If you’re diabetic, and you aren’t scared of that little TLA, then you need to do some research. I didn’t mention DKA in my post about side effects that you want to avoid because, quite frankly, it doesn’t happen to me. OK, it did. Once…
It happened when my partner was pregnant with our first child. Heavily pregnant. I picked up a slight sickness bug that didn’t do me any favours. My sugars went crazy, as they always do when I’m ill, and I couldn’t get them down. Nor could I eat anything. And fluids were out too. If you’re in that sort of state and you have diabetes there’s not much by way of options. You need fluids in you, so you have to be re-hydrated. Off to A&E I went.
In A&E, at Rotherham General Hospital, I was seen relatively quickly and sent to the Acute Assessment Ward. By this time, if I sipped, I could keep my fluids down. My Mrs went to her parents to sleep as it was getting late and I was under the assumption that I would be in for a day or so. I still hadn’t been hooked up to a drip, so I was definitely dehydrated, and felt pretty awful.
I didn’t even get to see a doctor. The story I was given was that I’d kept a cup of water down, so I had to go home. They didn’t even test my blood sugars. I was alone, I had no money on me, no wallet, no house keys, and too weak to put up an argument. It was 1 am. There were no buses and I had no way of getting home. Eventually, after wandering aimlessly for a while, I saw a taxi, and got to my in-laws, (why I didn’t stay there is a tale for a different time, and only has minor links to my diabetes) got some money to pay for said taxi from my partner, and then walked home, collapsed on the bed and woke up at 6 in the morning to start throwing up the bile in my stomach.
From here on out the story gets better. I made an appointment at the doctors, who spent no more than a minute with me. She sent me straight to hospital as I was severely in need of fluid. There was a small incident in the doctors toilet that required the discreet disposal of my shorts and then my mum drove me to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, where I was flushed with fluid, monitored closely and actually checked for things. My blood was acidic, but soon came into normal range. When I got there I thought I was going to die, when I left only 14 hours later, I felt human again. But just barely.
I never got round to complaining about Rotherham, they’d given me spectacularly bad treatment and genuinely could have killed me. A thoroughly horrible experience, and fortunately not one that has been repeated.
*I wrote this after reading this post from a member of the #DOC about her recent DKA. Remember kids, diabetes is for life, not just for Christmas.