Friday, 12 February 2016

It's been 1 whole year

Please tell me that it's not just me who gets the urge to blog in the early hours of the morning?

Anyway. So I had the opening line set out in my head for this blog post even while I was turning on my laptop "Welcome to my first blog post of 2016!"...*Last posted Jan 24th 2016* oh. Ok so welcome to my second post of 2016!

Today's date is the 12th February 2016. On February 12th 2015 was the last time in one whole year that I've been admitted to hospital in Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Proud face. The past few years I have not had a good run with diabetes, and as my consultant put it "You've struggled having diabetes." And a couple of years ago I was probably in DKA at least twice a year, diabetes just hasn't been too kind to me and I've found myself not exactly doing as I should to look after myself properly on occasion. So to realise that I haven't been in DKA, or even been close to it for a whole year is a proud realisation for me. It's been a whole year since the last time I've had to deal with ketones, since I've had to deal with the fact that my blood is turning acidic by the hour, since I've had to have insulin and saline and potassium pumped into my veins, since I've seen the inside of an Emergency department, since my blood sugar has been so high that I've thrown up. One whole year with out my body finding itself in the midst of a crisis that it can't fix.



My last admission was probably the most dramatic of them all, ironically. I was at a psychology appointment at about 11am, in the midst of crying about how much I'm struggling with my diabetes at that moment. Realising I had forgotten my levemir the night before sent me into a mild internal panic and it dawned on me that I didn't feel so great. Bearing in mind this point in my life was probably one of the lowest points I had ever been at in terms of my diabetes so testing my blood sugar and properly giving myself insulin was not on the top of my list. On the suggestion of my psychologist I checked my blood sugar, 'HI' and my ketones were 7.4, an all time high even for me. I think even she panicked, she obviously had never encountered this issue with one of her patients before and most likely did not anticipate it! She was the clinical psychologist so worked in close connection with all the diabetes consultants, meaning she was able to quickly call my consultant who said to go to A&E and that he would call ahead. It was really quite dramatic and really quite embarrassing if I'm honest, I think I was sort of hoping the ground would swallow me up. I dislike the idea of being treated like an invalid or coming across like I can't help myself, so succumbing to being in one of the worst episodes of DKA in my diabetes life so far and knowing that I just have to get over myself and realise that people will make a fuss over my body's current state of affairs was difficult to swallow to say the least, there wasn't enough room to swallow that and my pride.



Thankfully it was the end of my appointment anyway so my psychologist walked me over to A&E and sure enough my consultant had called ahead and I was seen virtually straight away. A heart rate of 165bpm lead to the nurse feeling my wrist manually, obviously assuming a machine malfunction! Wires and needles and ugly hospital gowns and blood pressure cuffs and blood tests ensued within 20 minutes of arriving and I was feeling a little bit like a fool, a little bit, well not a little, a lot, unwell and I had again found myself in the grasp of the more extreme side of a life with Type 1 Diabetes. My consultant came down and he's totally cool and understanding so no worries there, he said I would definitely be there for the weekend. That day was a Thursday and I went home on the Tuesday. I spent Valentine's Day in hospital, not like I had anyone specific to spend it with but I was still feeling the love when these two little girls came round giving people heart-shaped balloons. So it was a slightly misshapen heart but it's the thought that counts!



That week went by very slowly, and the boredom of course nearly killed me more than the DKA did. I think I ate the same meal twice on many occasions and at one point the nurse said "You had that yesterday didn't you?" Yeah? And? I was also still sitting on this bed yesterday but neither of us can change that either. I saw my psychologist a couple of times while on the ward and my consultant also came up to see me a couple of times too, and thankfully I have a wonderful family who came to visit me sometimes too, but obviously they couldn't be at the hospital with me all the time and I didn't expect them to be either so I had a lot of time to think to myself about things and reflect on a lot of things that I didn't think about before and it was all just a massive eye-opener for me and I reckon that has a lot to do with the reason why that episode of DKA was the last for a whole year and hopefully many more.



Naturally feeling better meant taking a selfie in the hospital toilets, as you do.

So even though it's been quite the year, in a pretty depressing way in all honesty, I've been able to keep myself out of DKA and I'm super proud of myself for that and I'm proud of my diabetes for being kind to me and even allowing me to have an, even though short-lived, HbA1c of 7.4% back in 2015 for the first time in years. All in all the whole year of 2015 was pretty crap, but coming out the other side having managed to keep my sh** together with Type 1 through all the rubbish is a pretty good achievement for me.



And here I am now! 1 year on, no DKA, go me!

P.S. I am currently recovering from a tonsillectomy, and boy do I have a story to tell you about it.

-Ellie

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