Friday, 30 September 2016

Diabetes vs. Illness and Pain #diabetes #gbdoc #doc

For those of you who have been diabetic long enough to have caught a cold, virus or stomach bug, you will have realised that diabetes throws a curve-ball into trying to stay well and get better.

For non-diabetics, when they are sick or don't feel like eating, this generally is not much of a problem as they can go a while without food, as long as they're drinking and not dehydrated. However for T1D's it isn't always that simple, particularly if we are vomiting before any of the carbohydrates get into our system. Equally, if we are not absorbing food or drinks properly this can have a detrimental affect and we may find ourselves visiting A&E 😕 to be put on to a drip!

Last week I started having a lot of kidney pain. Something I am used to having due to a kidney issue, but not as severe as this was. After a few visits to the doctors I booked another appointment as the tablets I had been given were not working and I felt worse each day. I hoped they would be able to give me something stronger if possible. What I wasn't expecting was to be sent to hospital 😞 my blood pressure was elevated due to the pain, and I was sick during my time with the doctor. I was referred to hospital and was admitted onto a ward for over a week. 
There I had numerous scans and blood tests, but other than the operation which they could not do, it was felt that pain management was the only option they had. 

Despite being discharged from the hospital, I am still awaiting my operation. I am currently taking a concoction of painkillers, antibiotics and anti-emetic tablets. While I wait for the operation, I am trying to control my elevated BG's with the Temp Basal function and to try and rest when the pain allows me to. Annoyingly my BG's randomly drop so I am also having hypos which is keeping me on my toes. Despite some of the Heath Care Professionals stating that pain itself does not affect my BG's, through my BG monitor I was able to show them it does have a great effect on them. When there is a surge of pain, there is an obvious rise/ spike in my BG as the pain gets stronger (and I'm sure it is at this point that the adrenaline kicks in) then after a while, as the peak of the pain start to drop slightly, the adrenaline wears off and my BG drops very quickly - from 14.3 to 3.4 in just under an hour one day. This means I have to keep a monitor my BGs very closely and frequently and to adjust the insulin with the pain increases and decreases, despite never being out of moderate pain at the moment 😕.

So what am I trying to say?!? Believe it or not, I'm not after sympathy. I just want you to be aware of your own diabetes patterns when you're ill or in pain as we all react differently and so treatments should vary too. Equally, we may find that different painkillers and antibiotics may have a range of effects on our BG's and so it is essential that you monitor them closely and take note of the impact they're having on you and your diabetes. Only you can tell the health care professionals what you're feeling and what patterns you're seeing with your diabetes...don't dismiss your own knowledge!!
Finally, I would like to highlight that it can take us a little but longer to recover so we need to have patience 🙈. We may not only be recovering from an injury or virus, but also from the added issues with our diabetes. This may result in us being on more or less insulin for a while after we are 'healed' or 'no longer sick' as our bodies slowly return to normal and our immune system recovers.
So for those of you who may be feeling under the weather, please monitor your diabetes even more than normal and do not avoid going to the doctors or A&E if you're not improving after a few days or are having frequent hypos. Equally, you need to be patient with your diabetes as it is unlikely to stabilise until you are fully-well again. Lastly, remember that you know what is 'normal' or 'not normal' for your diabetes, so share this vital information when you see a Health Care Professional (HCP) as this may give them a far better indication or diagnosis or treatments than a simple examination. You know your own diabetes!!

So while I lie in bed and dose myself up, make sure you all keep injecting 💉 or pumping 📟 insulin! 

Look after yourselves... 😊 x

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