Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hospital New Year

The Cause:
This has probably been the most trying, exhausting Christmas break of my life.  I started Christmas break from work on December 19th.  On December 20th, my husband Brian and I left Florida, headed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to spend the holidays with our families.  It was probably the busiest visit home we've ever had.  Our week there was packed full of dinners, shopping, and family get-togethers.  There was literally not a moment free.  On December 27th, we left and headed back to Florida.  I wasn't feeling well that morning and was pretty nauseated the entire trip.  Then we got caught in three hours of stop and go traffic in South Carolina and our drive ended up taking us about sixteen hours total.  By the time we finally got home, I was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to curl up in my own bed.  It was time to change my insulin pump site so before I went to bed, I finally did that too.  The insertion device that fires the needle and tube into your skin hadn't been working properly in Pennsylvania but I had been able to get it to work after some fussing.  I had the same problem again, where the device just wouldn't fire the pump site but I pushed it in as best as I could and thought things were grand.  And then in my state of exhaustion, I made a big diabetic mistake.  I went to sleep with a new pump site and didn't set my alarm to wake me up and check my blood sugar to make sure the new pump site was working.  Two and a half hours later...

The Effect:
I remember waking up around 1:40 A.M. because I had to pee.  Before I could even finish doing my business, I was vomiting in the trash can.  I remember taking the trash can out and cleaning it and from there everything is kind of a blur.  I don't remember much, just sort of blips and scenes of what took place.  I remember vomiting constantly, pretty much camped out with pillows and blankets on the bathroom floor.  At some point, Brian took me to the Emergency Room and I don't really remember much until I woke up the next day in the Intensive Care Unit.  I spent four days in ICU and one day in a different recovery room.  I rang in the New Year in a hospital bed with my husband worried sick.

I didn't remember much from the first two and half days but I guess I was severely dehydrated and delirious in the ER.  I didn't know who he was or what was happening.  Some time during the first night, my heart was struggling and my blood pressure kept dropping and alarms were going off and tons of doctors and nurses were tending to me and the 100 machines and wires that I was hooked up to.  The doctors said it seemed like my body was fighting some kind of infection that they couldn't find.  They asked a million questions and ran a million tests and it was all a blur.  I don't really remember.  Let's just say it was a nightmare.  Being diabetic has never been so scary to me and there's a certain amount of emotional damage that happens when you feel like you've lost the ability to handle your disease.  You feel like a child again and lose all confidence in your ability to take care of yourself.

January 1st, I was released from the hospital.  I know it's cliche, but I am definitely looking at things quite differently after all this.  My priorities have changed a lot and I feel like they needed to.  I'm proud that I won Teacher of the Year and that all of my hard work is appreciated and noticed but I need to put work lower on the priority list.  While I love writing for this blog and sharing whatever fun things I'm doing, sometimes it feels like work too and that's just added stress in my life that I don't need.  I'm not really one to make resolutions for the new year, because I never end up sticking with it, but there are some things in my life that I need to change.  So I've made some decisions.

1. Work less.  I can't really change the fact that I'm tutoring again after school starting in just a few weeks but I can choose to leave work at the end of my day instead of staying another two hours and I can choose to not work while at home all the time too.  Also, I've decided that I will only post things to this blog if it makes me happy, and never to do it if it feels like work.  Sometimes I just need to close the computer and get out and actually live my life.

2. Work towards a more healthy lifestyle.  I'm not going to say that I'm going to run a mile every day or lose ten pounds.  I know I won't do any of that stuff.  But back in the spring of 2013 Brian and I had started eating healthier and I felt better and had more energy.  Somewhere along the line, working all the time got in the way of that and I want to get back to eating fresh fruits and vegetables more.  Plus, they are delicious!  And I'm sure no one would mind if I did some blog posts about healthy lunch ideas every now and then, right?

Also, I'd like to try to get out and exercise more, even if it's just a walk around the neighborhood with Brian.  Right now, I'm feeling lucky to even be healthy enough to exercise.  There's no excuse to at least walk.  Again, close the computer and get off the couch.

3. Live my life.  This sounds simple but I feel like I spend so much of my time waiting for the weekend or waiting for summer or whatever that I don't enjoy the time I do have.  I need to be grateful for the present and enjoy the people and things that make me content right now, whatever that may be.  I'm definitely thinking more dates and time with friends.

4. Put ME first.  I feel like in my life, so many things get put before me.  No more thinking things like I can't go to the doctor's at 11:00, I have to work.  We'll have to change it.  or I can't go out to dinner Friday night, I have to get these papers checked and in the gradebook.  Seriously, what is wrong with me?  LOL!  Having a good work ethic is important, but at some point I have to realize that my career can't be the only way that I define myself.  I need to have hobbies again, to spend time with my husband and just stop and take care of myself.


  1. oh, I´m sorry...:(
    hope you are well :)) happy new year...take a break and just relax :)

    1. Thanks Juliana! I'm feeling much better now.

  2. You know, I was wondering how come you hadn't updated your blog but didn't expect to read all this. So glad you're ok!!!

  3. I'm sorry to hear about all of this! My friend went though something very similar when we were on a trip. He scared me so bad. He was throwing up all the time, dehydrated, delirious (he kept telling me random and very long stories), and nearly losing consciousness by the time we got him to the hospital. He’s doing great now, but it was definitely scary!

    Your blog and videos (I’ve followed for a long time lol) have definitely been motivating. Reading your story made me remember that I need to watch my own health. I’m pre-diabetic and need to make little improvements throughout my life! Thank you :)

    1. Thanks for your concern. It's definitely easy to get complacent with your health and it's hard work to make the effort to be healthy. Good luck!