Tag: ketoacidosis

frankly friday: those blasted beta cells…

t1d results from body attacking own beta cells

Seriously?  I get tired of looking for news about diabetes for these posts.  I’ve been so busy I haven’t really had to time to put down anything about just dealing with it, so I started googling for news articles.

I ended up with a whole pageful of articles about the lovely but ever-elusive islet cell transplants.  I guess I’m in one of those moods where it all sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher… whawawa-WHA-whawawa.  WhatEVER!  Gah!  beta cell destruction

I get sick of seeing these headlines “NEW CURE FOR DIABETES FOUND!” only to read about this same ol’ stuff…we’re working on some sort of beta cell transplant, but it’s risky, it’s random (as to whether it’ll work or not) and it’s so flippin’ regulated you’re not likely to get one unless you meet the unreal specifications.  Besides that, it’s RANDOM and frankly, pretty unreliable.  I mean, how many people have had this procedure and enjoyed a few months, maybe a year or more of being “diabetes-free” only to have the cells wear out, die out and have to go back on insulin?

what are islets

I appreciate the research, I really do.  I appreciate the folks who are bold enough to go for this and share the data gathered with the research community.  But for heaven’s sake, stop writing these articles or at the very least, stop giving them misleading, grandiose titles!!!  ARGH!

Diabetes is basically a disease that results from the insulin-producing cells (beta, or more specifically, islet cells) are attacked by a crazed immune response by our whacked out bodies that for some reason see them as bad.  OR in the case of some type 2’s, their bodies can’t properly use the insulin they do produce.diabetes happens when the body attacks its own beta cells

Most type 1’s have the kind where those cells are just destroyed, leaving them with no insulin production at all.  No insulin means we can’t properly use the glucose (carbs) in our food for energy.  That leaves all those glucose molecules just free-floating in our blood stream, where they don’t belong, pumping our levels up to dangerous proportions until we are diagnosed either by a conscientious doctor or in the emergency room where we have ended up with diabetic ketoacidosis…a result of having super-high sugar levels for a period of time.

Diabetic ketoacidosis can be deadly if not treated properly and quickly.  I have had it I’m sure more than once, but I’ve only ever been hospitalized with it once and it was the most horrific experience ever!  It screws up all the levels of just about everything in your body.  It makes you nauseated, dehydrated, exhausted (in case just the diabetes itself didn’t have you exhausted already).  It screws up your potassium and cortisol levels and a bunch of other stuff I can’t even remember.  I ended up in the ICU (the one and only time I’ve ever had to be there) for several days trying to get me through DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis).  Some folks put themselves there because they get so sick of trying to manage diabetes, they decide to take a vacation.  (nice way to do it I guess…although if people are going to bring my food and come at my beck and call, I’d rather not have an IV and feel sick as a dog, thanks)  Sometimes it’s the result of some mistake calculating insulin to carb ratio or some random thing beyond your control.  Like in my case, the cannula (small, plastic part of the tubing that goes into my skin) had kinked but not enough to make it leak outside my skin (so I had no clue anything was wrong).  I kept trying to treat my high sugars until I just got so sick, I was in terrible pain and throwing up neon green stuff so we headed to the ER.  Lovely, right?

staggering cost of diabetes

I dunno how I ended up on DKA, but there ya go.  I looked for info about beta/islet cells and also the cost of living with diabetes (and I think the graphic here for that is not correct– I think supplies and prescriptions should be lumped together and much higher) high cost of living with diabetesand also a graphic for the benefit of your non-D’s because too many times a person gets their diabetes diagnosis after being admitted to the ER when that’s not necessary if you know some of the symptoms and go get yourself checked.   Trust me, getting the diagnosis in the doctor’s office is a lot better than getting it in the ER after you have been sick as a dog or possibly ended up in a coma.  Don’t put off getting yourself tested for diabetes because you’re afraid of the answer you’ll get.  That’s just silly!  Take care of yourself and go get the labwork done NOW!  If all of us PWD’s can do this day in and day out, then you certainly can!

Besides that, you already have some great support and resources, right?   RIGHT!




sick as a dog

Hi everyone.  I had such big plans for yesterday.  We had another awesome sermon that filled me with all sorts of good thoughts and scripture to share with you.  If you haven’t checked it out, go watch the latest sermon series from our church or listen to the podcast.

The Creek Church – What Lies Beneath

I have to say, I had a really great weekend.  We had all our kiddos over Sunday afternoon for a cookout.  We haven’t been able to do that in quite awhile.  I put off hitting the house, really getting it cleaned up, til way late.  I’d been cooking, doing some make-ahead recipes and food prep after all.

Honestly though, I started on the house at midnight!  I’m thinking maybe I should always do that because by the time I went to bed at 2:30 am, the house was in better shape than it’s been in awhile.

Thumbs up

Granted, I don’t mean the entire house and we have those “unused” rooms that stay hidden from guests.  I need to just suck it up and start on them, but boy, those are going to take several days and I haven’t quite got the nerve up yet.

Anyhow, we had a great time and a ton of company.  We should’ve known since Tommy said something about taking a long nap after the kids leave.  He doesn’t often slow down and if he stops, he usually falls asleep, so it was odd for him to even think about a nap let alone mention it.  Me?  I am down with a nap anytime and almost any place.  I think I could sleep at just about any time of the day or night.  ALWAYS tired!!

But nope.  Surprisingly, our kids stayed longer than we had expected.  They usually have things they need to run off to do or people to meet.  Maybe they didn’t have to leave because several of their “peeps” came up to the house!  Ha ha!  We had about 5 of the kids from Corey’s church come up to the house.  Then a guy Tommy had sold a transmission to on eBay came from Ohio to pick that up along with his wife.  Someone else showed up in there somewhere but I forget who at the moment.  I think when we counted them all up, there were 11 people at our house Sunday!  That’s pretty unusual for us too.  So anyway, there was no nap taking done on Sunday.

The guys finished up a dreaded part of the Jeep modifications, so they worked a little later than normal and Tommy was wiped by the time he finally came in.

We had that awesome sermon and once again, it tied right in with things we’re discussing and studying in our LIFE group as well.  God’s working on us, I believe.  Moving us closer to Him, maybe preparing us for something.

Monday morning,  like I said, I had big plans and lots of ideas for a blog post.  Seems like I normally have a new one for Monday, but I didn’t feel so great when I woke up.  My first thought was that it was in spite of the sermon the day before (seriously, go watch it!  then you will understand my statement) and I tried to just ignore it.  It wasn’t anything in particular, I just didn’t feel good.  My initial thought?  The devil is trying to thwart my efforts to practice what was taught Sunday!  Hmph!  That may or may not be, but whatever the case, I was sick.  No ifs, ands or buts!

I'm so sick!

Around 11 am, I decided to test my sugar.  I’m almost out of strips and my shipment isn’t due for a few days, so I’m trying to conserve all I can.  Anyhow, it was 432!!  I about passed out from disbelief!  That is of course, way too high.  Normally with a blood sugar at this level, I’ll feel queasy and headachey, really lousy, but not much else.  I texted Tommy to let him know.  I gave a correction bolus with my pump (to “correct” my sugar), grabbed a bottle of water and went to lie down.  I downed the water since high blood sugar can dehydrate you and also the water helps flush your system.

bottles of water

By this time, I had a more serious headache, but I was able to fall asleep.  About an hour later, I got up, drank another bottle of water, tested 372 so I could see it was going down, but slowly.  SO SLOWLY!  I gave another correction bolus and went back to bed because I felt SO tired and was a little dizzy when I got up.  The headache had gone from highly annoying to alarmingly insidious.  I’m serious  you guys.  I have never had a headache that bad, not even a migraine.  Maybe I should clarify and say that I was really aching all over.  My arms hurt, sort of throbbing, my head hurt from my shoulders up and a weird, different kind of pain.  I was a little concerned but didn’t know what to do.  I had grabbed a soft ice pack from the freezer so I slapped that on my head and tried to get comfortable again.

terrible headache

I didn’t sleep as much as I just dozed in and out of sleep.  I was hurting really bad.  I guess it had been around 30 or 40 minutes when I started to feel sick at my stomach.  I eased off the bed and headed to the bathroom.  I also needed to pee really bad!  It was definitely time for the “flushing” part of all that hydration.  I reached into the laundry room right beside our bathroom and grabbed our trusty “puke pan” before I sat down.  I don’t get sick often and I hate throwing up as bad as anyone…but I got SO sick.  I hadn’t had anything all day besides the one cup of coffee around 8 am and then all that water.  And every bit of it came up.  After I dry-heaved awhile, each time seeing stars and worrying that I was going to pass out, I was finally able to get up and clean myself up.  I texted Tommy to see if he could come  home…told him I’d been sick and felt like I was going to pass out.  He said yes, he’d leave right then, bless his heart.  I dragged myself to the bed and realized I felt a bit better than before, so I called him back and told him not to come.  I didn’t feel “passy-outtie” anymore.

feel so dizzy!



I drank more water and laid back down and slept pretty hard for about an hour and woke again.  Time to test again: 463!!  I was FURIOUS!  I get mad enough at myself when I’ve done something or forgotten to bolus for a food or miscalculated the amount of carbs in a food, but when I’m giving corrections and ingesting nothing but water and my sugar is still high, I get REALLY angry!!  Stupid diabetes!!  Why can’t you just sit over there and behave?  Why must you torment me this way?  ARGH!  So, I decided maybe my pump site was no longer absorbing or something and gave an injection of insulin this time.   Before I’d got out of bed though, I’d texted Taylor to ask her if she thought it would be okay, with my weird symptoms, to take some Tylenol.  I was about to the point of going to the ER just to get relief from the pain of whatever this was.  She said she thought it should be fine and she felt I probably had a virus of some sort.  I had to agree.  My sugar has been well over 400 before without making me feel this horrific.  Normally, I’d have been queasy, headache-y and felt generally crappy, but this was off the charts.  With such a short-lived high, I shouldn’t have been this sick.

Then again… it seems the D and me, we don’t get along as well as we used to.  I mean, I’ve never been really fond of Diabetes, but in the past few years, the symptoms that I’ve come to rely on have started to change.  I can no longer be sure that my dry mouth means a high blood sugar or know that I’ll have the shakiness, the cold sweats, the numbness around my mouth or any reliable symptoms of a low blood sugar in time to treat it myself.  For decades, I’ve trusted my body to send me those signals to tell me when something’s not just right and now, I feel betrayed because I can no longer depend on getting those signals or that they will even mean what they always have.

Oh well…whatcha gonna do?  There’s not much you can do when something like this happens.  Learn the new symptoms or realize there won’t be any and make yourself be even more diligent.  That’s all I know to do.  Thankfully, this time didn’t land me in the hospital.  I really should get a small bottle of keto strips, though.

ketones diabetes type 1

My endo asked if I had ketones and we didn’t know because we had no strips.  Like the issue with glucagon, I hate having something like that just expire without me ever needing it.  I don’t know if keto strips have gone down any in price, but I’m betting they haven’t.  I’ll just hope I can get a very small package that isn’t too expensive.  Seriously guys, I DESPISE paying for something that I know I won’t likely use up before the expiration date.  Drives me up a wall!

diabetes sick day rulesType 1 Diabetes Sick Day Rules

Bad, bad Geannie.  I know.  Deal with it.  Am I the only one who feels this way?  Am I the only one who doesn’t buy seldom-used diabetic supplies because they are not cheap and always end up expiring?  Tell me if I am.  (but I bet I’m not!)  🙂

What DO you guys do when you’re sick?  I usually end up low when I’m really sick like this, so that’s another reason I’m not sure it was the level of my sugar that made me so sick.  How do you T1Ds respond to illness?  Like the books say or differently?  Is it always the same?  Have you experienced changes in the way your body reacts to things after 10 or more years of T1D??  I would love to hear!!