Diabetic Ketoacidosis – by Joanna Cawley
I haven’t been keeping up with my blog lately because a few months ago I was hospitalised with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) so I’ve had a fair bit of catching up at uni to do since then. But alas, exams are now over so my free time is once again mine to do with what I wish!
I’d never had DKA before so I didn’t recognise the warning signs. I was well in to what the recent Balance magazine guide to Meds & Kit (page 14) described as ‘the second stage’ of DKA when I was admitted to hospital. I began vomiting in the day, which continued despite that I hadn’t eaten and all I had drunk was water. I was waking up once an hour to vomit through the night and felt nauseous and weak. In the morning I was taken to my local hospital, which was actually closed so wasn’t taking in any patients. The doctor I saw insisted that I was treated immediately and though I was weak and dehydrated I remember another doctor wanting to refer me to a different hospital – which is about a half hours drive away – and the doctor’s words struck me even in my state. He said ‘If she has to be referred, it’ll be a 999 ambulance emergency, and she won’t make it’. I was later told that at the time I had been an hour from death.
This experience really scared me and the struggle to control my diabetes and stay healthy continues. Even though I had been trying to achieve stable blood sugars, I still fell in to the clutches of DKA completely unawares and I urge anyone reading this to be aware of the signs!