• Ravneet Kaur

The Infusion


The hours at the hospital felt like a lifetime. Just before I went to sleep, a surgeon came over to tell me that there is a probability that I might have stones in my gall bladder. If that was the case, they might have to take it out by performing a small surgery. I was too hazed up with all the drugs in my system, so I just nodded my head in affirmation and closed them again.

The thing with being in a hospital is that if you are in critical condition, the nurses always keep you accompanied. Just like a best friend, they show up every second hour to check on your vitals.

I didn't have a good night sleep and even after one day I still felt sick to my stomach.

Weakness was taking over my senses and I was going drowsy.

It was around afternoon when Doctor Peter showed up again while the nurse was checking my levels. He recommended the nurse to check my Ketone levels as well.

In layman terms, Ketones are the chemicals that build up, when your body starts to burn fat for harnessing energy. The most common cause of ketones in diabetics is insulin deficiency. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood stream and can't enter cells which results in ketones forming in the blood and eventually spilling into urine. High ketone levels may indicate diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a complication of diabetes that can lead to a coma or even death.

My Ketones at that point was sitting at 3.2 mmol/L. Doctor Peter looked at me and examined me if I was having any discomfort and then asked for the nurse to immediately get in touch with the endocrinologist of the hospital and put me on an Insulin infusion to treat diabetes ketoacidosis.

Meanwhile the nurses and the doctor were discussing the next steps of action, my uncle showed up and he witnessed them inserting another cannula in me to start the infusion. The doctor briefed him about the situation. They were suggesting to move me to the ICU but the doctor seemed sure that I will recover soon and there was no need to panic.

I was screaming with pain. I looked at the doctor and asked him if something bad will happen to me. He squeezed my hand and said that he is sure that I will make a recovery and make it out of the hospital by the weekend. Those words felt like a ray of hope and I just gave in to my pain and let them proceed with the treatment. My uncle said he will visit again at night and he left.

The medical team started the infusion process. For those of you who don't know, Intravenous (IV) infusion is the preferred route of insulin delivery in critical care and preoperative in patient settings because the rapid onset and short duration of action associated with IV infusion allow for matching insulin requirements to rapidly changing glucose levels. They do however, put you on glucose along with the insulin to balance it all out. Having glucose through IV has been the worst experience of all my face, hands,feet, fingers everything was rapidly swelling and nurses had to check my sugar and ketone levels every hour and it was descending pretty quickly.

The endocrinologist and her team visited me just before the end of the day. She took a note of my history and said I might be fine after one round of infusion and that I should start eating to have some amount of carbs in my body so ketones do not rise again. The numbers came down in couple of hours and the ketones were drifting towards 0.

The infusion process was almost finished and I was happy that finally its gonna be over. The nurse came over and removed it all leaving the cannula just in case we have to put it in again. He checked my ketones and they were 0.2mmol/L. I asked him to get me some juice and sandwich. I ate a bit, took some insulin from my pump and slept.

2 hours later, when he came to check my levels again my sugar was 13.6mmol/L and ketones were on the rise again with the levels reading 2.1mmol/L. Just when the nurse started to get worried, I told him that I ate and it will take some time for my levels to balance out. The doctor on the night duty and the nurse were worried they wanted to put me back on the infusion but I knew I will be fine in an hour or so, I said to them that I knew what I was doing just let me handle it and if it doesn't work I am happy to go back on infusion again. He said okay if by 6 AM they are not fine then we have to put you on infusion again. It was almost 4 AM by then. I slept for the next 2 hours.

When around 6 AM he came to check my levels they were fine my sugar came down to 6.3mmol/L and ketones were down to 0.5mmol/L. I was so happy, actually feeling some sense of control over my body after 3 days of struggle.

It was a Thursday. Doctor Peter came up for regular examination and told me if I will be fine the whole night. They might discharge me with a course of antibiotics to be taken from home. I finally spoke to mother and father over the phone that day. They moved me from surgical ward to medical ward and I was relieved as I was going back home the next day. The nightmare finally seemed to be over.

#ketones #doctor #peter #struggle #nurse

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ravneet2105@gmail.com

NSW, Australia