Hospital Stories

Motivation to keep up with your diabetes health.

By Travis Grubbs

travis_grubb_profile_page_90x90March 2011 — I have a friend who is a Registered Nurse; I will call her Pumpkin. I enjoy hearing Pumpkin's stories about her patients, adventures, incidents—i.e. her workday at the hospital. Some are funny, like when an elderly toothless patient tries to kiss her on the mouth. Others are sad, like the young woman that received brain injuries from an automobile accident. She can not carry on a conversation, walk, or hold her bladder, but she can sing particular country music songs, word-for-word, to her visitors and the nursing staff.

Pumpkin loves her job, and I love hearing about it. Since I have type 2, she makes it a point to tell me about the patients with complications from this chronic condition. Stories about obese patients with out-of-control diabetes, and foot and leg wounds that won't heal, are not uncommon. I listen and thank God that my diabetes is under control. They also help me to stay motivated and exercise on a regular basis.

One particular story that I frequently think of is about an obese female patient that was "one of the regulars" on Pumpkin's floor. This patient had the laundry list of ailments that came with being obese. On her last stay at the hospital, her health finally caught up with her and she had a heart attack while standing at the foot of her hospital bed. She collapsed on her back on the cold floor, the hospital gown doing a poor job covering her body. The medical team responded quickly and tried giving her CPR where she had fallen. Despite their attempts, she could not be revived. She was pronounced dead, and due to her size and weight, had to be left on the floor because she was just too heavy to lift into her bed.

I can imagine looking down at the scene as the nurses and technicians try to revive her. Her flabby arms, legs, and chest rippling in rhythm as they pump her chest; the hospital gown clinging to her skin and trying in vain to provide as much modesty as possible to her massive body. Once she is pronounced dead, and the team withdraws, I can see the words This is Your Life appear across this scene. I don't believe she intended on dying in this manner and physical shape, but somehow she did. Did she deserve it? I don't know. I just find it sad that her life ended in this manner and setting. It doesn't matter if she was a loving wife or mother, or was generous to a fault. In the end she was just an obese dead woman, too heavy to be lifted off the cold hospital floor.

Let's be honest; most of us do not age very well. In fact, some of us really suck at it. However, I think we can all do better. I accept the fact that I am going to die, but I don't plan on being obese, with open and un-healing sores, and diabetes that is out of control. If my body is not all mangled, burned, or ravaged from disease, when I arrive at the funeral home, I plan on it looking at least presentable. I may not look sexy or handsome, but I don't want to look like I have diabetes. Looking dead and normal, or presentable, will be just fine with me.

Read more of Travis Grubbs' Turn the Page columns here.


dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.

Last Modified Date: June 24, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
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