The snow is coming down in near white out conditions. At one point we lose the road the snow bank kicking up snow that completely obliterates our view through the windshield. We arrive at a townhouse apartment complex where we have been called for an unresponsive diabetic. Carrying our blue house bag, heart monitor, and 02 tank, we wade through drifts up to our waist to get to the door.
An old Jamaican woman meets us at the door in her bathrobe and says her sister is upstairs on the bed. We have been to this house many times before. The sister is in her eighties. She is supine across the bed, snoring, her skin cool and clammy. We check her sugar. Our glucometer reads “LO” which means less than 20. I get a line and push in an amp of D50. She opens her eyes to a sternal rub now, but is still mostly out of it. I give her another half an amp and she now has her eyes fully open and looks around at us quizzically. “What hap’en?” she asks.
“Your sugar was low,” I say. “Less than 20.”
“No, my sugar is high,” she says, “I write it right down dere in de book.”
“No, it was less than twenty.”
“No, it isn’t low. Me write it down in de book before me go to bed.”
“You sugar went down. You must not have eaten.”
She listens seemingly intently to what I say. I think I am getting through, but then she says again, “My sugar high. I write it down in de book.”
Finally her sister says, “Dis is anothder day now dear.”
We finally got her straightened out and have her sitting at the kitchen table eating a big Jamaican meal of stew chicken and rice and peas.
“What do you think of the snow storm?” I ask.
She looks at me with one eye cocked, uncertain what I am saying.
“Look outside,” I say.
My partner opens the door for her to see.
It is a winter wonderland outside, nothing but white powder.
Her eyes widen. Her mouth opens, but no words come out. She looks like a little five-year old Jamaican girl seeing snow for the first time.