Someone tried to kill me once. Ok, they did not actively try to kill me, but they were going to allow me to die, and here is that story.
Once upon a time there was a shift leader at Half Price Books named Katie. She was a big, evil, mean, manipulative jerk, only we did not realize the extent to which she controlled and tortured the staff until long after she left and people came out of their PTSD/Stockholm Syndrome clouds and told us. She was really mean.
I am Diabetic and everyone knows this. It is not something I hide, especially because I often whip out my glucometer and test my blood sugar right in front of people, or my insulin pump beeps, or more likely, people are asking me “Should you be eating that?” because I am scarfing down candy. Everyone at Half Price Books knew I am Diabetic.
I went on my break one day and what I remember is shutting the door and muting the store phone because I had to make a personal call and did not want to be interrupted. I remember “shooting up” (taking insulin) in preparation for eating. Then I do not remember much else after that. What I have been told is that I was on the couch in the office, with the door still shut and the phone still muted, asleep. Katie and another shift leader, I am not sure which one, came in and said my name and poked me in the face with a pencil, and I did not respond. So they left me there.
Diabetic or not, if someone did not respond, I would try more vigorously to wake them up, and then I would call 911 if they still did not respond. Normal people in normal medical conditions wake up.
Katie chose not to do that, so I laid there while my blood sugar went lower. When I was lucid enough to check it, it was 12. Normal is 70-110. Most people require medical attention at 30, and most people are unconscious at 20 or below. I have never passed out before, and only needed help once in college when my blood sugar went so low I did not know what I was doing and my friend Mary gave me chocolate milk and soup because she recognized that I was not right.
I assume I was passed out. Because I did not fall over, or at least, I do not remember falling over, I do not know if that counts as passing out. I seem to have either sat or laid down on the couch and then just flopped over or something.
Thankfully my friend and fellow employee Sasha Griffin was smarter than any other employee working that day (who was aware of the fact that I was not waking up) realized this was not right and called my cell phone, which was under my head. I do not know for sure, but I think Katie either shut the door to the office so Sasha could not get in, or told people to leave me there, because Sasha did not come in on her own. I guess I answered my phone enough to realize I needed to open the door, but I do not remember that part. I do remember Sasha handing me a Coke and I possibly remember that her sister and fellow employee Kira MIGHT have been there, but I do not know if that is true or not. I also remember being soaked head to toe in sweat.
So Sasha brought me Coke and quite literally saved my life. I do not think that I would have woken up on my own, because it is not like I had just fallen asleep, I was unconscious. I do not remember the rest of that day because having your blood sugar go that low really messes with your brain and stuff, and so the rest of the day is a big blank spot.
I know that Katie told other people I was not waking up and that I was locked in the office because of what people told me afterwards. I know that she poked me in the face with a pencil because she told the manager she did that. What I can’t figure out and either no one will tell me or no one wants to admit that they were assholes, is why Sasha is the only one who was willing to not let me die. Maybe these people were too stupid to realize that a person who isn’t waking up isn’t normal? Maybe this happens often in their house? I don’t know. I also don’t know how long it would have taken me to actually die, but I know that a blood sugar level of 12 is ridiculously low and I probably should have been in the hospital at some point.
I have been really bitter about this since it happened, but at the time, it was made even more complicated by the fact that I got fired for being late coming back from break. I had been late to work twice in the year previous to this event, and the third time is the time you get fired. I wrote a note in my stupor, and I don’t know what it said and no one ever showed it to me afterwards, but my manager said that it said something like “I took insulin and didn’t eat and my blood sugar was low so I understand if you have to fire me”. The firing came from a long discussion that resulted in “She took insulin and voluntarily didn’t eat so it’s her fault”. Needless to say, I called the corporate office and was “unfired” within two hours. I was told I did not make it clear it was a medical emergency. I could understand that, depending on what I wrote. If I said I took insulin and didn’t eat, most people who worked with me knew that meant I would have been impaired in some way, but I can’t expect someone to know that me being unconscious was a result of low blood sugar….except that actually, yes I can, and that’s a big part of the reason I am still bitter about it. I WAS UNCONSCIOUS. Someone should have called 911. They LITERALLY left me back there to die. And *I* am the one who got fired?!
One of the “post drama” rumors was that Katie actually told people to leave me back there because she wanted to make me look bad, and if that is the case, Sasha is even more of a super hero for defying orders. But even if that isn’t the case, there were probably 8-10 people there that day who chose not to call an ambulance when a coworker was in a very clear medical emergency. WTF?! Who does that?!
I feel like I should be allowed to sue someone for attempted murder. At the time, partly because of the after effects of such low blood sugar and partly because of the shock of actually being fired for that – I never really asked anyone, Katie in particular, why they were ok with me dying back there. What if Sasha didn’t realize I didn’t come back after break, or didn’t hear Katie laughing about how I wasn’t waking up? What if no one came back there for an hour and I was actually dead? I probably still would have been fired.
I am happy to say that would not happen where I currently work. If they saw me unconscious, they are smart enough to know that isn’t normal, and they are nice enough to not intentionally leave me unconscious because they want to make me look bad.
Here is a picture of Harry Connick Jr. from when I saw him in concert last night. We waited in the sleet and hail by his tour bus and he came out and very quickly signed autographs. My friend Sabrina the Human took this picture. I handed him my “myfoodisproblematic” business card with a picture of my cat on it and I said “Hi Harry Connick Jr. this is a picture of my cat and it has my website on it and there are videos of dogs eating peanut butter” and he said “That’s awesome, I love that! Thank you!” so now maybe Harry Connick Jr. will watch the videos of dogs eating peanut butter.