Monday, May 7, 2018

Spring Travel; Diabetes, High Ketones, Normal Blood Sugars, And The Stomach Bug From Hell

OK-first and foremost  — spring has finally sprung. YAY!

Secondly, sorry for the being MIA the last couple weeks. 

I came home from a work trip on the night of Tuesday, April 24th, with a 101.2 fever, Moderate to Large keynotes, and the stomach virus that has been the plague of spring 2018 for many — and it was horrible. 
It was the longest car ride home of my life and an hour after I walked in the door and 55 minutes I found out I did indeed have Moderate / Large ketones, (literally the color was somewhere between the two on the chart,) I Linda Blaired it, a'la "The Exorcist." 

I immediately felt slightly better and made a deal with myself. 
If my ketones went down to moderate in 80 minutes and I didn’t vomit again, 
I wouldn’t call 911. If either of those things happened, I would. 
I filled up my 24 once water bottle and immediately drank 1/2. 
15 minutes later I finished the other 1/2 and filled up the bottle again. 
I was scared but I was calm  — weirdly and mythodically so. 
I knew what goasl I needed to meet and had made peace with my plan B option. 
Yes, I was scared, but knowing that I had a plan helped me stay calm.

Luckily, 80 minutes later I checked my ketones and they were indeed  moderate, I didn’t vomit again and I downing drinking water. My blood sugars were normal with insulin on board. I drank a little juice and went to bed. 

I woke up in the middle of the night, checked my blood sugar and  keytones ( 109 bg and small to moderate Keytones on the color chart), downed 10 ounces of water and went back to sleep. 

I woke up Wednesday with small ketones, that quickly and thankfully moved Trace, and finally edged to Normal by Wednesday afternoon. My fever kept shrinking until it left me for good on Friday.

Which would be the exact day the whole, not being able to be too far away from the bathroom, thing kicked in with a vengeance. 

I continued surviving on Mixed Fruit flavored gatorade, saltines, and weak black tea because those were literally all I could stomach. 
After 5.5 days,I was finally was able to drink coffee (and leave my house,) Sunday, April 29th. 
The last day of April and the first day of May meant working on deadlines and I flew to Boston on May 2nd. 

Dealing with all of the above reminded me of some important things that I'm going to share with you. 
  1. We ALWAYS need to bring Keytone Strips/Keytone Meter and thermometer when we  travel — and even if we're only going away overnight 
  2. Why? because you can have normal-ish blood sugars and still have nasty keytones — even if you drink lots of water. And if those sneaky keytones get the upper hand, no good will come of it.
3. You can feel “off,” but because diabetes can be a tricky bitch, your blood sugars might not reflect that. I felt tired and in need of a nap early Monday afternoon - but my blood sugars were stellar and I wrote it off as  travel day fatigue. 
But it was an easy travel day by car. Looking back, feeling that tired was a sign of things to come.
Also: You can feel hot and blame the traveling and hotel air conditioning, but it might actually be a fever. I was walking around with a fever that alternated to the chills for a good part of Tuesday - and I blamed the forced air heating and air conditioning system. 
Here are my stats from Tuesday, April 24th. 
For the most part, everything looked "OK," numbers wise. 

Insulin total breakdown for 24 hours on 4/24 
Bolus history 4/25


4/24 bg from early in the morning.
Elevated morning bgs thanks to a low bg
in the middle of the night. 
4. ALWAYS make sure that you not only have regular ginger-ale in your pantry, but 3 or 4 bottles of your favorite flavored Gatorade and saltines, because if you end up with the stomach virus from hell, regular Gatorade is your best friend. It helps keep your hydration levels and electrolytes where they need to be, gives you drinkable carbs, and is the only thing (besides maybe a few saltines), that won’t add to the destruction of your gastrointestinal system.

5. Also, stomach viruses can be f^cking tricky, not to mention confusing. 
I had damn near normal blood sugars ( Bgs were constantly running on the low side of normal), for 5 days — it was like I was like my pancreas was messing with my head and I was this close to thinking that I was making insulin. But I was still “real people sick," and barely eating anything. 

6. Sleep is your friend and hydrate like your life depends on it — because it does.

7. Stomach viruses NEVER come at the right time and playing catch up is not easy — but you do it because you must. 

I’ve had trips scheduled the last two weeks and I travel again on Thursday. 


Sharing all of the above because it’s diabetes and life related and I think we need to be reminded that everything can look good on the surface, but there can be a literal shit storm (sorry I couldn't resist,) brewing - So check your blood sugars and your keytones!   

New blog posts re: what I learned on my travels soon!

***FTR, when I was down for the count being real people sick, I made sure to let a couple close friends and family know what was going. I live by myself and like to think I can handle it all - but when I'm under the weather, I let a few of my "go-to," friends know.... just in case I need help. It makes me feel better - and it makes them feel better. 

1 comment:

Rick Phillips said...

Sheryl makes me go away when I get Real People Sick. I threaten to run a hose form the kitchen facet to the bed. I figure that woudl save time. I hope you are better by now.