Throughout the chapters we have seen Roxane’s accompanists continue to get more and more ill. We are unsure if he is showing such symptoms of illness because of the physiological effects of being in a hostage situation or if he really is getting sick. There is talk that he may possibly have the flu. However, he is in close proximity with about two hundred other hostages and no one else has shown such signs. Sadly, we finally learn in chapter three that he is diabetic. He was unable to manage his condition since he was out of insulin, which resulted with him slowly dying in the Vice President’s home. This medical condition sparked my interest for this week’s reflection.
Diabetes is a disease which affects over 380 million people in the world, 46.3 percent of these are not diagnosed and every seven seconds someone dies from diabetes. (1) Diabetes is when you blood glucose (sugar) levels are too high. Glucose is found in the foods we eat. Insulin is a hormone that help the glucose get into our cells. Glucose, among many other things, is what gives our cells energy and enables them to work properly.
Diabetics take insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Eating less than normal or exercising more/less the usual can lead to a low blood sugar. Since they are in a hostage situation the captives are unable to eat as they normally would. It is crucial for someone with diabetes to maintain a consistent meal schedule. The accompanist has to go too long without insulin and food, which slowly brings on worse and worse symptoms. Blood sugar is considered low when it drops below 70 mg and requires immediate treatment to return to a healthy state. (2)
Learning the symptoms of low blood sugar (LBS) helps us understand what the accompanist was feeling and can help to explain his actions through his final hours. Just some warning signs of LBS are blurry vision, unexplained fatigue, sudden nervousness, sudden mood changes, pale skin, shaking, sweating, trouble thinking clearly and loss of consciousness. (2) “The accompanist was a troubling moon shade of white and his eyes were rimmed in bloody red…He slipped to the floor in a crumpling faint.” After learning that the accompanist is diabetic it makes complete sense the way he was acting. General Alfredo said “ He is pretending to die” Father Arguedas however is familiar with the look of death since he “spent a great deal of time visiting the sick” tells the General “I don’t believe so. The pulse, the color of the skin…Some things one can’t pretend.” Some of us felt bad for him while others thought he was being a wimp. Seems to me he was really trying his best to make sure he stayed by Roxane’s side as long as he could.
Anyone of any age can be diagnosed with diabetes. It is crucial that you exercise to maintain a healthy weight and stick to a well balanced diet. Living a healthy lifestyle will help your body keep your glucose levels in check. It is really sad to learn that he died from such a maintainable disease and could have been kept alive for a while longer with a spoonful of sugar or honey. Learning the symptoms of diabetes really enlightens us on why the accompanist was acting in strange ways through the last two chapters it seems that someone out of two hundred people would have recognized this symptoms though especially since diabetes is such a well-known disease across the world.
Something that really stands out to me is that Roxane didn’t even know he was diabetic. This man has stood by her side, was in love with her and would have died for her yet, she didn’t even pay enough attention to know of a medical condition in which he took insulin a couple times a day. This really gives light to Roxane’s personality and how focused she in on herself and her life. Another question this brings to my mind is the terrorist we going to let him go. The accompanist was aware of his condition and knew that he was out of insulin so, why did he choose to stay inside? Why didn’t he tell someone he needed sugar or insulin? Was his long really that deep for Roxane? We finally see affection, emotion and thoughts from Roxane in this chapter. I hope we continue to see Roxane’s character develop from this tragedy happening and makes her open her eyes that she is not the only gift in this world.
1. “Diabetes: Facts and Figures.” International Diabetes Federation. 2014. Web. 14 Sept. 2015. <http://www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday/toolkit/gp/facts-figures>.
2. Nall, Rachel. “Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia).” Healthline. 21 Apr. 2014. Web. 14 Sept. 2015. <http://www.healthline.com/health/hypoglycemia#Overview1>.