Scary Sick Day!

Well, I had me a scary sick day today.

I woke up for work and as I started getting ready I felt a little off. It wasn’t my blood sugar, because I checked that first thing after waking up.

I went and laid back down for a bit, asked my wife to drive our son to school, then called my boss to let her know I was going to be a bit late. Thinking that I would just rest for a bit, then would be back in action.

I also thought I should probably have something to eat, maybe I just needed to get something in my system. I had breakfast, bolused for it, and shortly after my wife & kids left for work it all came back up.

I proceeded to toss about every 30 minutes or so. Like clockwork. I couldn’t keep anything down.

germ-41369_640Just a little touch of the stomach flu or something like that. What made it scary was that my breakfast bolus was steadily lowering my blood sugar, and I had lost all the food I had eaten.

Ack! What to do?!

I got sincerely scared at this point. I couldn’t keep anything down, but desperately needed to get some glucose in my system. And I was home alone. I tried sucking on a glucose tablet, some vague memory that glucose is able to be absorbed right through the cheek membrane. For the record, it made me want to ralph, and after about a half hour I spit the damn thing back out and don’t think any of it made it’s way into my system.

Do I call my wife and ask her to come home? Do I call her and have her get me to the hospital?

And through all of this I was feeling so completely miserable that the idea of a car/ambulance ride anywhere made me want to puke some more. I just wanted to sleep, more than anything in the world I just wanted to rest.

I started a temp rate for 6 hours at 0% – effectively turning the pump off. I still had 10 units on board from breakfast and my BG was at 88. I figured if I could just get ahead of the curve a bit that I would be Ok.

Well, as Ok as I could be laying around puking my guts out that is.

Figuring that within an hour or so my 0% temp rate will start raising my blood sugar, eating up some of that IOB (Insulin On Board), and if I could get some sprite in there to help be bridge the gap that I would probably be Ok.

You know how after you throw up, you actually feel better for a little bit? Well I took those opportunities to get some sugar sprite in my system. Over the next three or four hours I managed to get down about 16 ounces. Little bits of that coming back up with the next episode.

After a while I was able to sleep through the rough spots and stop vomiting, finally getting some badly needed rest. When I woke up later, I tested 165. I was actually very proud of myself for pulling through that situation and landing at 165. It was a major accomplishment.

But I must say, that it was one of the first times in a long time that I felt really and truly scared, and was afraid that I would not be able to pull through it without some help. The help being the frickin’ ambulance or something like that, which we all like to avoid at nearly all costs.

I’m also a bit ashamed to admit that I did not call my wife, or anyone else. I really really should have at least let her know what was going on. She knew I was not feeling good, but did not know about the potentially disastrous low blood sugar that might have happened. And as I think about it, it was no real good reason for not calling. It was mostly just not wanting to get up to get to the phone, not wanting to scare her, and (do you believe this) not wanting to inconvenience anyone. How ridiculous of me, and very dangerous. Do NOT follow this example if the situation should ever happen to you.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, and advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer.

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…