Week 2 blog:
Hi there! It’s Oliver again. It’s been a short bit since I last wrote one of these blogs, so I’m kinda out of the groove on where I left off. Ah, that’s right, my first night in the hospital.
The Hospital Rush
When I was diagnosed with diabetes in the Urgent Care, it was a massive shock. Not one person in my family (that I knew about) had any sort of autoimmune disorder. However, I had a sperm doner, so I didn’t have a complete medical history. I suddenly felt at odds with the world, struggling to understand what I had done to deserve the illness.
The lady at the Urgent Care recommended that I go to the hospital immediately, as I was bordering on ketoacidosis, where my body starts rapidly burning fat, causing my blood to become acidic. Like the keto diet, which my stepmother was on, it causes you to lose weight. Unlike the keto diet, it was burning up muscle, and had a high probability of killing me if gone untreated.
With that in mind, we went home to grab some of my things for a presumably overnight stay (including a change of clothes, my phone, and a couple of carb free snacks lest I get hungry) and headed off to the hospital.
I’ll have my mother fact check this, but I believe I was taken to Saint Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach, where they quite quickly suited me up with a heart rate monitor, IV tube drip feeding me insulin and nutrients, and a couple of other goodies. As I mentioned in the last blog, I was still afraid of needles at the time, so having an IV tube terrorized me.
Additionally, the nurse practitioner, who’s name escapes me, told me I would have blood drawn. She didn’t exactly break it to me softly either, making me incredibly anxious about staying in the hospital.
Yeah, the hospital wasn’t a very welcoming place. It was an environment of harsh indifference. Despite dealing with people when they were most vulnerable, either physically or mentally, it doesn’t open itself up to many chances to be empathetic.
We went to the hospital during the beginning of May, right when the fear of Covid was at it’s most extreme. As such, everything about the hospital was just a bit off. Before entering the facility, I was only allowed one adult to accompany me, and we were required to get a Covid test done first. Everyone was wearing a mask, and the entire hospital felt even more sterile than it already was (and the standard was set pretty high).
ICU, You are an object that has entered my field of vision
That night, that one horrible night, was, and still is, the worst night of my life. I was moved into the ICU, where I would spend a majority of the next two days situated in. The room had a curtain and a TV, with a remote and xbox controller. Now, normally, I would haved loved to have a room with an Xbox, but I was simply so sad, and so mentally exhausted that I couldn’t be bothered.
I was too exhausted to even really attune Netflix to watch something I wanted, so I ended up spending most of the day watching Golden Girl reruns. Turns out, I was either so exhausted that I couldn’t care less what I was watching, or Golden Girls is still pretty funny today. Whatever the case, the room entertainment was the least of my problems. Every hour, they would come in and draw my blood.
For those of you reading this now, your hospital might be fortunate enough to support Dexcom G6 Pro, which allows hospitals to read levels without making any additional contact with the patient. I am a slight bit ticked off that they released the product only two months after my hospital stay. I could have been able to get at least a little bit of sleep.
Of course, even putting aside the fingerpicks, I still had to have my blood drawn every four hours. It was one of the most painful shots I experienced, simply because of how frequent it was, and how close the injections were to each other. I tried to deal with it, and for the most part, I did. It was still painful to have the shots, but they went from frightening to irksome. That horrible experience was a big reason why I got over my fear of needles though, so that was one sliver of a silver lining.
Far and away though, the worst part of the experience was the uncertain waiting. I was left ambiguously for almost a whole day before meeting even one person who knew the slightest thing about diabetes. Despite it being such a common disease, I was left with two nurses who hadn’t the slightest idea how to manage diabetes. One of which was a guy who had the right intentions of expressing his beliefs about the keto diet, and how going on it would kill me, but my stepmother was quick to point out the logical fallacies in what he stated.
I was confused and scared and felt alone, not knowing exactly what would become of my life. And I was starving. I hadn’t eaten nor drank anything in almost sixteen hours, and I would have to wait even longer before I could see the endocrinologist and be able to finally eat.
But looking back on it now, none of it really mattered. It was but a hiccup in what would hopefully be a long happy life. As such, I want to ensure my readers one thing. It gets better. Every day past that first day, it gets better, and you become even stronger because of it. So just keep fighting every day, because it will get better.
See you next time,
From one diabetic to another!