When Wonder Sugar (?) stopped noticing the unstoppable nausea feeling
Last week was all about breaking out into the cold sweats and it's impact on my mood and life. Today I will go through the second BIG signal my body was sending me...
Second Symptom: Stomach Pain/Nausea/Spewing
What did you think when you looked at the pic of this week? Would you suspect from it I was extremely sick? Can you say that just before taking that pic I was spewing? That I barely managed to eat or drink, because the nausea was so bad? At the time I was also a heavy smoker (BAD BAD HABIT! ) and I almost couldn't smoke either... (I've managed to kick the habit and happily smoke free now 😊)
It was the 16 (or 17) of November and we were kicking-off my birthday celebrations. I was with my favourite people at my favourite brunch place in Dubai (@La Cantine du Faubourg)... and I was refusing to feel poorly and sick. So I kept smiling, chatting and cheering even if I was feeling sleepy and nauseous and I was actually upset because I had in front of me my favourite rose' wine ( #M de Minuty- Cote de Provence) and truffle mozzarella (I LOOOVE anything #truffle) and I couldn't enjoying it...
'It's a period, you can do this, only 2 more months and you will finally go on leave for 2 weeks and get the rest you need and the nausea will be gone'
That was more or less one month prior my hospitalisation and the nausea wasn't a new companion by then...nausea and I were inseparable already. It became such a habit that I even stopped noticing it. I was doing everything while so nauseated: working, travelling, socialising. Once every now and then I was feeling worse, but then everything was back to 'normal' till it just got out of control...
What was I thinking?: Some background. Since I can remember I have been very sensitive with my stomach. Travel and Nausea where part of the same sentence...for the first days of the trip at least. Everybody in the family used to make fun of me because of it!
Over 2018 I flew a lot. I mean A LOT! , on average, I was flying to Japan almost once every 10 days (more or less 21 hours flying time) to stay 24 to max 48 hours if I had to attend meetings in different cities. In addition to my trips to Japan I had to attend other meetings in Africa as well in October. I was always jet lagged, eating when/where and what I could. I was sleeping little and poorly and my stress level was extremely high.
I was also keen to ensure my social/private life wasn't affected by my work schedule, which on one hand influenced more my sleep patterns (before a flight I was going out for dinner and then directly to the airport, or have a date at night, go to work the morning after and fly out the same night...) and on the other hand my stress levels ( I wanted to do everything and I felt I didn't have time). Basically I was stuck between thoughts of taking it easy, my career aspirations and my social life.
I was thinking: I'm tired, I don't eat regularly, I don't eat homemade food, my stomach has always been oversensitive when travelling...when I started to feel sick while smoking too then my imagination picked up and started to think about cancer and metastasis...
Did I ever think 'Maybe it is my blood sugar'? NOPE...
I kept repeating myself ' It's a period, you can do this, only 2 more months and you will finally go on leave for 2 weeks and get the rest you need and the nausea will be gone'
First week of December 2018, I eventually managed to go on a 2 weeks vacation (Jamaica and Miami😎 ). But not only did I not get better but the nausea got out of control after the friend I was travelling with gave me a very shocking news (this was on day 1 of the vacation...). The same night after dinner I started to spew and since then it just kept getting worse. I couldn't keep anything down and the only thing that was easing the nausea was water, fresh ginger and lemon. Again I thought that the bad news simply worsened my gastritis. I spent the next days of the vacation trying to keep up with my friend's needs as she was (in my opinion...) in a worse situation than mine... that was torture. My body was telling me to sleep, my sense of duty/loyalty and my heart was asking me to keep going.
At that point I was thinking 'It's only few more days, you can do this. As soon as back in Dubai you will see the doctor and feel better. How can I help my friend, why is she so unreasonable about her health?' Guess what?! It turned out that I was the one being unreasonable! How could you help somebody else if you are sinking yourself?
What does it actually mean when you have bad nausea and you spew: the Nausea/Spewing is more a sign of Ketoacidosis (DKA) than a sign of diabetes itself. In this month of 'My understanding of the nerdy stuff' I summarised what is DKA. Here I will try to simplify the connection between DKA and nausea.
When you are in DKA the acid levels of your blood are extremely high and this might cause a drop in blood pressure and lead to a coma. In the attempt to heal (or protect) ourself the body tries to reduce the acids through vomiting (and urine). What was happening to me was that initially (October/November) the vomiting and loss of appetite was actually helping to lower the acidosis - NOT THE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS- , and in December the spewing increased drastically because probably it wasn't enough to lower the acidosis, I was out of control completely.
Do I still have nausea? Thankfully not. I had very bad nausea for few days when we tested some new medication and I couldn't handle the side effects and I have spewed the first time I flew again to Japan (story for another post), but nothing comparable to what I went through during my 'vacation' the week before hospitalisation...
Also in this case lesson learned
1- Nausea= Not Good= Check the Ketons values= Act Accordingly
2- You can't help other people if you can barely help yourself 🤷♀️
3- Your value at work is not given by your workload and resilience
4- People that are meant to be in your life will love and appreciate you even if you are not available 24/7...the ones that will not were not meant to be for you in the first place...😜 so FIRST LOVE YOURSELF (to be honest this is a WIP)