It’s been about a year since I spent some time in the ICU with Diabetic ketoacidosis. I felt as though I was going to die. It was the sickest I had ever been. There wasn’t much pain, just the feeling that my body was rejecting me, oh and vomit everywhere. It was a very difficult time for me, I felt very alone and that the world was done with me. After a few days, I was stabilized and when I was conscious here and there it was nice to open my eyes for a bit and see my Mom and her friends visit me, Frankie and Doug visiting me, and Renny even came by. There may have been more, but I was really out of it. It was then that I knew who really cared. It’s about quality, not quantity right? The good that came out of it was diabetic education. They explained to me why I had to change my diet to include more protein and less simple carbs, how much to eat, and how often. They taught me what my blood glucose numbers meant and what to do with each number after I tested. I was taught that if I had a higher blood glucose level, to increase the amount of insulin I took, how much extra with a chart, how long it lasted in my body, how often I should re-test, and how to adapt as I go. Not one of my previous doctors or nurses had ever explained that to me. The thing that I took away from the experience that stuck with me the most was one of the two dietitians that helped me changed my diet said “You can either eat to make your friends and family happy for the next few years, or you could eat like you have diabetes and see your daughter graduate college.” Right then and there I became a full-fledged omnivore that ate to keep myself alive. I’ve had a good year, the best in a long time. I test my ketones about three times a week, and they have been in check. Only once did they show up as “Small” 15mg, and I knew what to do, I increased my insulin and super hydrated and they went back to negative. It’s been a year of adjustment to this new chapter in my life. I still feel like the world is done with me, and I’m just hanging around after the party ended, but I try to enjoy the good in life more, I try to enjoy just being, and I try to not focus on the negative. Until that point in my life, I had really cared what people thought of me, I don’t want to say I ran out of Fs, but in that hospital bed for almost a week, I had a preview of the end of my life. The only people that will be there for me are that handfull of people that showed up and really cared. I live for those people now, mostly my daughter. It’s a very lonely life, but it’s a better life. It was a rock bottom for me, I came back and worked hard to be able to afford my life, eat what I should, whenever I want, catch up financially, and give me and Renny a better life.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus. Signs and symptoms may include vomiting, abdominal pain, deep gasping breathing, increased urination, weakness, confusion, and occasionally loss of consciousness. A person’s breath may develop a specific smell. Onset of symptoms is usually rapid. In some cases people may not realize they previously had diabetes.Specialty:EndocrinologySymptoms:Vomiting, abdominal pain, deep gasping breathing, increased urination, confusion, a specific smellUsual onset:Relatively rapidCauses:Shortage of insulinRisk factors:Usually type 1 diabetes, less often other typesDiagnostic method:High blood sugar, low blood pH, ketoacidsDifferential diagnosis:Hyperosmolar nonketotic state, alcoholic ketoacidosis, uremia, salicylate toxicityTreatment:Intravenous fluids, insulin, potassiumFrequency:4–25% of people with type 1 diabetes per year