Diabetic Days – on the operating table

By | 4 June, 2010

I had a minor op earlier this week that involved being knocked out for a while. It was nothing too serious and I will definitely live, but it’s amazing how much brain power the diabetes side of things took up.  

I had to fast from midnight before my op at 6 am. From previous experience being first on the operating list is a definite bonus that comes from being pancreatically challenged.   I was allowed water between midnight and 6am, then nothing from 6am onwards. Tough decision one – reduce the overnight basal or not? Logic says avoid hypos when fasting at all costs so reduce insulin and ride those highs. But I’d prefer to go into surgery at a reasonable level, I don’t like the idea of all that extra glucose surging around while my body is trying to recover.  

Decision: stick with normal basal rate, I usually wake up between a 5 and a 6 and I think the stress of the op will push that up. Back that up with the safety net of setting the alarm for 5.30am so I can do a test and if I’m too low, I can take some apple juice before my “drink nothing or die” deadline of 6am.  

Result: wake up at 5.30am as a 6.6, trending slightly upwards, decide that’s pretty safe when combined with the boosting effect of stress and the fact that I always rise a bit when I get up.  

7.30am – blood sugar now around 9 and holding steady. Any other day I’d put in at least 0.4u to bring it down a little but I sit on my hands and do nothing.  

8am – having agreed with the anesthetist that I’ll manage my diabetes as I’ll only be knocked out for around 30mins, reassure them that I’m an 9 and spend the next 5 minutes explaining the wonders of the pump and CGM, neither of which they’ve seen before. I’ve turned all the alarms off on the CGM, and clipped the pump on my hospital gown right next to my sensor so they shouldn’t hear a peep out of it during the op. My final brief to them is that if there are any problems diabetes wise, please consult the husband (I suspect they would completely ignore this request, but I have to make it to give me confidence, I don’t like the idea of leaving diabetes in the hands of surgeons and anesthetists, lovely as they are, they’re not great at diabetes).  

9am – come round, take painkillers, check CGM. I’m a 10. Celebrate that nothing went awry diabetes-wise and take some insulin to start bringing that 10 down a bit, especially given I’ll be doing nothing for the rest of the day. In my mind I can see all those glucose molecules laying out the welcome mat for infection and slow healing.  

So, all in all it was thankfully uneventful from a diabetes perspective. I’ve spent a very quiet week doing nothing very much more stressful than taking painkillers and watching daytime TV whilst constantly increasing basal rates to compensate for lack of activity. Surgery must be so much easier without diabetes.

10 thoughts on “Diabetic Days – on the operating table

  1. Mike

    Glad everything went great and hope you are nearing full fitness.

    Low and behold, I’m due to have surgery sometime soon on my arm. Life threatening no, potentially arm saving yes.

    I get to meet with the anaesthetist on the Monday after the Swiss visit and am busy scouring the inter web for ideas, advice and general guidance.

    I’m told it will be performed under a regional anaesthesia ( possibly west country – sorry 🙂 ) so would imagine I will be relatively alert throughout, well no more than usual!

    I was also told that the nurses would look after me! Hmmm, that has me worried so I think I will take everything I need, so that I can monitor myself I feel I need to and of course am able to too. You haven’t seen some of these Spanish Nurses!! hahaha – One word “brutal”.

    Certainly open to advice, guidance, ideas, info!

    Reply
  2. Alison Post author

    @mikeinspain Don’t mention the Swiss visit, I’m distraught that I’m not able to come because I won’t be well enough to travel 🙁

    I always get worried when people tell me they’ll look after me, I much prefer your “take all your stuff and sort it out yourself” approach.

    Hope the op goes well and the nurses aren’t too brutal with you.

    Reply
  3. Mike

    @Alison.. sorry!! 🙁

    Thanks for the well wishes too. I have just sent a note to my Diabetes doc to see what his thoughts are? I know they differ from other healthcare professionals in the hospital regards to Diabetes care, so hopefully he can have a word with the medical team for me.

    Reply
  4. Hairy Gnome

    @Alison You are a cruel, heartless woman, the feminine version of Vlad the Impaler! You are the personification of Nemesis the White Goddess, created to bring pain and retribution to man. (Wails and sobs loudly)

    Why, you ask yourself, why does he weep and wail in such a manner? (As you wish he’d friggin’ shut up!)

    The truth is, his life is ended; how can he continue to live when he must forever live without the knowledge of what your operation was for… (Wail… sob… howl…)

    All joking aside Alison, I hope everything went well an that you’re back into top form in very short order! xxx

    Reply
  5. Cecile

    @teloz: She had to be skinned out of the panda-suit she donned for yesterday’s blog – Super Glue can be very tenacious. @alison: I wish you a custard-free recuperation!

    Reply
  6. Alison Post author

    @Teloz I like to maintain an air of mystery but sadly I’ve been outed by Cecile…@ckoei, those blasted panda suits, I’ll never go near one again.

    Reply
  7. Mike

    Just a quick update..

    After meeting with the anaesthetist, I was advised that I will be sparked out for the duration sorry placed under general anaesthesia. So I guess they will have full control over me for that duration, although I’m told it is a short op.

    Reply

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