Yes, Christmas was a month ago. This post has been sitting unfinished in my drafts folder for some time now. I’m sharing today, because I still think its an important one not to forget…
My Christmas Day began in the bathroom at 1.37am, staring into the depths of the toilet basin.
I wasn’t drunk, nor was this the outcome of a good night.
It started on Christmas Eve when I woke up feeling extremely nauseous, extremely dizzy and extremely full. I’m not sure what possessed me to go to work that day, but I did. As I watched my blood sugars creep closer and closer to the 4mmol mark throughout that morning, I knew I absolutely wouldn’t even be able to stomach a glucose tab and suspended my insulin.
I literally collapsed onto the bed the moment I arrived home and slept right up until dinner time. When Mum and Dad asked me if this had anything to do with my diabetes, I thought it would be a good idea to pull my retired meter and expired ketone strips out from the drawer.
If the meter was reliable, and my gut was telling me that it was, I had ketones of 1.2. Which made sense, considering I’d barely eaten all day.
One thing my diabetes educator had drummed into me was that nausea was a warning sign to look out for where ketones were concerned.
After my first bout of sickness that evening, I knew I had to get some glucose and some hydration in me ASAP so that my body would stop burning fat and producing starvation ketones.
The most I could stomach was 50ml of orange juice, diluted with a glass of water. I struggled to sit through dinner, and ended up retiring again soon after.
After another bout of sickness and a few more glasses of diluted juice through the night, ketones were finally down to an 0.4 by Christmas morning and I was starting to feel better.
I’d eaten some roasted lamb at a family get together a couple of days before Christmas. The really rich, really fatty, slow roasted kind that I never have at home.
I only ate a slice that night, but I did indulge in a fair bit for lunch the following day.
Roast meat has given me terrible indigestion two or three times in recent years.
The only problem is, I don’t eat it often enough to remember exactly what it does to me.
It probably took a good 24-48 hours to get it all out of my system, but this bug left me feeling bloated and lacking my appetite. The most I could stomach for several days afterwards was a morning coffee, a very small lunch and an afternoon treat.
One thing I was extremely grateful for throughout all of this was good basal rates. I did have to be really cautious around my insulin thanks to the heightened sensitivity from less food, not to mention the fear of whether I’d be able to keep it all down. I happily ran blood sugars that were higher than I’d normally like. But for the most part I didn’t have to worry about warding off lows and having to eat when I didn’t want to.
This is only the second time I can remember having to navigate ketones since my diagnosis, so it was somewhat unfamiliar territory in managing my diabetes.
If there’s one thing this ordeal has taught me, it’s never to touch a piece of roast meat again.