Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The Men & Women in Uniform

This one goes out to all the men in blue out there. The members of the police force, people whom we often take for granted. Or about whom we complain when we get a parking or speeding ticket. It's easy to under-appreciate them.
However I'd like to take a moment to recognize the service they provide to the community. I was reminded of this the other day when I had to call the police department for help.
I got a call from Mrs. V in the morning, a pleasant 78 year old woman on insulin who lived in a town an hour away. She got her numbers mixed up and inadvertently overdosed herself with insulin, more than 5 times her supposed breakfast dose.
I suggested she checks her glucose every 15 minutes, and provided some instructions on snacking and how to keep the numbers up. Also urged her to call back if she had issues.
She did 30 mins later; her sugars were starting to drop though not dangerously so. She promised to keep testing herself.
30 mins later I called to check up on her, but her phone was busy. Between patients later, I tried again but her phone remained busy. So I had my nurse try again several times, but over a 40 min period she was unreachable.
And so, lacking other options but worried about her, I Googled the number of the local police department and called them up. I spoke to a receptionist and asked if someone could do a welfare check on her. She suspiciously asked why, but after I explained story the quickly transferred me to the despatcher who made a call out.
20 mins later I got a call from the police, informing me she was OK. I thanked them for the update, and shortly after my patient called. She was appreciative for the concern; she wasn't unconscious or in a hypoglycemic seizure;  she sheepishly said she left the phone off the hook by accident. She was OK. My nurses and I breathed a lot easier the rest of the morning.
But it was one of those moments when I realized that our men and women in uniform do so much more than realize.