Type 1 + Stomach Virus = Near Death experience!

I hope my experience will benefit others. I have been Type 1/LADA since Nov '06. I am 47 years young…5’11", 190lbs.(normally) I am usually pretty healthy, as I try to keep in shape by running (not marathons but at least run a mile or more 3 times a week) and exercising regularly. I maintain my BS with Levemir and Novolog…keeping my A1C @ 7 most of the time.

On December 11th, I came home from work…not feeling well…the next morning, I felt nauseous…by lunch time…nothing would stay in my stomach…not even water or crackers! Luckily, my family was not affected by this virus…so I am sure I picked it up from the office. (So MAD)

Me being SUPERMAN…I toughed it out…the next day, I was able to each chicken soup and crackers…and keep it down…but my BS was high…even with insulin…what I didn’t realize, I was severely dehydrated…and going into DKA (Diabetic ketoacidosis)! By dinner time I was vomiting again…Superman had met his kryptonite! The next morning…my wife took me to the ER…and I was immediately sent to ICU! I was treated for dehydration and DKA…I had lost 17lbs in two days! I could have slipped into a coma…very easily! After 3 days in ICU and 6 liters of IV fluids, they let me come home to recover. Now, 3 weeks later, I am still at home, battling severe fatigue, trying to get healthy again. I have gained some weight back…but it is taking a lot more time to get my energy and stamina back than I expected. I am thankful to be alive…I now appreciate all the little things in life that I have taken for granted. I hope you never have to experience what I have.

The moral of the story…I am not Superman…I SHOULD have called my ENDO/PCP immediately upon contracting the stomach virus! If you get sick like I did…don’t wait(don’t be stupid like I was)…GET HELP quickly…it could save your life, and a lot of grief.

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Ron - get better buddy. Stomach virus is nasty with T1. I typically try to sip Gatorade even if I know I’m going to bring it back up. Thanks for sharing.

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I hope you return to full health soon. The lesson I take from your experience is that dehydration is the key thing to consider. If nausea doesn’t allow you to keep fluids down, it makes sense that dehydration will soon follow. An IV is the best way to get rehydrated, in that circumstance, and that means the hospital.

I’m curious, @Ron_Pierce. Did they use the IV line to deliver insulin? Did you track your own blood glucose with your fingerstick meter or was the hospital in complete control of your glucose? How long did it take to bring your BGs back into range? Did they also supplement anything else, like potassium?

Thanks for the cautionary story!

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thanks. I learned with my type 1 toddler that dehydration can cause ketones, even without high blood sugar. every time he got a stomach bug we ended up in the ER to get him fluids. ugh.

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@Terry4 While in ICU, my nurse(s) were in complete control…they would check my BS(fingerstick as you said), and give me a shot in the back of my arm with Humalog…on day 2 they started me back on Levemir, and would check my BS every couple of hours. I was also given potassium via my IV, and a shot to combat the nausea. Thanks for your well wishes…I hope my experience will help others. :slightly_smiling:

Sorry to hear about your difficulty. I’ve been taking an SGLT-2 drug and there have been reports of DKA in both T1 and T2 patients (even at normal blood sugars). One thing I found is that the SGLT-2 drugs (along with my diuretic) cause me to just flush fluids. After starting the SGLT-2 I soon became dehydrated even through I was drinking plenty of water. I had cramping and other signs. I was losing electrolytes. Now I supplement with potassium, sodium and magnesium and things are better. But dehydration can be a real problem. It isn’t just vomiting it can be diarrhea or even medications. Thanks for reminding us about how serious it is. Glad you are on the road to recovery.

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Did the nurses tell you what your blood glucose number was when they did the fingerstick? Do you know what the insulin protocol was? Did they calibrate your Humalog dose with expected carbs or were most of their shots delivered as corrections? Are Humalog and Levemir your usual insulins? I’m always curious about hospital routines and policy when it comes to taking care of diabetes.

@Terry4 Yes I saw the meter reading each time, as sticking my finger would wake me. There was no carb counting, as I was on IV in the ICU, and only started eating solids on mid day on day 2. Levemir is my normal basil insulin and Humalog is my normal bolus insulin. The ICU staff followed the protocol as prescribed by my endo…who was monitoring my progress as well.

It’s nice to see that the hospital involved your endo in your hospital care. It looks like they did a very good job taking care of you.