Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My Experience: Diabetes + A New Virus That Mimics Severe Allergies = Steroids & Antibiotics~

This will most likely be the last post re: my sinus/upper respiratory infection drama for a while - I’m sick and tired of writing and bitching about it and I'm sure your starting to get tired of hearing about it. 
BUT with that being said, I'm writing about my experience today because I believe it’s important that:
  1. You know about a new virus that mimics sinus/allergy issues and will knock you flat on your ass and make you VERY sick - And yes, I'm speaking from experience & I don't want you to go through what I did
  2. Get the proper diagnoses and treatment
  3. Take control (and the power,) from the steroids that may be prescribed to you to fight off the infection, but will reek havoc with your blood sugar numbers and insulin requirements... if you let them~
Turns out my visit to Sinus City last week that I wrote about HERE, not only took a wrong turn, but was actually misdiagnosed and developed into a severe upper respiratory virus/infection, with bronchitis, laryngitis, pharangitis and a touch of trechiatis all rolled into one. Cripes, no wonder I felt like crap! 
Like most of the country, I’d been misdiagnosed with allergies and sinuses, when in actually, I'd developed a severe upper respiratory infection and on May 12th and was given an antibiotic - but it didn’t work. 
What I actually had was a new strain of an upper respiratory virus that’s been making the rounds and fooling doctors offices and ERs around the country, and I was sick as a dog by my Birthday, which was May 14th.
I couldn’t stop coughing and ended up pulling several muscles in my abdomen from 24X7 hacking. I had no energy; no appetite, no voice, breathing issues, especially at night. 
It was incredibly difficult to catch my breath during/after coughing, and I ran a low grade fever up until I was finally able to see my ENT on 5/21.
My ENT not only gave me the proper dx, but prescribed a new, stronger 14 day-antibiotic and a 6 day prednisone pack. 
And as much as I hated going on Prednisone for 6 days - I knew I was sick and I needed to get better.
And 6 days later - after taking my last prednisone pill this morning - I feel SO MUCH BETTER. 
I’ve written about steroids and diabetes extensively on this blog and I will continue to whenever I feel the need to.
Most PWDs know that steroids are a bitch re: high blood sugars and require copious/continuous amounts of insulin - but steroids are helping to cure my upper respiratory infection and I’m grateful for them.
Many PWDs allow themselves to run high their entire time on the steroids for fear of high temp basal rates and risking lows. 
I get it, but that doesn’t work for me. As someone who is blessed to wear an insulin pump, I’m not afraid to embrace high temp basal rates and check my blood sugars copiously while on steroids.
Is it a bit scary to have crazy temp basal rates? Yep, for sure. 
But as long as you check your numbers like a crazy person and accept the fact that temporary basal rates are indeed temporary - you’re going to feel better sooner because you’re not going to feel the constant affects of high blood sugars while you’re on the road to better.  
What goes up does indeed go down & reminding myself of that makes it easier to shake off the WTF feeling of my temporary ,but large amounts of daily insulin requirements.
my basal rates started at a 50% increase and the highest was a 200% increase and everything in-between. 
Here are my 24 hour insulin requirements since I started prednisone:  
5/21 60 units 
5/22  137.45 units  - 5 units of insulin an hour 
5/23: 163.70- 6.20 units of insulin an hour -
5/24: 142.25 units - between 4 and 5 units of insulin per hour
5/25: 121.35 - 4.8 units per hour
5/26: 107.25 (updated,) 4.2 units per hour
Please keep in mind that these numbers represent how my body reacts to the steroid called prednisone - Your diabetes may vary~
The number of high blood sugars i've experienced have been surprisingly minimal - maybe once a day. 
Yesterday my blood sugars didn’t go above 160 and the day before they didn’t go above 140. 
This morning I forgot to turn my pump back on after I showered and ended up with a 300 bg by 10 AM, BUT that was my bad, prednisone had nothing to do with it. 
*** Updated 5/28: 
Yesterday's (5/27) insulin total was 65.5 units in a 24 hour period with a temp basal rate between 1.9 and 2.8 units per hour. Not normal but well on the return to normal. 
Now that I'm off the steroids, I'm not feeling as energetic as a did when I was on them, coughing every now and then and scratchy voice.
Yesterday was day 7 on the antibiotics and yours truly I experienced stomach issues and nausea for the first time - which according to my Pharmacist, is normal. 
But I'm getting better!

If you or your loved one have been dealing with any sort of sinus or allergy issues, and if your cough doesn't get better, go to the Dr. asap so you can rule out this new virus strain. 
People are ending up in the hospital because of this strain - especially the elderly and those with compromised immune systems - and nobody wants or needs that. 


Susan said...

Wow - I would have had to change pods every day and a half. Hoping I avoid that one "like the plague" it appears to be. So glad you're feeling better!! Thanks for the info - hopefully it will help one of us avoid a similar misdiagnosis!!

Anonymous said...

You sound like what I had in 2006 bt was diagnosed as having Pneumonia. I went to the ER at Lankenau because my internist office said I had a bad virus and gave me one of those antibiotic pakages you take for 5 or 6 days and it was suppose to clear it up but it didn't. I also had a hacking cough so after finishing the pills and no better I went to the ER and was admitted (but want to hear the funny part a few months before I was given a Pneumonia shot, first and last one). I'm glad to know you're getting better and you're right about taking steroids but when we need them we have to take them.

Betty Jackson