Hospitalization

Hi, there I’m Nathan and welcome to Handling Diabetes. 

Last time we talked about the story of my diagnosis. Today I’ll be continuing that story to the three days I spent in the hospital directly after the diagnosis.

I was taken by ambulance from the ER to the hospital, I believe it was a Sutter Hospital.

The first day was by far the scariest as they had to hook me up to all sorts of machines that would get me insulin, the fluid I needed to survive. My blood sugar at the time was about 560. With the average range being somewhere between 80 – 150 blood/glucose. Meaning the ratio of sugar content in my blood. 

It is understandable why I had been throwing up; the human body was never meant to sustain itself in this condition. Basically, what was happening is that my body was now rejecting most things that came into it.  

That was basically the rundown of the entire first was simply getting my blood sugar down, having my blood sugar tested, replacing the fluids going into me, and repeat. All done by the doctors and nurses, I was either asleep or entirely out of it because my blood sugar was returning to normal, which completely drained my energy.

However, when I was awake, I remember crying, sobbing because I was so thirsty, but the nurses couldn’t give me water because they worried I’d throw up again.

The second day in the hospital was slow… very slow but still better than the first. To start out, I woke up and finally had something to eat and drink; my blood sugar was finally in a relatively stable spot, so they gave me some cereal and milk. 

This, for me, was a huge relief, as I wouldn’t have to go another day without anything to eat or drink. 

My parents and I would be attending classes on diabetes throughout the day, which included meeting with a dietitian, a social security worker, and finally, a doctor. 

This whole process was incredibly dull for me; we learned all about carbs, both long-lasting and fast-acting, from the dietitian. Things like bread having long-lasting, complex carbs – basically because of the type of carb it took longer for your body to break it down, and how things like jelly beans have fast-acting, non-complex carbs – carbs easy for your body to break down. The reason it was so boring is that all that information that I just spewed out… wasn’t taught to me. Or at least it wasn’t taught in a way I could understand.

A common theme for classes taught for the benefit of young diabetics is that they’re not taught in a way that most young diabetics can understand. More on that another time.

Back to the second day, after the dietitian, we had a social security worker come in – I personally don’t remember this part, so I’m just going to brush over it. But I assure you it did happen.

The third day was by far the hardest for me because it’s what I remember as “shot day.” Now most people, especially kids, hate needles. I don’t know for sure, but I’d assume it up there in the like top 10 fears people have. 

I was one of those kids, and now the doctors told me I couldn’t leave until I gave myself a shot. Some people would die at this thought, being held in a hospital until they gave themselves a shot, and at the time, I certainly was not happy.

I cried a lot that day. However, by the end of the day, they let us leave, but… I didn’t take a shot; they just let us leave. Ironically though, I had no issue when we got home, and I took a shot no problem. 

And that was the end of my time in the hospital. Now… my parents have a lot of different experiences than I did the hospital, so expect to see them at some point soon.

Now, just like last time, a few things I learned from my time in the hospital. If they don’t let you have water ask if they will give you ice chips, I don’t know why they see it as a different thing, but it is. Two, ask questions if you don’t understand, don’t have your parents ask because then they’ll explain whatever is confusing you in a way that only your parents will understand, have whoever is teaching you whatever dumb it down. Finally, if you’re scared to take a shot, try a different position because personally, I found it way easier standing up than when they had me lying down. Once again, just a reminder, whatever you are going through right now, I know you can get through, and I promise it will get better.

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