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Trying to keep my name out of the newspaper

They were treated at the scene by personnel with the McDuffie County Emergency Medical Services and firefighters/first responders with the McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services.

Troopers with the Georgia State Patrol, officers with the Thomson City Police Department and the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department responded to the call.

I can't count the times I've read those statements when proofing our newspaper each week. As he covers the emergency/crime beat, my colleague, Billy Hobbs, diligently reports all the minute details that most people take for granted. Billy always gives every person their due credit. I have to admit, I read the statements so many times that I quit thinking about the significance of them.

That changed last Friday.

For local law enforcement agencies (all three of them), I became a "fugitive." For the EMT's, I became a nightmare. Yes, I am speaking of me, the quiet one who is usually the "wall flower" at most meetings or events. The one who people politely ask to repeat what was just spoken because I said it too softly to be heard.

I have been an insulin-dependent diabetic for 38 years. (I don't know how that's possible, since I'm only 29 years old, but we'll figure that out in another column). For the last 15 years, I have taken the same dosage of insulin and been in control for the most part. About a year ago, I began experiencing erratic blood sugar levels on both ends of the spectrum.

Friday, I was taking pictures for our newspaper at a children's summer camp, when I began experiencing what I thought was symptoms of high blood sugar. I left the camp with the intention of going home to test my blood sugar and take some extra insulin. I never made it that far. My blood sugar wasn't high, it was low - 17 to be exact (normal is between 80-120). Needless to say, that altered my mental capacity. Law enforcement officers thought I was a drunk driver on the road. I can speak from experience and tell you that they will stop at nothing to get a dangerous driver off the road.

I am thankful to them for stopping me before I hurt someone. But the story does not end there. I stopped for them, but I did not cooperate, according to their reports. Thankfully, they had wisdom enough to realize I was not intoxicated, but needed medical treatment. Unfortunately, I did not want medical treatment. I do not know how many officers responded, but I want to thank each one from the bottom of my heart. I vaguely remember McDuffie County Sheriff Deputy Mike Coke and Georgia State Patrol Trooper First Class Mike Callaway. There were many others, but I do not know who they were. I want to thank every one of them. Not only were they helping me, but they were keeping everyone else on the roads safe that day.

Mostly, I remember EMT Doug Lord, because he was the face I saw when I "came to" in the back of the ambulance on my way to the hospital. I asked Doug a lot of questions and he patiently answered them. Not only was I "combative" with Doug, but also with his partner, Donna Bruce. But they did not give up on me. Even though it was hotter than blue blazes outside and I was throwing punches, kicking and screaming, they were more determined than I was. Doug is a big man. After he left from checking on me later in the Emergency Room treatment room, my son, James, started laughing and said "Mama, I can't believe you thought you could fight that guy and win." Everyone who has heard the story - my sons (Kevin told me he saw me on Cops that night), my coworkers, my friends - has enjoyed it too much.

And because of all the "personnel," I am able to tell it. Because of them, my sons still have their mother at home to tease as she oversees their teen years into adulthood. Because of all of them, everyone is safe. I thank God for everyone of them, even the ones I can't name.

From now on, when you read those words in the newspaper, know that "responded" or "treated" is an understatement. These "personnel" go above and beyond the call of duty. Yes, it's their job. But in reality, it's so much more.

Web posted on Thursday, July 09, 2009

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