Tag: DKA

Daily Thoughts Of a Person With Diabetes

Daily Thoughts Of a Person With Diabetes

My day to day life revolves around diabetes. As much as I like to tell myself that it doesn’t control my life, to a certain extent it does. I forget sometimes how often I think about my diabetes, from the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep it’s on my mind.

Here are some of my daily thoughts with diabetes:

Just waking up I check my blood sugar, it’s 163. Okay, how much insulin do I need to inject to bring it down slightly and to be able to eat breakfast?

Do I have enough insulin? How long until I run out? Am I due for a refill soon? How much will my insulin cost when I go to pick it up? Will I be able to afford this?

My CGM (continuous glucose monitor) is beeping a low alarm. How low is it? What should I eat or drink? How much should I eat or drink to bring it back up to a safe number?

I want to go out to lunch this afternoon. How many test strips should I bring? Do I have enough insulin in my insulin pump or should I change it prior? What if my blood sugar drops too low or goes high? Do I have enough snacks? Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.

I’m eating dinner. How will this meal affect my blood sugar? Did I bolus? Will the insulin I gave myself prior be sufficient enough? What if I miscalculated? Will I need to correct?

Credit: Type 1 Diabetes Memes

I’m out of the house. My blood is low and I’m not feeling well. Do I tell everyone around me? Where can I sit down and take care of my diabetes? Why are people staring at me?

My blood sugar is high. Why is it high? I did everything that I normally do but my blood sugar won’t come down. Why do I feel so sick? Should I test my ketones? Should I go to the ER? Could it be DKA? Why is diabetes so frustrating?

Just put a new insulin pump site on. Is it on correctly? Why is my blood sugar rising? Could the cannula be bent? Should I take it off and put on a new one? I would hate to have to waste a site if it’s fine.

It’s midnight and my blood sugar is low. What should I eat? How long before my sugar rises? I hope it comes up soon because I’m tired. What if it doesn’t rise and I fall back asleep?

I’m working out and my blood sugar is dropping. Should I stop my workout? Should I eat something and continue working out? Should I disable my insulin pump?

My blood sugar trends have been wacky lately. Should I change my basal rates? What if I’m just combating hormones or sickness? Should I bolus more for my meals? What adjustment is needed without going too high or low throughout the day?

Packing for a trip. How much insulin should I bring? How will I keep my insulin refrigerated? How many infusion sites, sensors, lancets, and test strips should I pack?

Diabetes is demanding and it requires constant attention.

Trying to mimic a pancreas is no easy feat. Everyday I make choices for my health, and those choices have a huge impact on my life. Going over my daily thoughts I have just proves how much work I put into my diabetes, and my life everyday.


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WHAT A HIGH BLOOD SUGAR FEELS LIKE

What a High Blood Sugar Feels Like

What a High Blood Sugar Feels Like

Photo Credit: Xavier Sotomayor


The high blood sugars are what gets me. A high blood sugar is a blood glucose above 140 mg/dL. For me, the symptoms I experience with severe hyperglycemia don’t emerge until well over 250-300 mg/dL.  The lows, while urgent and intensely serious are felt differently. I don’t like to compare the two evils but the highs can be just as debilitating and it leaves me feeling depleted.

It’s so hard to describe this pain that can’t be seen. I look fine on the outside but inside my body is fighting for energy and I’m suffering from the adverse effects.

In these moments all I want to do is cry but I have no tears. I can’t quench my thirst no matter how much water I drink. My whole body aches and I’m staring at the clock waiting for the insulin I’ve given myself to be absorbed; giving my body the relief and nourishment that I desperately need.

When my blood sugar is high I despise diabetes the most. When it’s high the minutes and possibly hours it takes for my blood sugar to come down is agonizing. I sit uncomfortably, restless, back and forth to the bathroom checking for ketones and blaming myself. When I know that with diabetes anything is possible. It’s absolutely torturous for anyone to have to go through this.

My heads pounding, I’m irritable and utterly exhausted. I feel like I’m being crushed by tons of weight. It feels like syrup is running through my veins. I can’t move. I can’t think. I can’t function properly. I feel useless. These are the moments that I beg and plead to just get back to where I was before the high blood sugar. I become grateful for the bad days that weren’t as bad as this.

The high blood sugar could have been caused by a pump malfunction, hormones, stress, illness, wrong dosage, or any number of different things. The fact that things I can’t control can cause this is startling and frustrating. All I can do is try my hardest and hope for the best. But sometimes my best doesn’t cut it.

Once my blood sugar does start to lower I feel like I’m taking in a breath of fresh air. There really isn’t a better feeling than knowing I’m going to feel better soon. That these symptoms are going to diminish and I’ll start to feel myself again. My mood starts to shift and the brain fog slowly goes away. The exhaustion lingers for the rest of the day, but thankfully I’m much better.

I feel conquering despite my defeats because even at my weakest points I still fight these unfathomable challenges. These battles are never seen nor felt by anyone besides those who battle diabetes. One that I’ll have to fight more than once.


DKA is a serious life-threatening medical condition caused by high glucose levels. This blog content is not medical advice. If you have questions concerning your health please seek attention from a medical professional. 


 

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We Are Not Letting Diabetes Win Anymore

We Are Not Letting Diabetes Win Anymore

We Are Not Letting Diabetes Win Anymore

By: Jodi Otis

10 years ago our lives were forever changed when my then 6-year-old son, Bailey, was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic. I will never forget the day his beautiful brown eyes looked at me as he uttered the words….”Mom, am I going to die?

I swear my heart stopped for that moment in time. I saw his life flash before me in just a matter of seconds. The tears softly rolled down my cheeks as I promised him he was going to be OK, that no matter what, he was going to feel better soon.

Before we knew it we were off to Children’s Hospital where his blood sugar was almost 800 and he had large ketones but was not in DKA. We spent the night and as many T1D parents do—you admire them as they sleep. As I sat in the darkness and silence the tears fell like rain.

And I prayed—I prayed for him to find peace and the strength to handle this. He was six, 6. He should be worrying about if he was going to jump in mud puddles or ride his bike not what his blood sugar is. I knew we had a long road ahead of us.

The next two days we had training so we could take our child home with us and be experts in diabetes. I should have known he would have had the most amazing courage, he took the poker and meter from the nurse and tested his sugar all by himself. He really has no fear of anything!

4 years later, when he was just 10, his 14-year-old sister, Bree, wasn’t feeling well and he could see the telltale signs and he told her to take his meter and check her sugar and if my heart did not stop again….her blood sugar was almost 300.

I couldn’t help but feel anger—not towards her but for her. Anger that she will have to struggle for the rest of her life after seeing him go into DKA twice and be hospitalized. After seeing him have high blood sugars and low blood sugars and feel awful. After seeing him get sick with the slightest cold or virus sometimes. Seeing him have to adjust….EVERY…SINGLE… THING…HE…DOES….TO ….SURVIVE.

I knew she would have a hard time, she is such a picky eater and not a good sleeper, meaning she can sleep for 12 hours at a time, crazy teenagers! She went through a period of depression and I felt her slipping through my fingers and she used her diabetes as a weapon.

I was heartbroken and angry for so long, I felt like diabetes had won, it had taken over my family and my life. Until we decided that we are not just surviving anymore. We are not going to let diabetes win anymore. She had to find the courage to come out on the other side of depression, not an easy thing to do.

Bree has an amazing spirit. Her smile lights up the world. Bailey has the strength of a million men. His courage is far beyond words. Both Bree and Bailey have raced Motocross for several years. It is mentally and physically demanding. Diabetes could have robbed them from a sport they love but they never gave in or gave up. They are my heroes, they are my true warriors. We choose how we live each day, you, me, we choose. Not the disease.

Every day that we fight, we win.


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How's God's Plan Helped Save My Daughter From Going Into DKA

How God’s Plan For Me Helped Save My Daughter From Going Into DKA

How God’s Plan For Me Helped Save My Daughter From Going Into DKA

By: Jamie Smith


Most stories of diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes begin with a critically ill child and a diagnosis of DKA. Not my little girl, Mia. But to properly tell the story, I must take you back to 2001.

Long before she was ever even dreamed of. My son was born premature and his life was saved by Karen, a critical care transport nurse. Like most parents, I made deal after deal with God in exchange for my son’s life. I watched him fight while on a ventilator and heard God tell me to become a nurse. I listened.

I decided that I wanted to give back in honor of Karen and to honor the deal God had made with me. Fast forward 11 years, I was working as a critical care transport nurse. My daughter had just turned 2 years old. I noticed that she seemed to always want her sippy cup. Then she began waking up in the mornings completely soaked with urine. Her diaper would be full, pajamas soaked, crib soaked. I tried decreasing her fluids in the evening, but she was so thirsty.

How God's Plan For Me Helped Save My Daughter From Going Into DKA

Early one morning, about a week after these symptoms had begun, I was getting ready to leave for a 24hr shift on the critical care ambulance when my nurse brain finally clicked: check her sugar. I happened to have a glucometer at home, so I checked her – she was 203. Hmmm… So I called my endocrinologist (I had Graves’ disease at the time) and told him what was going on with Mia. He reassured me, said it wasn’t high enough to be diagnostic, she could just have an ear infection and to check her again the next morning when I got home from work.

The next morning, I rushed home and Mia was still sleeping. Good, I thought, this will be a fasting blood sugar and it’ll tell me more. She was 436. I packed her bag, packed my bag, and we headed to our local ER. I called the transport company to give them a heads up about Mia’s inevitable transfer to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, I called the ER and let them know we were coming. I hadn’t even changed out of my uniform. I held my listless daughter on my lap and watched as they stuck an IV; she never even so much as whimpered. Her sugar came back at 462, but she was not acidotic.

In the meantime, the critical care transport company I worked for had been called on another run. Nationwide Children’s said they could send their critical care truck, but it would likely be 5-6 hours. The endocrinologist from Children’s asked the ER doc if he thought I’d be willing to ride in a regular medic truck as the nurse thus making it a critical care truck. He said yes, absolutely she will (I forgot to mention that I used to work as a nurse in this ER and knew the staff very well.)

So that’s what I did. It came full circle. The deal I had made with God about giving back and becoming a nurse had helped to keep my daughter from becoming critically ill with DKA. The endocrinologist at Nationwide Children’s gave me a hug and told me if I wouldn’t have caught it when I did, she would’ve been in DKA within the next 24 hours.

How God's Plan For Me Helped Save My Daughter From Going Into DKA

My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 2 years old. Today, she is an extremely smart kindergartener who is in the accelerated reader program. She wears an Omnipod and a Dexcom. She doesn’t let it slow her down and she has even made a YouTube video teaching others how to check their blood sugar. Her best friend is another little Type 1, Mady. She is an inspiration to so many and is loved by everyone who meets her.

Know The Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes, It Could Save a Life:



 

Overcoming An Eating Disorder With Diabetes

Overcoming An Eating Disorder With Diabetes

Overcoming An Eating Disorder With Diabetes

With being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes since the age of 12, I never anticipated all the hurdles that I would have to overcome over the years including overcoming an eating disorder with diabetes. Nor did I ever anticipate having diabetes at all—but here I am.

Throughout my teen years, I battled with my weight. Whether it be due to hormones or my diabetes—it was painful for me to look in the mirror. A lot of my anger and denial towards this disease was because I didn’t know how to accept it. Many of my peers didn’t have to face this reality—so why did I have to?

Many of negative feelings towards this disease led into depression, poor eating habits and lack of exercise. I was often picked on in school for my weight. I separated myself from people to avoid being judged or misunderstood. It was hard growing up with a life threatening disease and coping with everything else going on in my life.

When I reached the age of 19, I suffered a short period of time with an eating disorder called diabulimia. This is where I restricted my amount of insulin in order to lose weight.  What I find so devastating about this disorder is that I was fully aware of the severity and consequences involved. Being that I require insulin to survive and for my body to flourish, I was essentially depriving my body of energy which could have led to death.

It wasn’t long before I broke the vicious cycle I was on. I couldn’t bare how I was feeling and what I was doing to my body. In my mind, I couldn’t justify the benefits over the risks anymore. A lot of what woke me up to the reality and what could happen to my body was a diabetic man named John (who I met). John was a 60-year-old man who suffered many complications after not taking care of himself over the years.

In the process of overcoming an eating disorder with diabetes , I started making major changes in my life. I started exercising exclusively. I also started watching what I eat. The more I started taking care of myself and my body on the outside, the better I felt on the inside. I still battle with my weight every day, but now that I’m on a good routine and regimen, it’s made my diabetes and other factors easier to cope with. A lot of what I’ve battled within this disease is mental, and that’s my biggest hurdle yet.

I’m wanting to bring attention to this important issue because it’s a problem I dealt with and needs more awareness. Type 1 Diabetics (woman and young females especially) are highly more susceptible to eating disorders—such as diabulimia. Having to constantly monitor blood sugar levels, diet, exercise, and manage weight can be detrimental on one’s self-esteem. The treatment and recovery can go far beyond just the diabetic themselves. It’s important to seek treatment and support from a physician and other reliable resources.


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My Encounter With Diabetic Ketoacidosis

 

The Truth Behind My Encounter With Diabetic Ketoacidosis:

A day like any other, can turn into a day you’ll never forget)

With diabetes comes the good and the bad. When it’s good, it can be REALLY good. But when it’s bad…it can be life-threatening.

I’ve certainly had my share of bad days. Trying to battle the high and the lows, and trying to stay as close to normal without losing my sanity.

With having diabetes I’ve experienced many symptoms. But one day came symptoms like no other…

chills – nausea – vomiting – back pain – weakness – blurred vision

… and lots of ketones

I had DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis)

This was years ago, after a night of drinking with friends. Wanting to live a free, independent young adult life. Knowing, yet not knowing how destructive being the slightest bit careless could affect my diabetes.

I just felt terrible. To the point where I questioned where to take insulin or not. I thought to myself … Well I don’t really plan on eating today, and I don’t want to worry about dropping “low”. I thought I was saving myself from having to fix my blood sugar.

So I missed my morning dose…

(Boy, was that a mistake – NEVER – would I do this again)

I didn’t know at the time that insulin is needed (with or without food) Even on sick days! Without insulin in my body, my body couldn’t receive the energy to function properly.

I kept close eyes on my blood sugar for a few hours that day, which was only in the mid 200’s. I thought that due to the fact I wasn’t eating, my blood sugar would come down eventually anyways.

But the symptoms progressed. I couldn’t keep anything down … not even water. To be honest, DKA never came to mind. I’ve always taken my insulin. The only other time was when I was diagnosed, and was most recently been keeping my blood sugars in better control. I finally got to the point where I knew I had to go to the emergency room. I knew something was off. I’ve never felt this sick in my entire life.

Upon getting there, the doctors ran several tests. My boyfriend met me there, very frantic and confused about what was going on. The test came back that confirmed that I had Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), which showed that the chemistry in my body was thrown off and very toxic.

I’ve never been admitted for DKA before. So I didn’t know what to expect. I was sent up to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). This was serious. I was told that I was lucky I caught it early on.

This comes as such a surprise, because I had tighter control over my blood sugars and diabetes than years previous. At this time, I was averaging an A1C of a 6.5-7. This just goes to show you how quickly things can turn sour with diabetes. You’re never “out of the woods” with diabetes. Each day is different from the last.

Diabetes is so unpredictable, demanding, and can be life-threatening. 

Upon being placed in the ICU, I received an IV and was on an insulin drip. My body was so weak, I needed help when using the restroom. Diabetic Ketoacidosis completely disabled my bodily functions.

While I could have avoided this, and have made better decisions. I did learn from this experience. I learned how I could prevent this from happening in the future. Knowing my limits and being more cautious.

It’s unfortunate that I had to learn the hard way. I had to be reminded of the severity of this disease. While I can still live a normal life, there’s sacrifices to be made, and health to be put first.

Like they say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger“. I’m just glad I’m here to share my insight and experience.

Diabetes tests your will power and your ability to rise above it all. I’ve learned that diabetes doesn’t take sick days. Diabetes doesn’t care about your plans, how your feeling, or what you’d rather be doing. It’s always going to be there, morning and night.

I am thankful and appreciative for St. Joseph’s Hospital, for donating and covering my hospital stay when I had no insurance. For that hospital, those doctors, and nurses helped me recover and return to full functioning health.

The truth is…while diabetes has opened my eyes to a world full of challenges…it’s made me the strong person I am today. So for that I’m grateful.


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