To cut a long story short, in 2006 when I was 16, I was diagnosed with type 1 by way of what I was told, was the worst case of DKA ever survived by a patient at Royal Childrens Hospital.

In all honesty I believe it took me somewhere in the region of 2 years to properly recover, and even now I still have dizzy spells and a few other little quirks that I never experienced before DKA.

My problem is that I have no yard stick to compare myself too, did it really take me that long to recover, or was there something else at play?

I was wondering how long it took the others of you out there who have been through a bad case of DKA to recover?

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What do you mean by Bad case DKA? There are so many differences in Diabetic Patients experiences and how far did you go? There was a DKA survey done by someone doing a project here some time ago.
Bad case of DKA, as in not just a trip to the ER and back home. People who ended up in ICU and or had to have an extended stay in hospital.

By no means do I mean to imply there is such thing as a 'good' case of DKA.

I spent 3 days in a medically induced coma, another day in ICU, and another 4 in hosptial after that. when I was admitted to the ER at my local hospital I had severe dehydration, hypothermia (32 degrees C), potentially fatally low pottasium levels, 'fatally' low blood PH, swelling of the brain associated with the dehydration etc...
WOW!! You must know that I'm Very Happy that you survived that Really close call. Geez, you're only 20 now. Did you have any problems from this severe DKA??

I guess I qualify then. When I was 19 years old, I was late for work and totally forgot my morning/day Insulin. At work, we had the Mc's lunch plus I had a few large sodas during the day since I was Really thirsty and the day was Really hot. Water sucked in that building.

When I got back to my apartment after work, I took(I think) my Lente shot and packed my suitcase for the week-end. On the first bus I asked a Guy if I could sleep on his shoulder(cuz I felt awful). When I got off the bus, I threw up and continued on the next bus. I didn't have a clue what DKA was back then or about sugar levels. No meters.

That week-end was a tired, sickly blur. I remember my Parents rushing me to the biggest Hospital(1 hour away) while I threw up blood in a big container between in and out of contiousness.

At the Hospital, I was dying of thirst, so I crawled over the bed rails and over my Mom to find a water fountain somewhere. I finally found a water fountain in a hallway and collapsed right there. I had asked my Mom(I don't remember when)to give a going-steady ring to my Boyfriend(Hubby now)whom she didn't like. She gave it to him when she allowed him in my ICU room while I was in the 3 day Coma because the Drs. said that I wasn't going to survive.

I woke up out of the 3 day Coma to my Boyfriend holding my hand. I think HE brought me out of it. As I said before, he's a trouble-shooter. =)
Sounds like a good man to have around :)

I had a fair few problems from the DKA that had me in hospital a number of times in the months that followed, included one that had me airlifted back to the RCH for a second time, and another that had me being prepped to be airlifted back a 3rd time, but I got a lucky save, and got out of that one.

The swelling of the brain I mentioned impaired my cognitive ability for 6-12 months while I recovered from it, I couldn't concentrate very well, nor think logically to my normal ability.

I ended up dropping out of school from the mental and psychical exhaustion of it all, but it's all good in the end, I lived to tell the tale, and that's the important bit :)

Can you remember how long it took you to feel like yourself again after your episode of DKA?
It sounds like you had a rather frank case of cerebral edema, one that the docs recognized, and that you survived and eventually got back to normal. I think that's great.

My case may have been more minor but I recognize some commonalities with your story.

I think it's important for the medical community, and the public at large, to recognize the risks of cerebral edema in DKA and recovery.

Sometimes I think we try to hard to be superman, and simply power through any issues we had at diagnosis, but it's also important to look back and realize that yeah, sometimes we did have to slow down or miss out on an opportunity.

I definitely did have some physical exhaustion in the weeks after diagnosis. I think that while a couple of weeks in the hospital did correct my blood pH, that some muscle damage had been done that took a while to recover from. Looking back I had been in obvious DKA for at least a month (I remember panting all the time, and racing heart beat) before I was diagnosed - by that point I was hallucinating and lapsing in and out of consciousness if not in a real coma.
Sounds like a good man to have around :)

Yes, he is. My Mom loves him also. She just had to get to know him. Btw, I'm sure that the Drs. did help me out of the Coma also. :)

No, I sure didn't have the after affects/complications that you and a few others experienced from the Coma. Mine was not medically induced though. It was natural. I don't know if that would make a difference. I'm Sad to hear that yours was much more severe and lingering.

The day I woke out of the Coma, I was foggy-brained of course and tired for some time. I got up later and went walking down the halls and to talk to the Nurses. The main Dr. stopped me in the hallway and asked how I was feeling and commented that I was a Very Lucky Girl. I guess I was or it just wasn't my time, considering that they had told my Parents that I wasn't going to survive. I didn't even know what an Endo was at that time--this was not my Dr.(I had a GP) or my Hospital at that time.

I forgot my shots on Friday morning and I was back to my city and work on Wednesday doing my normal job and feeling Well again. I only went to a Hospital that one time for DKA.

I lived to tell the tale, and that's the important bit :)

Yes Sir, you are so right there. I hope that you do Well. :)



I know years ago, the worst case of DKA/Coma(not deceased) that I've read on Diabetes Communities was a Man saying that his Wife was Badly brain-damaged and Comatose. He was asking for any help. Poor her and him. :(
I spent two weeks in two different hospitals recovering from DKA at diagnosis. I don't know how you measure "the worst" but that seems like a long time compared to many others.

One of the most dangerous complications related to DKA, is the risk of cerebral edema. It seems like this risk may be greatest, if bg's are lowered too quickly in the treatment.

The medical establishment seems to recognize the possibility of cerebral edema as an acute risk but I don't see much acknowledgement of more subtle effects.

In any event one of the more subtle effects: towards the end of my 2nd week in the hospital they were talking about the paperwork that might let me go home and back to school. With my parents in the room my doc asked me some "simple" questions that I rattled off answers to right away: What school did I go to, my teacher's name, etc. He then looked at my mom and asked if that was right. She had a worried look on her face, and said that no, it's all wrong, the answers I was giving were for fifth grade, and actually I was going into 9th grade. At that moment I realized that not everything was right.

Other than that example, though, I can't point to anything obviously wrong later. Of course if I have memory lapses and don't recognize what I'm not remembering, how can I know it?
By 'worst' I believe they were mostly referring to the PH of my blood, which I'm told, should have proved fatal. They don't know why it wasn't, I guess I just got lucky. The rest of my stats were pretty extreme too, but I don't think any of them broke records like my blood PH.

2 weeks is a decent stay in hospital alright.

How can you know that you can't remember something if you've forgotten that you should know it, a difficult situation if there ever was one!
Yeah, that's the thing about the sort of memory loss I experienced. I was so sure that the answers from 5th grade were still correct when I recited them, but they were 4 years out of date. Where had those 4 years gone while I was answering the question? I don't know! The instant I was reminded I knew the "right" and "current" answers but wow.

Did you have memory loss incidents like that? Or other mental/cognitive symptoms?
I have no recollection of the day I was admitted to ER, even though apparently I was conscious for a number of hours before I was admitted, and for another hour or so after, before I was placed in a medically induced coma.

Apparently the first few times I woke up after they told me where I was and why, but I would fall asleep again and wake up having forgotten everything they told me. And I can't really remember the time I spent in the ICU at all, but I imagine that would be fairly common among anyone who has been that sick, I don't know if it was linked to cerebral edema at all.

The cerebral edema certainly did make it harder for me to concentrate for months, and ever since my mind has always felt a lot noisier. It's hard to explain, but it's like there is white noise that accompanies thoughts now, where they used to be crystal clear. It's not really something quantifiable, and I can't really describe it, but it did start the moment I woke up post DKA, and has stuck around ever since.
In 2005 my father was diagnosed with Leukemia. He got progressivly sick, and I "just forgot" to take any medications. I just keep going to work, etc. He died right after the first of the year in 2006. Once again I made it through all of that, but the day after his memorial service, I could not stay awake, My husband was checking on me, but he just thought I was so exausted that I must have needed the sleep. Stayed home an extra day from work, but the day I did go back, they found me face down on my desk, passed out. Was taken to the ER, and my blood sugar was 740. Spent a could of days in the ICU, then a couple more days in the hospital. My endocrinologist saved my life, and I tell him that every visit. He had the IUC nurses call him once an hour for two days!.....more if there was a problem. He adjusted me so well, nice and slow, so that it was not a shock to my body to get back to normal. Right after that I went on an insulin pump, then the Omni pod and have had no issues since!
I don't know what makes one DKA worse then others but I was in DKA for 2 to 3 days. Although it was many years ago I don't really remember too much. I was also 16 but then they believed if you were in DKA more then 3 days you wouldn't come out and would die...but that was a millon years ago in the what I refer to as the dark ages.

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