Diabetes Blog Week- Day 3

Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.

So for today’s topic I feel a little limited in what to write about. It seems other bloggers have had tons of experiences with diabetes and can draw upon many memories, good and bad, to write about. I only have less then a months worth of experiences to conjure up, opposed to years worth like many bloggers. It feels like almost every day creates a new memory for me. Take last week for example: 4 days last week I got less than 3 hours of sleep per night because my blood sugar kept dropping below 55 and my Dexcom sensor kept beeping at me (I felt fine even at 50, but not fun). So I had to change my Lantus dosing and have caught back up on sleep. And today, I ate the same things and took the same amount of insulin as previous days that I had consistent blood sugar readings, in the 80-90 range, but today I somehow dropped into the 50’s and couldn’t even begin to guess why. So everyday is a new memory and learning experience. But to write about my fondest memory, I will recap my story for everyone who does or does not know it.

I was diagnosed with type one diabetes on April 22, 2013. About 3 weeks leading up to my diagnosis and subsequent hospital stay, I began to get sicker and sicker. I lost about 50 pounds in 2 months, I got fatigued to the point of having to lie down/nap after walking up the stairs, I got dehydrated, I could never retain any liquid and I urinated all the time. I did not know this at the time but these are symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) and this is what put me in the hospital for a night. But the scarey thing is that I was going on with everyday life despite being as sick as I was. I was driving myself around, going to class, going to work, and I even went to the gun range and shot shotguns with my brother (yikes!). But luckily nothing bad came from the guns or the driving.

After several weeks, my weight loss never ceased, I never started feeling better, so it became time to go to the doctor. I met with the family doctor and he took my blood and made me pee in a cup, and just by my urine gave me a 98% chance I was diabetic due to the quantity of blood sugar in my urine. Just to be sure, he gave me prescriptions to fill for insulin and told me how much to take, then sent me home till the blood test results came back the next day.

He called me 3 hours before our appointment the following day to tell me to come in and see him. He tells me what I already have figured out: I have type one diabetes. He also tells me if he could have done something differently he would have put me in the hospital the previous day because the blood tests show just how sick I actually was. So here began my night of no sleep, IVs, blood being drawn every 2 hours, and blood sugar tests every hour at the hospital. The main reasons I was put into the hospital was for the DKA, dehydration, and low (bordering no) potassium. Something about DKA depletes and doesn’t allow you to absorb any more potassium. The worst part of the whole hospital stay were 10 IV bags of potassium, which do not feel good at all being pumped into your veins. The potassium must be thicker then the other IV fluid because it hurt. It felt like something was so cold in your veins that it burned. I hope no one has to experience this, it is not fun at all.

So that is my fondest diabetes related memory, and probably always will be. It’s the day my life changed forever. But hopefully in the years to come, I can accumulate many more good memories then bad ones, especially related to diabetes.


Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Hyperglycemia

Being a diabetic, it is common knowledge that having high blood sugar is not a good thing to have. Not only will you feel bad but your A1C results will not be satisfactory. Hyperglycemia is the technical term used for periods of high blood sugar.

Treated with regular doses of Insulin and a controlled regiment of carbohydrates, hyperglycemia can be very manageable. However if hyperglycemia is uncontrolled for long periods of time (several days-weeks), you will begin to have ketones and acid in your blood stream and begin to show signs of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA).  And unfortunately you will more then likely have to spend some time in the hospital, like I had to when I developed DKA (not fun).

Some of the DKA symptoms that I had and for you to be on the look out for if you are Diabetic or suspect you might have Diabetes are:

1. Weight Loss

2. Frequent Urination

3. Dehydration

4. Loss of Appetite

5. Foul/Fruity Breath

6. Lack of Bowel Movements

7. Rapid Heart Rate

8. Heavy Breathing/Get Winded Too Easily

9. Fatigue

If you are showing signs of several of these symptoms, please see your physician as soon as possible.  If untreated DKA and Hyperglycemia can be very dangerous and detrimental to your health.

My Journey

There is an old saying that goes “When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.” Unfortunately the lemonade will raise my blood sugar levels too high for me to have any.

And now to make things feel like an AA meeting:

Hi, my name is Paul and I am a diabetic. [this is where you mumble hello] And have been, officially, for a whole week now.

I say officially because last Monday, the 22 of April, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  Unofficially, there is a very good chance I had diabetes for several weeks prior to the doctors visit. As if getting a life changing disease weren’t bad enough, I also had the pleasure of being diagnosed with DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) and spent a long, boring night in the hospital.


(Picture of two IV leads in my arm)


DKA was the reason I went to the doctor in the first place. My symptoms included: fatigue, rapid heart rate, heavy breathing, rapid weight loss (50lbs in 2 months), dehydration, frequent urination, and a lack of bowel movements. Although from what I hear, I was lucky because a lot of people find out they have diabetes by going into a diabetic coma. Thank god that did not happen to me.

The main reasons I was hospitalized was because the DKA put ketones and acid into my blood stream. Which a good regiment of carbs and insulin resolved nicely. The other reasons were to rehydrate me and pump me full of potassium (which does not feel good through the IV).

So after a long night of no sleep, finger stick blood tests every hour, blood being drawn and tested every 2-4 hours, and painful potassium intravenously, I am stable and well on my way to becoming a functioning diabetic.

I hope to use this blog to educate and become educated in the field of diabetes, specifically type 1, and share my findings and experiences to the world.