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Posts tagged ‘ketones’

Body Wars.

The Good:  Birdy’s seventh birthday party went off without a hitch.  The cake was made, the guests were fed, the bouncy castle was a source of glee for kids and adults alike, and my daughter spent the day red-faced from jumping, laughing with her friends, and covered in cake frosting.  Cannot ask for more than that.

The Bad:  On Friday morning, my right eye was sore and puffy and those familiar “corneal tear” feelings were close to the surface.  Sometimes this happens and my eye settles down after a few hours (after lots of preservative free tear drops and very little screen time).  And other times, this means the eyeball is cooked and the cornea is going to fully tear.

Which it did.  Friday afternoon, I was lucky enough to get in with my local ophthalmologist, and being the hero human that he is, he was able to confirm the tear, give me some antibiotic drops to help minimize swelling and speed up healing, and then he slapped a bandage contact on my eye so I could function almost normally.  “Your vision out of that eye will be cloudy because of the contact, but hopefully the pain will be greatly reduced.  Come see me next week and we’ll take it out before you travel again.”

Awesome.  This went from bad to better.  Thank goodness for modern medicine.  (More on the eye thing in a bit because that’s an ongoing story.)

Emergency eye appointment (torn cornea, round 8). PWD everywhere … even in the magazines. #waitingwithdiabetes

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The Ugly:  Armed with the bandage contact and a babysitter, we took Birdy out on Friday night for a show she wanted to see.  And she loved it.  And we loved it (as much as parents love kids’ shows sort of thing).  And about halfway through the show, I decided I didn’t love it because my stomach was churning and my blood sugars were rising quickly.

Figuring I had a busted infusion set or maybe this was a blood sugar response to eye pain, I sat in the lobby for the rest of the show and tried to get my head straight and stomach settled.

But on the ride home from Providence, my purse went from carrying my wallet and car keys to holding my puke.  Not my best moment.  But it all went in the bag so that’s something.

And for the rest of Friday night, well into Saturday morning, my body spent those hours rejecting all of its contents.  I haven’t thrown up from being sick in at least 15 years (the only times I’ve vomited in the last whatever decades have been after c-sections).  This was a whole new and horrible party, which gave way to severe dehydration (despite sucking down diet flat ginger ale and water), fever, high blood sugars, and small to moderate ketones.

I spent Saturday in bed, sleeping or throwing up, while my kid’s birthday party took place outside.  It took about 48 hours to fully clear this bug, and the aftermath still included ketones and a general dizziness.  And it totally threw me because I’m usually able to work through sickness pretty quickly, if I get sick at all.  I don’t ever spend the day in bed, unable to stand up because I’m too weak or too sick to eat.  This was gross and new territory for me.  And it forced a quick and necessary review of the sick day rules.

This is what 24 hrs of violent vomiting did to my blood sugars. #insulinbecamewater

A post shared by Kerri Sparling (@sixuntilme) on

The Recap:  The circus of vomiting has stopped.  My blood sugars, thanks to a 200% basal rate and some injections and plenty of hydration and vigilant ketone testing, have come down quite a bit and hopefully will be less offensive soon.  My family seems to have escaped the germs so far; hopefully locking myself into the master bedroom and hiding like The Big Man on Campus helped. No cats have puked yet. And once this eyeball heals up, diabetes can go back to being the top health dog.

… oh, and I cleaned out my purse.  I plan to keep using it.  And I’ll never tell you which one it is.


Why doesn't the alt text show up?  What the eff, ketones?!

The infusion set was on the tail-end-of-day-three-just-about-day-four, so maybe it was starting to sour.

Or maybe it was going to the beach/playing in the garden/flying kites that tousled the site too much, causing the tubing to untwist just a little bit from the lock at the top of the insulin cartridge.  (Is that even possible?)

Or maybe it was just a rogue, weird thing that’s never happened before in ten years of insulin pumping but decided to happen yesterday.

Either way, it was the fact that my dinner bolus didn’t actually end up pushing through the tubing and instead pooled up at the top of my pump tube that caused my blood sugar to skyrocket and then for my body to throw out some borderline-moderate ketones for the first time in a long time.

Ketones suck.

It was one of those perfect storm moments, where all the crap that can be unsettled is unsettled:  no Dexcom sensor on (letting my skin rest for a few days as to not aggravate skin irritations – first break in a several weeks … of course), checked the pump site but not the tubing when my blood sugar came ringing in at over 300 mg/dL (had I checked the tubing, I would have seen the huge air bubbles and noticed the jacked up luer lock connection).  And of course the high made me mad because I thought I had calculated my dinner bolus really well, so I went for a “revenge run” in the neighborhood that night, not checking for ketones before I left (stupid).

Going up the hills on my run was a lot harder than usual, and briefly considered grabbing on to drooping branches to drag myself through.  I wasn’t exceptionally thirsty, but when I took a drink from my water bottle at the end of my run, I realized I drank the whole thing in one gulp.   When I got home, I noticed that the skin underneath my eyes wasn’t just dark, it was gray.  And  I realized I had that “high mouth” taste to my teeth, the one where you feel like you’ll breathe out and actual overripe cherries covered in model airplane glue will tumble out from behind your teeth.  I should have known I was throwing ketones.  Peeing on the ketone test strip and seeing the pad change from “beige” to “raspberry” wasn’t a shock.

It took a new pump site, lots of water, a Pedialyte popsicle that I permanently borrowed from the Birdzone’s “just in case” stash, and more patience than I actually had on hand to disengage from the ketone conundrum.  Nice touch, for my body to remind me that I do need to worry about ketones from time to time by making it a six hour mess that ultimately ended in a low blood sugar. (Thank you, 3 am glucose tabs, all running amuck in the very bottom of my dresser drawer. I’m not even sure how old they were.)

You may have won this round, diabetes, but I’ll get you next time.  Next time.


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