my panic was suspended. home-treat. no hospital.
–> lungs, you may inflate.
last friday, after of a string of not-so-thought-through decisions and indecisions, i became a ketonic-mega-monster. that’s a thing, right?
the highly unfortunate sequence of events:
i had a beer the evening before around 11pm, after an intense two hours of dodgeball (one game of which left me the closer. aka. last woman standing – it rocked). i hadn’t eaten dinner because the sport is very physical and well, i didn’t want to introduce all my teammates to my prior food choices.
i didn’t drive home because one beer usually knocks me out, and on an empty stomach, especially so. my hunky boyfriend jesse drove me and right when i burst through the door like the champion i felt i was, i ran to the shower, suspended and disconnected my pump and jumped in.
after getting so fresh and so clean clean, i reconnected my pump, checked my bg (189) and went to sleep.
did you catch where i went wrong?
i didn’t catch it.
i didn’t catch it until after noon the next day.
i decided on sleeping in because it was friday and my day off. i had a busy week and deserved the leisure morning! i didn’t notice how melty i was. even when my hunky boyfriend got out of bed i stayed because i didn’t feel ready. i just laid there. 9 , 10, 11am.
when i finally got out of bed, i was queasy. but considering the past two weeks i had been waking up a little nautious anyway, i didn’t take notice. plus, i could smell bacon being cooked downstairs. it would be fair to say my mind was almost entirely focused on the prospect of food.
this is where i went wrong for the second time, did you catch it?
i hobbled down stairs in a fog, which i wasn’t chemically equipped to notice, and slumped on the couch.
i ate half of the bacon egg sandwich my hunky boyfriend made me and couldn’t eat the rest. THIS NEVER HAPPENS TO ME. i always eat everything he cooks me. it even had cheese on it!
i still didn’t even connect the dots after placing my unfinished food on the side table.
it was around noon as i fell asleep on the couch. i woke up about ten minutes later feeling like death. i couldn’t even communicate.
i just laid there and moaned until i couldn’t moan anymore and then fell back asleep.
this cycle of outcries and sleep probably happened five or six times over about a half hour period.
i hope that right now you are thinking, what the hell was your hunky boyfriend thinking?
here’s the thing. 1. i am verbally expressive. all the time. i sigh when i’m sad and breathe heavily when i’m overwhelmed. i don’t cry out loud, but i have wailed my frustration tearlessly a number of times. what i mean is that he is used to it.
and B. i haven’t had high ketones in the entire time we have been together (5 years). Not only has he not been around it before, but I honestly didn’t even remember what it felt like to go through. I haven’t had them like this since high school.
so: he didn’t notice and i was too foggy to care. and just so i’m clear, at this point in the story, i still don’t know that i have ketones.
after the fifth or sixth moaning cycle, i came to a little bit and realized that i was actually going to introduce my breakfast to my toilet.
i lurched from the couch and the pain of ketones really kicked in. every single muscle in my body was contracted and tight. it was like i had been given flu shots in every square inch of my back and sides and butt and legs and feet and hands. i was tense and tender and all of that mounting sensation gave me goosebumbs everywhere.
after i actually started throwing up, my hunky boyfriend came running and asked if i was okay.
here is my first lightbulb: oh shit, i haven’t checked my bg this morning.
i cried at him for my meter. he ran up the stairs to get it. i checked.
i reach down to my pump to correct.
SHEER BEWHILDERMENT: my second, terrifying, panic-ensuing lightbulb:
my pump was still suspended. from the night before.
it had been over 12 hours. no insulin.
i freaked out. i wailed. i kicked i cried.
my first thought post initial shock. ketones.
jesse nearly sprinted to the nearby walgreens for ketone strips while i continued to stubornluy give my guts to the golden throne.
after i lost literally all of my insides to the inside of the toilet (ew, i know) i checked my ketones and surprise surprise large large ketones present.
i used the urine strip to test and i will never forget how quickly that stick went black.
i started to panic because i felt like i had to go to the hospital
melissa lee answered the call like batman and told me she could chat.
THAT WOMAN is AMAZING! if you don’t know her, introduce yourself.
she walked me off the plank and calmed me down and said the best thing i could have ever heard in that moment: “you may be able to home treat”
i guess it is time for a disclaimer. i am not a medical professional. what worked for me may not work for you and whatever i say from this point on is not medical advice. the same goes for melissa. she did not give me medical advice, nor is this post representative of her giving you medical advice. bases covered, right?
and so it goes, she was cool calm and collected and described options and ways to make my own discussion based on the information i could collect from my body.
liquids. if i could keep down liquids, i could probably home-treat.
rage bolusing. i needed to take a larger amount of insulin than to just bring my bg down to base because insulin breaks the ketones too.
food. i needed to eat to keep up with the insulin i was taking. this part was really contradictory to what i have lived by for so long, it was hard to understand.
i learned more in that 16 minute phone call that i have in the last 5 years with diabetes.
melissa then told me a story about a time she had high ketones and how she surprised the ER docs by walking in declaring what she needed in an empowered way. she knew what was wrong and she knew what treatment she needed. and that was that.
what a fantastic thing to share with a young woman, feeling controlled by ketones, crouched over on her bathroom floor, just hoping for someone to say ‘i’m sorry this sucks’.
it took about 10 hours, but i recovered. i home treated.
melissa checked in with me several times that day and i really can’t thank her enough.
melissa, people like you are the reason why the DOC is such an amazing and supportive place.
i am sorry i didn’t ask you how your day was or make sure you had time to talk with me. i wish i could’ve been more thoughtful. you’re understanding and willingness to lend time to help is something i will always be touched by. i will do everything i can to emulate your kindness. i will pay it forward.
so that is my horror story with a good side.
diabetes can suck. ketones definitely always suck.
but if putting up with the suckfest that is diabetes means i get to learn about the kindness and resilience of the human condition as i have in the last 11 years, , i’d do it time and time again.
move onward, my friend, onward.