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[personal profile] awfulhorrid
We've been sharing some variation of the current flu bug around a bit. Last weekend Tara and I had planned some time out for our anniversary, but she came down sick on Saturday. We basically ended up just hanging out together at the hotel for the rest of Saturday, relaxing a bit and watching a few episodes of Twin Peaks. When I got home on Sunday, I managed to get into the house and "woof" weakly up at Fran before I had to make a dash to the bathroom.

I slept most of Sunday and Monday, eating very little and missing my first day of school for the new semester. I also stayed home on Tuesday, sleeping less, still not eating much, but being mostly shagged out as if from a long squawk. By Wednesday, I was feeling better and went back to school - the flu seemed to be over and I was feeling better, so I started eating more or less normally. Everything was fine, right? Except, of course, by Wednesday morning, Fran was starting to be sick too. She had stayed home on Monday to look after me, but insisted that it was fine for me to go to school instead of looking after her. I wasn't happy about it, but I headed out and did what I needed to do.

I found that while I was eating normal food, I still wasn't very hungry. I ate most of my food out of sheer doggedness, but apparently I wasn't taking in as much as I should have been. I also think I took the wrong dosage of fast-acting insulin when I got home from school Wednesday evening. (So I took 45 units of Novolog instead of 15.) I honestly don't remember all the details that followed, but I know Fran and I spent quite some time trying to get me stable again ... with me forcing myself to eat or drink something to keep my blood sugar up!

Thursday rolled around and I recovered from the insulin crash, but I still wasn't feeling quite right. My appetite was still low and I'd fill up really quickly when I did eat. This was also the day we had a little blizzard, so driving home from school took almost twice as long as normal. By the time I got home, I was exhausted, so I napped for a while with Fran for most of the afternoon and into the evening. Once I awoke, the snow had stopped and I went out to clear the drive. I got less than a quarter done when I felt that old familiar feeling of low blood sugar, so I stopped and came back inside for dinner.

Despite low blood sugar, physical exertion, and not having eaten much the whole day, I found I just wasn't very hungry and I picked at my food. I more or less forced myself to eat my Salisbury steak with mac & cheese, eventually finishing the whole thing, but just barely. I went back out to finish the drive after dinner, but soon found my bsl dropping again. (I tested at 28 mg/dL when I came back inside, shaky and strongly feeling the drop.) I had cleared enough of the drive that we'd be able to force our way past the rest of it, which was good as there was no way either of us could do any more to it!

Warning: Possible TMI ahead.

I slept rather oddly Thursday night ... I felt bloated and couldn't really get comfortable. I woke up Friday morning and realized the bloated feeling was actually starting to hurt. At some point I realized that I had not had an actual bowel movement in at least two days ... (That just can't be good, can it?) At this point, it wasn't hurting badly, but was starting to whisper of things to come, so I asked Fran to take me to the VA clinic in Kenosha. (Initially I considered the emergency room, but decided to start with something a bit less dramatic.) By the time  we got there, the discomfort was starting to ramp up a bit into some serious pain and an examination from my primary care physician concluded with her recommending that I go to the ER at the North Chicago VA hospital.

When we arrived there - about 45 minutes later - the pain had become pretty constant and was really starting to climb to the top of that pain scale. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain (hush, you!), but this was getting pretty close to my limit and staying there. Once we were in an examination room, they put me on fluids (I was a bit dehydrated), gave me some IV drugs to help with the nausea, took some blood samples, and had me drink a "GI cocktail" ... Milk of Magnesia and lidocaine. It tasted about like it sounds, although honestly I've had worse. The doctor examined me to make sure the pain wasn't gall bladder or an appendix (yes, I had considered that possibility), but luckily the pain itself was simple gastritis. Painful as hell, mind you, but at least it wasn't something more serious!

This seems to be from a combination of lingering effects from the flu, viral interference with my blood sugar levels, and drastic change in diet in a short period of time. The recommendation was to cut down my insulin dosage temporarily, go back to a "easier" diet for a few days, drink lots of fluids, and some acid reducing medications. I'm currently feeling better, and can tell things are much better with my system already. I'm gradually transitioning back to solid food - taking a few days to do so this time instead of doing so suddenly. This may make eating lunch at school interesting, though!

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This entry originally posted to my dreamwidth account. (Not sure how this is going to work, but you should be able to reply in LJ or DW and I'll see it!)
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