Rhonda Begos-Zolecki

Rhonda Begos-Zolecki

Finding Love Amidst Disaster

Last week Tuesday was a scary moment in our new married household. As most of you know, I have Type I Diabetes, and have been dealing with it for 32 years. For the past couple of months, my numbers have been very difficult to manage, I'm thinking because with age, comes change. Insulin doesn't work the same and foods do not process the same. I did have a diabetes check up scheduled with my doctor a couple weeks from that Tuesday. 


I went out to dinner with some friends, and we were talking about the issues with my diabetes. We had a conversation about the lows that I used to suffer in the middle of the night, mainly attributed to the drinking, and how my husband Mark hadn't had a situation where he had to deal with waking me out of being unconscious or calling 911. Dinner was great, and I left there to head home. 


After about 20 minutes, I could feel that my bloodsugar was dropping and I checked it. It was 57. A normal glucose level is usually between 70-120. 57 wasn't THAT low, so I began to chomp on some granola bars to get it back up. I am on the insulin pump, so I turned my pump off until I get my sugar to a normal level. 


About a half hour after that, I asked my husband if he could pour a glass of orange juice for me because it felt like my glucose was not coming back up. He did this, and I drank the orange juice. After about 15 minutes, this awful rush of "something" overcame me, and I asked my husband to call 911. 


When the paramedics arrived, they asked who they were there for, and I told them for me. Prior to them getting there, I checked my glucose and it was 33. This was after eating the granola bars, and drinking a full glass of orange juice, so to me it was obvious that something was wrong. The paramedics checked my bloodsugar and then began asking me some questions about dinner. They then asked me if I had been drinking, and I told them no. They started talking to my husband asking him the same question, and he said "she doesn't drink." At that point they did not believe him, and said that my glucose on their machine was 500, which I knew was impossible. They asked my husband if he saw me drink, and he said he wasn't there. For a good 15 minutes, they had this conversation while I sat on the couch and could feel my glucose bottoming out. My heart was racing, and my skin felt really odd. My brain then shut down....I could think, and knew what I wanted to say, but could not get it to come out of my mouth.


Finally, my husband said "you should check her glucose again. Perhaps she had some sugar on her hands from eating the granola bars." At that point, they used alcohol to clean my finger and checked it again. The number came back as 36, and then they began to act. By this point, I could feel something really bad happening, but I didn't know what. Everything on my body was tingling, and my face started to go numb. The paramedics were asking me questions that I couldn't answer. It was very frustrating and a terrible feeling to be so out of control and feeling this feeling of impending doom that was unshakable. 


I couldn't say my name, my birth date, who I had dinner with, what day it was, what time it was and I began to get really scared. At that point in my body, I felt like I was dying. It may have been that I was on the verge of either passing out, or having a seizure, but it was the worst feeling I have ever had in my life. I needed at that moment to calm down and feel safe, but I didn't know what to do. 


As they were trying to put the IV in my arm, I looked around the room, and I just stared finally at my husband. Out of all that I didn't know, I knew him. I knew his face, and I knew who he was. He was starting at me...so concerned and just wanted me to start feeling better. He was so calm, and so in tune to what they were doing, and I just said "Mark." The paramedics said that Mark couldn't do anything for me, and I needed to answer their questions, but all I could say was "Mark." And I was going to tell him I loved him, but that scared me too...because I didn't want that to be it. So I just stared at him, and felt okay. And I let them do what they needed to do. 


They administered Dextrose intravenously and after about 15 minutes, I began to feel pretty good, at least better than I had been feeling. They began asking me those questions that they asked previously to make sure that my brain was turned back on, and after they left I ate some food and kept a check on my glucose for the next couple of days.


For obvious reasons, I am glad that things did not take a turn for the worse, and I got better. I'm glad that I was able to get myself back in check, and move on with my day.


But what I truly learned about this experiencing is what really matters.


Love and gratitude.


There is nothing more in this world that can endure pain, or endure fear, or endure moments of extreme dysfunction than love. Love doesn't show up. It doesn't appear. It's always there, for us to use - just like flowers that we pass by. We can pick whichever ones we want at any given moment. They don't show up out of nowhere, they are just there, but we have to choose to find it, and use it. Not just in the moment I described, but always. I had to find it at that moment, and I found it, and it was in this worst of moments that I began to feel that no matter what happened, I was okay. 


Find love and live your lives with gratitude and with love. Return anger with love. Apologize with love. Help with love. Discipline with love. Guide everything that you do with being thankful and with love. You will find in your life, so much more happiness than you thought possible. 

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