I'm a bit scared this evening...

alicatjoy

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I feel like I shouldn't be posting. I've been around, but not as active as of late. I went full-time at my job and that has kept me very busy. But, as many of you know, I am still struggling with health issues -- most currently, it has been my diabetes (Type II diagnosed earlier this year). And, I'll be honest when I say I am a bit scared this evening...

About 3 weeks ago, I developed a widespread rash all over my body. It was terrible -- raised, bright red, itchy. After 14 days, it was biopsied and diagnosed as a severe outbreak of eczema. It's gone now, but it left me with more than itchy skin before it was through. Early on, I was given an injected steroid to help ease the itching and burning. The med was Solumedrol. I had been on the fence about taking a steroid (after all, they have a tendency to raise blood glucose levels). Well, the doctor talked me into it and within 12 hours I was in the hospital's emergency room. And, in 14 hours, in the ICU being treated for diabetic ketoacidosis. It was, by far, the most frightening thing I've ever dealt with medically. But, the hospital staff was wonderful and I received excellent treatment. And, in 48 hours, I was back home and maintaining normal(ish) blood sugar levels.

Well, fast forward to this week. Since Wednesday, I've felt a little off. Maybe a bit dehydrated (despite drinking fluids), a little nauseated, and tired. I thought I was just stressed and over tired. But, yesterday was worse and I vomited once. I felt a bit more tired and a little achy and sore. No biggie -- I'm on my feet all the time and have been putting in long hours at work. Today, I woke up feeling shaky. And, I had a terrible headache this morning. I ate breakfast at work, drank lots of fluids, but then dealt with some GI issues this afternoon. And, when I got home from work, I ate dinner and crashed on the sofa. I've been nauseous, tired, shaky, hot/cold, and achy. I have a steady mild headache and I just don't feel like myself. Well, I check my blood sugar levels regularly and am high, but not dramatically so. I'm sitting at about 240. And, that is down from 257 an hour or so ago. However, since I also test my urine ketones, I've discovered that I am spilling ketones into my urine. I've been testing since Wednesday and am always negative. I've always been negative aside from my own experience with ketoacidosis (the episode above). I started at a trace level around midnight and am now at a small amount. It's a stick test and the levels are as follows: negative, trace, small, moderate, large. It's a shock since I am always negative. But, at the same time, I'm not critical...or, at least I don't think so.

I have called my doctor's office and spoken with the nurse on call. They said I could wait 4 hours or so and go from there. If it's diabetic ketoacidosis, I won't improve and will only decline. If it's a virus or infection, well, I think I should stay steady. I don't feel bad, but I still don't feel good. And, I'm afraid. The ICU is a scary place and one I don't want to frequent. And, past experiences have left me jaded where medicine and doctors are concerned -- I've been made to feel as though I was exaggerating or making my symptoms up way too many times. It's true I have a lot of health issues, but they're documented. And, I certainly don't want to be hospitalized or taking loads of medications! But, they see one thing and pass judgement. Not all doctors, but far too many. I'm rambling now...

So, the plan is that I wait and see. I am okay right now. I know when to go to the ER if need be. I'm hoping this will just pass over. But, my prior experience with diabetic ketoacidosis has me pretty scared. Type II's aren't supposed to be as prone to DKA. And, there are no steroids in my system to explain away the diagnosis this time. I take all of my meds and eat healthily, exercise, and the like. Why is it so hard sometimes? I'm sorry to be complaining and I don't mean to whine...I am just a bit overwhelmed and needed to share. Thank you all for being here to listen.
 

ruthyb

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Oh hun,I am so sorry seems like you have really had it tough lately. You must go to ER if you aren't right,everyone will just want you to be well.Thinking of you and keep us posted on how you are doing.I hope you don't end up in the ER but like I say keep yourself well.xx
 

speakhandsforme

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Oh, I'm so sorry about you being sick. Please know that I'm keeping you in my thoughts. :vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes:

I don't have it myself, but I know diabetes is just SO hard to deal with, especially when you're first diagnosed. I had a friend who was diagnosed with Type I in high school, and she was just a mess for the first year -- up, down, in and out of the hospital, ketones like crazy. I know you probably aren't a teenager, but her general adolescent defiance and frustration at getting a chronic illness so young just made it worse; she would not care about her insulin or sugar levels and just get worse and worse.

I would say if you continue to spill ketones, or your symptoms just get unbearable, definitely go to the ER -- but to me, your symptoms are more reminiscent of the flu (which is also awful, don't get me wrong!) than DKA. Have you had the deep gasping breathing at all?

Dealing with the flu is NOT something anyone likes to do, especially someone who already has diabetes (and eczema). But, to me, it's a lesser evil than DKA.

Once again, so sorry you're going through this!!
 

feralvr

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AW Hun :hugs::hugs: I am SO sorry you are not doing well.... Please don't mess around - go to the ER if you are feeling this way. Just loads and loads of :hugs: and :vibes: coming your way. Let us know how you are doing, OK..... :vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes:
 

going nova

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I hope you do not have ketoacidosis, and I hope you feel better soon.
 

nurseangel

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I just read your post.  I wish there was something I could do to help.  I hope you feel better soon and please keep us updated on how you are doing. 
 

libby74

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Alison, sweetie, how are you today? 

My first thought was "it sounds like the flu", also, but I don't know why that would affect your urine so strongly.  My DH also has type II diabetes, and I've noticed when he 'gets' something, he gets it hard.  I never thought I'd tell anyone "I hope it's just the flu", but that's what I hope is going on with you.

Feel better, and please, if you need to get to the ER. 

Sending loads and loads of 'get-well-soon' vibes your way
 

nebula

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You didn't mention fever or not. Influenza generally comes with a fever.

Not to be alarming, but it does sound like DKA to me (Licensed Paramedic), and you should get it checked out ASAP.

It *SOUNDS LIKE* a textbook case of DKA-- BUT-- I'm not a doctor and can't examine you.

As to why it is so bad despite proper diet exercise etc, I am afraid that is the nature of the beast. It rears its ugly head at times despite all attempts to eat right etc.

And you know white bread and alcohol turn into sugar and are huge nono's for diabetics, right?

Regardless, I hope you feel better soon... Keep us posted
 
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alicatjoy

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Thank you everyone for your support...

As it turns out, I did go into diabetic ketoacidosis. I wound up going to the emergency room early Saturday morning. My blood sugar topped off at about 515 (which was far less than what I had experienced the first time I went into DKA), but my body was very acidic. I wound up being placed in the ICU for 36 hours and then discharged home late on Sunday. Needless to say, I was very sick. Thankfully, however, I did seek treatment when I did -- had I waited much longer, the outcome may have been bleak.

In the ICU, they gave me fluids and put me on an insulin drip. My blood sugar did come down nicely, but my electrolytes  went haywire. I was having my blood sugar tested every hour and labs taken every other hour. I had to have potassium via IV along with anti-emetic medication and something for pain. I wasn't allowed anything by mouth for the first 24 hours and then was allowed liquids only. They discharged me on liquids only and yesterday was my first day back eating solid food. So far, my blood sugar has held up and I am not having any issues. But, I'm still weak, shaky, and exhausted. And, judging from my past experience, those symptoms may stick around for a couple of days.

Something interesting that happened is that the doctors do not think I'm a true type II diabetic. They feel I'm likely a late onset type I. I understand the differences between the two, but it is confusing to think one thing and then be treated differently. More testing will be in the works, I suppose. 

I took today off from work, but I do have to be at a meeting for my job this evening. And, then, tomorrow, will be my first day back. I am not sure that I feel ready, but I'm doing better every day. Thankfully, tomorrow is a short day (only 7 hours). I'll be able to come home and rest after work and then build up my stamina for the long week and weekend ahead.

Having diabetes has really changed my life...a lot. There are so many things that I took for granted before. I know that diabetes is not a death sentence and that there is effective treatment available. However, the fact that something such as diabetic ketoacidosis can come on so quickly and without warning is frightening at best. I follow my doctor's orders, I take all of my medication and insulin, I follow a meal plan...I do what is asked and expected of me. So, why then do I continue to have life threatening complications? This disease is frustrating and conniving. I will continue to do all that I can to ensure my well-being, but it is not an easy road. Thankfully, I have support. And, I just wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate your kindness and well wishes. Thank you.
 

libby74

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Alison, thank heaven you went to the ER!

I don't know how to explain the diabetes complications when you're followig the game plan (meds, diet, exercise, etc).  All I can say is this: diabetes works differently in everyone.  You'll discover just the right mix for you and, now the dr. has said you may actually be type 1, I have a feeling it's going to be hit or miss until you come up with exactly the right course of action for  you.

I'm just so glad you got this taken care of; sending many vibes that this is the last time, and that you're feeling better soon.
 

jennyr

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What a terrible timne you have been through. Here are masses of vibes that it all stabilises itself very soon.
 
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