Sage and Sass

Sage and sassy wanderings of a curious mind.

Welcome Back…or it really is good to be alive. November 10, 2011


Well, it has been awhile. I missed you dear blog o’mine. For anyone who has loyally followed my blog, I apologize for the lapse. Been a rough road the last few months. It began with a move across town. This was a good move, into our own place. As you know if you have followed along, I am a type I diabetic. 25+ yrs now. What you may not know is this. Diabetes sucks. Well ok, so you may know that but did you know it can go all wonky even if you are under perfect control, eat right, exercise and test your glucose faithfully? I have struggled with this the entire time I have been diabetic. It is exhausting, truly. Full time job. And here is the kicker, you can still become life threateningly ill, even when you do it all right. That is why it is so hard to stay on top of it, you feel like you get nowhere. Like it is “all for nawt” as me English Usband says. So I have, as you can imagine being the sassy girl I am, not always taken good care of it.
That has not been the case in the last year or so. Been on the wagon so to speak. Doing it all, pricking my finger 5 times a day. Eating my fruits and veggies, counting my carbs. Programming all the info into my insulin pump like a good little girl. And what happens? I wake up one morning with DKA. Are you freaking kidding me???
For those of you who are unfamiliar with DKA, click on the red DKA above and it will take you to the link. This is what happened. Apparently I had an infection of some sort, possibly sinus. Ironically, the one other time I had DKA, when I was 6 months pregnant with my first child, I also had a sinus infection.  Things that make you go hmm.  I went to bed with a slightly elevated glucose of 161. I dosed accordingly on my pump and went to bed. Sometime during the night my cannula, the filament that stays inside your body to deliver the insulin, became kinked. Therefore, no insulin was being administered to my body. This is not good.
When I woke up it was to vomiting bile, urgent urination and loose stools. All at the same time. I was a little loopy and had trouble figuring out what was going on. I thought originally that maybe I had food poisoning as I am prone to that, especially living in Az. Then, the 3 lovely symptoms continued every 20 minutes so I really had no time to clear my head and focus. Not that I really could by that time. I was pretty gone, logically speaking, shortly after waking. I am really not sure how I made it to the bathroom for each bout of puking. But I did my bumbling best. I checked glucose several times. Changed the cannula and even tried an injection, all while clutching the trash can tightly. Glucose would not come down. It was too late. So by the time my girls got home from school I was just laying down, getting up, puking, laying back down. Just sort of on auto pilot. I remember thinking, “don’t puke on the floor, it will suck to have to clean that up”. Weird where you’re brain goes in a crisis.  And also weird how many colors bile comes in.  Who knew?
So, then the girls came home and my brain shifted to, “I am ok, can’t freak out the girls”. Well luckily I have trained them well in all matters diabetic. I managed to fool them for awhile, not that I wanted to fool them mind you, I just was incapable of thinking clearly. Survival instincts really boil down to a basic level when your body is in DKA. Another problem is that I maintain a “normal” appearance even when I am deathly ill or in this case functioning with a glucose level in the high 400’s. Everyone said I was speaking clearly and acting fine. I have no recollection of this. Fortunately, the girl’s figured it out and called my dad and husband. By the time they arrived I was just coherent enough to know I could not go in a car to the ER and paramedics were called. It was a good call and may have made a huge difference in the outcome. So I spent 3 days and 2 nights at the lovely (it really is) University Hospital while they brought me back down safely. I did have a relapse of the puking a few days after being released but it was just some fall out and edema left over that was taken care of by a day of IV fluids. The entire experience was excruciatingly painful. There are a entire days I do not remember and some I wish I could forget.
Here is what I do remember. A panic like no panic I have ever felt before. It sounds so cheesy to say but I really did almost die. My husband got rather testy with me when I tried to laugh that off. And here’s the truth, I felt it. I knew I was on the edge of not being around anymore and it scared the hell out of me. I am not a fearful person. So this came as quite a shock. The thing is, I was not afraid of dying. I will gladly walk on over when it is my time. I was afraid of what would happen if I were to die right then.
I know this is not so strange a concept but it really put me in a loop I am having trouble getting out of. I clearly remember a burning desire to beg my husband and father to make sure the girls stayed put and continued on their awesome lives without me. Luckily I never said those things out loud to them, I do not like to upset people by freaking out. But it was such a strong need.
It lit a fire under me arse to get things in order for sure but it also shook some things loose in me. The problem is I am not sure what they are, where they come from or how to deal with them. I don’t seem to be able to leave the house without an enormous amount of anxiety and tears. I am not, or I should say I never was, much of a crier. Suck it up and breathe is my personal motto. Thing is, I can’t. I am also extremely proactive, I am the fix it person. I can’t. I have tried. Why is this happening? I don’t know. Mulled it over, talked about it, prayed, meditated, screamed, taken it apart with the husband and looked under the hood. Nothing. A big fat nothing.  I have decided to take action in the form of counseling. Waiting for the referral as we speak.
So what’s the point of all this? I just want you to see the importance of being prepared. Don’t put off those seriously important things like living wills, directives, saying I love you, hugs even at awkward times. The importance of truly living.  Go on that trip you’ve always wanted to go on. Take that class. Play with your children, goof off with your friends, steal away with your honey. Do it, do it all. Do it now. You never know…you just never know.
BTW, I am so appreciative of my life and all that is in it. There are no words expressive enough. Thank you God for the extra time. I promise to use it wisely.

Slainte’
~Sam

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