Ahh, those three little letters that can strike fear into anyone who knows what the heck it is! Whenever anyone asks me what DKA is- I’m always reeeaaal hesitant to tell them. I mean, it’s some seriously scary stuff! But, like everything with this blog- I want it all out there. So….let’s talk Diabetic ketoacidosis.
Let’s get this part out of the way: yes, it’s life threatening.
It results from a lack of insulin (to this I always say “duh”). What then happens is the body switches from burning “fatty acids” to producing “acidic ketone bodies” – that cause their own set of complications! Fun right? Most of us were probably in DKA when we were diagnosed…seems that’s usually the way people actually find out they’re betic in the first place.
Symptoms commonly are (for me at least) vomiting, dehydration, peeing like a madmen, gasping for breath, confusion, irritability, and for some….coma.
I know for me, when I’m sick – my numbers sky rocket! It’s happened before that, from that I end up in DKA. I remember when I lived in FL I ended up with a kidney infection…man oh man that was horrible. But my body thought- why not make this even more enjoyable?? Next thing I know- I’m in the ICU for three nights because of the DKA factor.
I’ve even had the pleasure of being picked up by an ambulance on a layover and taken to the ER, then ICU for being in DKA. That story is actually kind of an odd one… I was living in NC and on my way back home to NY after some serious crap went down with my ex husband. I hadn’t been feeling well but was not okay with not going back up home. So I checked my luggage, and hopped on the plane. The whole first flight I was fighting throwing up and kept falling asleep. When we landed in Atlanta- I knew I couldn’t make it. I called my daddy. He kept saying I just had to make it on the plane and he’d get me and I’d be okay. Only problem was the layover was a few hours! Long story short- my dad ended up having to call 911 for me and have them pick me up from my gate in the Atlanta airport! I passed out soon as they arrived and I remember asking them when we got to the hospital “How am I getting my luggage?” Needless to say, my bag made it to NY – I never did.
However! That was hands down the best hospital I’ve ever stayed in! They were polite and accommodating and even the food (once they allowed me to eat) was actually good! Like good good! I remember I had Salisbury Steak and thoroughly enjoying it. Weird right?
But all that happened because I had (what ended up being) a wicked upper-respiratory infection. DKA is a sneaky little devil. It comes out of nowhere and completely causes havoc on your life! You feel absolutely, positively horrible and there are so many crazy side effects for days after you are declared “out of DKA”.
To all the betics who know what I’m talking about- I’m sorry you ever had to go through it. Sincerely. And those who don’t? Consider yourself lucky. Go hug a diabetic today haha
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