell phone on me, which also has a medical file that bypasses the lock. There was absolutely no way i would make it to the subway. I reached for one of the bottles thinking i could consume one of them and leave a drivers license and go to the subway. Instead the bottle was grabbed from me and I was told to get out. We'll just say I told the man where to go. (expletive deleted) And the statement ended in "yourself". A phrase I had never used in my entire life up to that point. My memory was fuzzy at this point. I think I asked them to call 911 again, and they just pointed to the door. I left the store and looked at my car and wondered if i could make it. I honestly considered smashing the store window with my cane just to force a 911 call, by which time the police arrived I'd be unconscious and they'd have to call emt's.
Instead I turned and tried to make it to my car, if I didn't make it in, someone could at least call an ambulance and they would see the emergency stickers on my window and break in to get the documents and meds.
I reached my car, fumbled with the key, scratched the hell out of the paint one the door to unlock it. but got in. I set up glucagon shot by hand as my vision was gone and managed to inject in my shoulder. I'd gather my sugar was in the 20's at that point. Too late to stop a blackout.
I didnt seize, no bite marks on my tongue, but I lost about half an hour of time. I don't know if I lost consciousness, or was just out of it. I normally seize in this sort of situation.
As I regained mobility, i felt like i was hit by a truck. I drank the glucose shots 40g/carb, took two cortisol pills, which would also elevate bg to some extent and drove to the pharmacy / walk in doctors office I use. Which works directly with my family doctors clinic. I told the pharmacist what happened and that i needed a glucagon refill. In front of three other clients the pharmacist used a phrase which I also have to censor but was directed at the store owner with two expletives.
As i sat there and sipped on some apple juice (ooh i didnt have to pay yet) I did not start feeling better. I went to see a the walk in doctor to get my bg and vitals checked to make sure sure everything was ok. bg (110), vitals were ok, my bp was a bit low but not enough so to need a cortisol injection. It basically confirmed my sugar was now ok, and ruled out an adrenal reaction via basic testing, which sometimes happens to me with glucagon. I took a cab home as I was in no shape to negotiate rush hour traffic. Got home, took two oxycocet, ate a gluten free cookie and slice of ham, checked my bg and vitals again, and went to bed.
This is the first time I have ever had to self inject glucagaon, black out, and need to see a doctor due to blatant stupidity.
I wrote the store owner on their website a letter on Monday inquiring as to why their site does not state a restriction on payment for particular items. (in fact does the complete opposite) Why the city confirmed there is no bylaw for a minor to enter a cigar store so long as they did not buy a restricted product. (kind of like a gas station which wont prohibit the sale of gas or soda despite selling cigarettes, lottery, and p-r-, if you are of age.) I wrote the results of their stupidity. And what I had to go through. I also posted a wiki link to severe hypoglycemia and highlighted that it is a life threatening medical emergency. A week has passed, no response.
The moral of this story really goes without saying. and I'm sorry I cannot say it without using expletives, so I'll just leave it be.
Has anyone else had a situation like this happen? Or just a close call related to inability to access gluclose?