When she woke up in BSA Hospital, Malinda Gomez was shocked to find out she had been in a diabetic coma for five days.
“I have never been diabetic or even considered I could have diabetes,” Gomez explained.
In January 2018, Gomez spent eleven days in BSA Hospital. Five of those days were spent in a diabetic coma. A diabetic coma is a life-threatening condition and results from either very high or very low blood sugar levels.
Leading up to her hospitalization, Gomez was feeling nauseous, dizzy and experiencing severe dry mouth.
“I had the flu a week before and thought I was experiencing its aftermath,” Gomez explained. “I was also under a lot of stress at the time.”
On January 24, 2018, the mother of three went to sleep that night and didn’t wake up. The next morning, Raul Gomez found his wife unresponsive with their youngest daughter curled to her side.
“It all started with the BSA paramedics,” Gomez shared. “My husband told me they came in, knew what they were looking for and right away had a diagnosis of what they thought it was.”
Gomez had an extremely high blood sugar level of more than 1800 mg and was rushed to BSA Hospital.
“It was explained to my family that I had onset diabetes maybe a few days or a week before it happened,” Gomez said.
On January 29, the Gomez family was told to prepare for the worst. The very next day, a miracle happened at BSA.
“I could hear my brother Carlos talking to me saying, ‘Malinda, you’ve got to wake up now. You’ve got to wake up. Your kids need you Malinda. You have to fight,’” Gomez explained.
Gomez’s eyes fluttered open.
“I opened my eyes and started blinking,” Gomez recalled. “And then it hit me that I’m in the hospital and I’m okay.”
That night, the BSA Critical Care department staff cared for Gomez as she began recovering from her coma.
“The nurses in critical care were so good to me that night I woke up,” Gomez shared. “My body was in shock. They gave me a sponge bath and combed my hair. I’ll never forget their kindness.”
Gomez also worked with BSA physical therapists to help her body recover.
“I couldn’t pick anything up after I woke up,” Gomez said. “I couldn’t even hold a spoon or pick up a cup. The physical therapy ladies were so nice and helped me get out of bed and sit up. It’s crazy to think what can happen after five days in a coma.”
More than a year later, Gomez is adjusting to a healthier lifestyle.
“I’ve grasped it [diabetes] and am continuing to run with it,” Gomez shared. “I want to be around for my kids for a long time. I’ve now learned food isn’t everything, it is a source of energy. I’ve learned to eat right.”
Compassionate, patient-centered care goes a long way for a family, according to Gomez.
“God put me in the best hands,” Gomez said. “The staff at BSA never lost sight of me. My family and I are beyond grateful and we can’t thank them enough. They took good care of me and good care of my family, and I will always recommend them.”
For more information on diabetes, please come to one of our free diabetes education classes, held every Thursday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Large Conference Room of BSA Outpatient Therapy Services. Free lunch is provided.