Tag Archives: Type1

Complicating Complications

19 Jul

I’ve run on and on about the sight issue with my foot, Right?

In the past, I’ve run on and on about my nasty little rash due to tape allergies….

(I’m not sensitive, I’m intolerant!)

Well, in the interests of completeness, I have managed to combine the two!

Part of my #DIYIV kit is a “Mid-Line Cannula” inserted into vein at the bicep (yes, if you look carefully there is one somewhere) that runs up to my shoulder area. There is a clip stuck to my skin to hold the line in place and it is (was) tapped down with Tegaderm (I think) to prevent infection of the arm.

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Knowing that the tape was likely to give me a rash, I decided to go with it and see how bad it got. After all, I could put up with a bit of a tickle for 6 weeks.

I did already have a rash on my lower arm from the 3 days of tape that held in the standard cannula before the Mid-Line was seductively inserted by the Doctor…….

Within a day, as I had the expected rash appeared and by 7 days it was itching like a bad case of Crabs….

I still elected to carry on with the tape and see how it went.

It went Shit!

The rash and itching was worse and I was reacting to the adhesive of the clip too.

Again, at the weekly dressing change by the Nurse, after a discussion, I stuck (no pun intended) with the same tape.

Stuck….

Kind of ironic.

By that evening the tape just slid off my arm.

The reaction had decided to go nuclear and arm had erupted in to an oozing (genuinely love that word) flow of bodily fluid (not the kind that’s enjoyable to produce…).

Carefully, like an actual grown up, I cleaned the area, let it dry then patched it up as best I could with the only tape I don’t react to. Hypafix.

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All of that was on Sunday. Come Monday I toddle of to work 175 miles away, do a day’s work and get to my hotel. 8pm sees IV drip time and that goes to plan as always.

However, when disconnecting the IV line, I notice that the mass of tape is moving a bit (like too much of a bit!).

Closer inspection sees that the clip is no longer stuck to me as, yes, you guessed it! OOZZZZZZZZING…

Only one thing for it!

Carefully.

And I mean fucking Carefully!

Lift the clip, clean under it, let it dry, strip of Hypafix underneath then tape (what remains of) the clip to that.

Side note: It did cross my mind that the only thing that came close to bothering me was that I was totally un-phased by pissing around with this kind of thing.

My conclusion? People thing I’m resilient. Maybe I’m just stupid.

Anyway, all went to plan, if you can call it a plan and it no looks like this…..

It’s working ok and I will be back home at the weekend, visiting the clinic to come up with a suitable but more professional solution.

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Getting the foot issues has not been ideal.

The treatment could be seen as a challenge.

The rash making the complications (or at least the treatment of them) more complicated is quite frankly taking the piss!

However, it’s just one of those things.

I will never, where humanly possible let, any of this stop me working or living my life the way I want to.

 

When life throws you hand grenades.

Catch them.

Pull out the pins and throw the bloody things back!

Live Long and Bolus

Grumps.

 

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IV AB Day 5 – Flying Solo

4 Jul

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Day 5 saw me flying solo with my IV and self-administering for the first time on my own at home.

Nothing to report.

Everything went to plan and was uneventful.

Which is good.

I made sure that I was on my own so that I had no distractions.

I did take a longer time to set it up than when supervised at the hospital.

Doing this for the first time I guess I checked everything 3-4 times more than needed.

But I do understand that this is serious shit and that getting it wrong could cause me additional issues that could at least be a pain in the arse……

 

Again, this reminded me of my Diabetes diagnosis and the first injection that I did on my own when I got home……

Everything went to plan and was uneventful.

Which was good.

I made sure that I was on my own so that I had no distractions.

I did take a longer time to set it up than when supervised at the hospital.

Doing this for the first time I guess I checked everything 3-4 times more than needed.

 

I think that these are both like driving a car.

You are shown how to drive.

You get behind the wheel under supervision.

You learn and become more confident.

You pass your test and get released into the world to drive on your own.

Your first trips out unsupervised are hesitant and you double-check every move and maneuver.

With experience your confidence builds.

It becomes second nature.

Before you know it, you are driving with the music blaring, your arm out of the window and your feet on the dashboard……….

 

As I carry on with my DIY IV I will get quicker.

It will become second nature.

It will become more familiar.

However, I must ensure that familiarity does not breed contempt.

That it does not lead to mistakes or errors.

 

Live Long and Bolus.

Grumps.

 

IV AB Day 4 – Released into the Wild

1 Jul

The plan for today:

  • Get new cannula (Mid-Line) fitted by DR
  • Set-up own drip again
  • Get dripped (is that a thing?…)
  • Bugger off home for Sunday roast!

Had a longer wait today as I needed to see the Doctor to put in the “Mid-Line” cannula.

Why does it need a Doctor I wondered?…

Well, as I found out, because its fucking long!…..

This is the original Standard cannula. It needs to be changed every 3-5 days. It is also in a bloody annoying and inconvenient place!

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Because I will be on IV daily for at least 6 weeks I was offered a “Mid-Line” cannula that can stay in place for at least 3 months. Sounded good to me so I agreed.

When I was called in I was asked to lie on the bed type thing.

The Doctor comes in and tells me about this thing…..

“I will insert it here (pointing at the place my bicep should be) and it will go in your vein up to here (pointing just below my shoulder)”.

“Okay” my mouth said.

“OH FUCK!” my brain whispered….

The Doctor proceeds.

Uses an ultrasound scanner to find the best route.

Unpacks his sterile gown.

Puts a sterile sheet thing with a hole in it over the insertion area (stop sniggering please).

Injects my arm with local anaesthetic (Oh. Numb left hand. Useful…..)

Sticks in a big needle thing.

Feeds in what seems like 123 metes of cannula.

Withdraws inserter (he told me it was a safe method…)

All done!

 

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I have to be honest, this is 100 times more comfortable than the other one.

I can bend my arm ok without catching the cannula.

So even though it was a prolonged procedure it was worth the wait.

After that I set-up my IV as I did yesterday and got my daily dose.

 

Bonus for the day?

I got given everything I need for the next 7 days to do this solo.

I need to go back every Sunday, get my bloods taken and pick up the next week’s supplies.

The guys at my hospital have been fantastic!

The extra time that they have taken in teaching me to do this on my own allows me to continue to live my life how I need to and ultimately earn a living.

So, tomorrow I fly solo.

But that’s another blog post….

Live Long and Bolus

Grumps.

IV AB Day 3 – Under Scrutiny

30 Jun

I’m going to try and keep these short and quite soon I expect them to stop.

Once I’m up and running on my own this will just become part of my daily routine and there will be no story to tell.

So, the plan for today was….

  • Go to Ambulatory Care
  • Prepare my own IV drip, under supervision
  • Get a longer term (up to 3 months) cannula inserted

As soon as I walked in I could see that there were only two staff in and a lot of people waiting for treatment, so I know I’d have a bit of a wait. This is fine with me. People are getting the care and attention that they need so I will never mind waiting my turn.

The nurse calls me in when it’s my turn. “were you hoping to be trained how to do this today as we are short on staff and it takes a long time to do”.

This is not really what I wanted to hear as I’m impatient to get signed off and let loose with IV in the wild.

I explain that the plan was for me to do the setup but I totally understood if it’s not possible. However, I was on the clock a bit with this as ideally, I would be going away for work on Tuesday (3 days’ time). I explained that I have already had the process explained and was ready to try myself.

“Ok, let’s see if you can recall any of the steps with all of this then” …

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Yesterday I found it easy to remember what to do. Having been around syringes, sharps and solutions it had all felt very familiar to me. So, I rattled off the process step by step without hesitation.

“Oh, you did remember well! How do you feel about trying to do it yourself or would you like to be shown a few more times?”

My reply “Well, you won’t let me go it alone with this stuff if I don’t will you? I’ll do it now”

Sudden flash back to the week I was diagnosed almost 24 years ago.

A nurse comes to do my pre-meal injection (syringe back in those days).

“We will show you how to do this as many times as you need and then when you feel ready you can try yourself”.

Grumps – “I’ll do it now please”

Nurse – “Are you sure you are ready?”

Grumps – “Will I you let me out of here until I can do this myself?”

Nurse – “Well. No…..”

Grumps – “Then please pass me that syringe”

Clearly, I haven’t changed in the last 24 years.

I am still a stubborn bastard!

Everything went to plan an I started myself in my very first #DIYIV

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Unfortunately, there was no Doctor available to do the cannula insertion but that has been moved to tomorrow.

At least it will give me something to write for Day ……..

Live Long and Bolus

Grumps.

Starting on IV – Days 1 &2

29 Jun

I’ve never written a diary.

Nope.

Never.

It’s not really me, is it?

I don’t need to write down my feelings. In fact I try to never have any…..

I don’t really have private thoughts. I tend to spew them about on social media.

However, I have decided to document the next chapter of the treatment of my foot issues on this blog.

Why?

Simple really.

At some point, someone about to start on daily IV antibiotics may stumble across this and it may have some information that helps them along their own journey.

I think of it as possible future peer support……

A short background to all of this.

A foot ulcer that has taken 10 months of treatment so far.

A fantastic team that tailor my care to my needs and life.

A list of old broken bones and trauma that I have no recollection of doing. Clearly alcohol must have been involved at some (or many) point……

So, this week I started the next chapter of this long and at times cheesy (its hard to wash a foot you have to keep dry) story. Before I was lucky enough to go to ADA in Orlando, myself and my team had agreed that the day after I got back I would start a 6-week course of daily IV antibiotics. That due to having to work away, I would be taught to self-administer these so as not to impact my life and importantly my income (no work, no money, no bills paid).

Day 1

Foot clinic first.

The ulcer was looking a bit worse for wear after a week on my feet and all that travel, but the general consensus was that it had fared well and the plan of self-care that we had agreed had worked in the main.

I was also fitted with a new offloading boot. Much more robust than the previous one and it will help aid the healing once the infections (yes, 3 to be exact) in my foot and bone have been banished. Of course, I look like a total knob! However, I managed that with ease even without foot issues so it’s not a problem.

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Then, off I hobble to the Ambulatory Care Unit…..

First bit of good news was that they were expecting me and knew all about the need to self-administer.

Day 1 here was easy.

Cannula inserted.

IV drip set up.

30 min later I was on my way home to return on Day 2 for my first bit of instruction.

All that was left to do was to put on the new boot when home (you can’t drive in these things. To be honest you can barely walk in the bloody thing!), make a cup of coffee and over share the whole experience on Social Media…..

Day 2

Off I head to the hospital armed with a pad and pen!

Forcing myself to try and be a grown up always hurts but IV stuff is serious and whist I’m a dick head most of the time, this is the time to not be.

Today I was shown how to mix the antibiotics and set up the drip.

I wrote it all down step by step.

My writing is shit!

I mean, really shit.

So, had to take a bit of time to make sure I could read it later.

It’s a fairly simple process to be honest. The things I have had to do in the last 24 years that Diabetes has been living with me make it all easy to understand and there is no likelihood of me being overwhelmed with is because this just feels like and extension of what I already do….

My biggest challenge was actually to not tell myself “well that’s easy” and switch off my concentration.

With this going straight into my blood stream, I need to focus on infection control (because an infection whilst administering antibiotics for existing infections would really be taking the piss right now).

Anyway, there I am with 20 min on my hands as the drip is started.

Only one thing to do…..

Tweet it all out there…

I am very grateful for everyone’s best wishes that have been received.

For all that have voiced their concerns for me. I appreciate that too.

However, this is me, I am genuinely ok with this and this will have a successful outcome, and…..

You will have to endure endless tweets and posts about it too…

I am fully aware that my “resilience” can be my downfall. I am my own worst enemy at times as I push myself too far to prove to myself that I’m immortal. Not this time though. You don’t get rid of Grumps that easily…….

I’m back at the hospital again tomorrow, but will tell you about that, well, tomorrow.

Live Long and Bolus

Grumps.

Type one complications – Kath’s Story

7 Jun

So I’ve had to give myself a little push to write this…partly as I’ve moved on and partly because it still hurts just a bit…

A bit about me…type one Diabetic since being diagnosed aged 9, so approx 34 years. Admittedly throughout my teens and early 20’s I thought I didn’t have to test my blood sugar as i felt “fine” ….of course I didn’t…that daily tiredness and feeling sluggish I just accepted was how I was meant to feel…and that the unexpected hypos when I did something different was a circle of being low, over eating and then being high but not ever really testing to enable myself to treat the high and get on a level. I pretty much only tested if I didn’t feel “right”! Thankfully after diagnoses I have only had 2 admissions through being hypoglycaemic and have to date never experienced diabetic ketoacidosis.

Attending diabetic clinics at the Gp surgery was always a bit unfulfilling to say the least… “you need to get your blood sugar levels under control” was the 3 monthly advice with no real concerted effort to say how but starting with testing would have helped and that was down to me.

So fast forward a few years and various diabetic related complaints….numerous retinopathy eye operations and laser surgeries, almost losing a toe to an infected toenail removal and then the unthinkable happened…(Not a single offered consultant appointment I might add)

“I’m 38 and I’ve had a heart attack” … this was going to be the distorted mantra that was to plague my mind for the next 6 months. (And occasionally still) Round and round it went. I was sat in hospital for 5 days waiting for an angiogram to confirm the myocardial infarction, I had been working nights for the preceding two weeks as a mental health nurse on my own in an office experiencing what I told myself was a trapped nerve…id been to the Drs 3 times, had ECGS and was simply told I was too young to be having heart problems and that it was probably anxiety..…I turned down an ambulance when I had chest pain at an evening out and drove myself to the out of hours Gp…then a lovely old school Gp took some bloods and sent me up to the hospital for a chest xray, which of course came back negative. I didn’t have raised cholesterol or high blood pressure either. The consultant was about to send me home with a confirmed trapped nerve and some Diazepam when she said” oh but we will just wait for your bloods and then send you on your way”. She actually said on her return some 90 minutes later that “that’ll teach me”… “You’ve had a heart attack and I must admit you straight away”.

So angiogram aside (which is the oddest feeling in the world…being awake and feeling something moving up inside your arm and into your heart which isn’t necessarily where you think it is!, lying bare bummed on a cold metal table that I thought I was going to fall off and hearing lots of figures being bandied around and the surgeon asking for a 2×2 (whatever it was) and the assistant coming back and saying they didn’t have one! What?! but I need one!) Recovery from that is really quick and I finally went home the next day. Then the real recovery started…being good to myself, testing my blood sugars…for a few weeks I was really convinced that all I could eat was chicken salad for the rest of my life.. I attended cardiac rehab with all the other heart surgery patients of an average age of 70 plus! The stress wasn’t helping my blood sugars at all and I decided I had to join a gym! Plus I didn’t want to die and became a little obsessed that that was going to happen imminently….depression comes with any chronic disease and I was slipping down that slope.

4 and a half years later and having stuck with the gym and starting running, also having had an insulin pump for the last 2 years has all really helped! Ive had the best Hba1c ever (it still needs improving) and last year I ran my first ever half marathon albeit at a snails pace but I did it with 30 plus other type one ‘s and had no dramas! I attended the Animas sports weekend at Loughborough which was also really valuable. If I had my time again or could have spoken to my 13 year old self id definitely have had a word with myself sooner!! There really shouldn’t be anything a diabetic can’t do !! It just takes a whole lot more planning!

Be kind to yourself is my motto these days, I didn’t ask for this blooming disease (none of us did) but I have it and I can manage it with support. Technology is immensely helpful as is the online support! So ask for help before it gets too much!

Kath

Thanks to Grumps for getting the #talkaboutcomplications  started!

Jason’s Story

15 Apr

Life is funny, one day your fitting into the smallest clothes you’ve ever been able to get into in your life and you look at yourself in the mirror and you think you look great, the next day your over 1,000km from home you’ve slept 12 hrs in five days and you just want your warm bed at home. Funny how things change so fast.

Infection is funny, you develop an infection your not quite sure of, being Gen Y you decide you don’t need a doctor you persevere and use doctor Google, he has all the answers, eventually after a period of unbearable pain you man up and go see the doctor, he gives you antibiotics and sends you on your way problem solved!!!

Wrong, it dissipates for a time and then comes back with a vengeance but you decide you don’t like doctors so your not going back, your young stupid and full of pride and ego.

But deep down something is amiss gradually over time you become more and more angry and snap at people at the drop of a hat, you start eating more and more and more drinking more and more water. People close to you suggest you might have diabetes, but you don’t want to hear it, afterall the mere thought of such a thing is scary, you saw what pig headedness did to your father with his complications from type 2 diabetes eight years previous.

Nope!!! Not me, finally after coming home from
Holidays and going another month of 0 energy and eating and drinking like a horse I finally get the courage to go and get myself looked at…. queue the microphone drop moment when the nurse sprints in, “you don’t have diabetes do you ??” Nope… “mm well now you do..” your blood sugar is supposed to be between 4-8 & yours is 26..

There’s that all consuming life Changing moment, when you realise that your life will never be the same again, you come home and start getting used to your new life and where it will take you.

But it’s not all bad, they don’t tell  you that yes in a years time you’ll get diagnosed with the beginnings of diabetic retinopathy even though your not supposed to have it for atleast five years. That originally way back when you first developed your infection you actually developed type 1.5 diabetes and that it got completely overlooked which explains the retinopathy. A year after the retinopathy you’ll also begin to develop cataracts because secretly you always wanted to be a horse…

But life works in mysterious ways… this life changing event will be the beginning of a whole new life for you. You’ll get introduced to the Australian online Diabetic community, all because you can’t work out what to eat a day after your diagnosis, you’ll come accross amazing blogs like Renza’s diabetogenic and you’ll make life long friends.

And soon before you know it you’ll meet the love of your life and your partner and type 2 diabetic Irina & you’ll both get a second chance at life and love and everything that’s good in the world and you wouldn’t change your diabetes diagnosis for anything because it’s changed and improved upon your life so much and you never want to go backwards.

Life is good, life is interesting, life is full of surprises some good and some bad, but at the end of the day we live each day the best we can and to the fullest

Jason Type 1 Diabetic Sydney Australia