Things you learn in hospital

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    • #10099
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I have learnt so much about diabetes after a week in hospital following surgery.

      1. The ward is too busy to sort this out, your blood sugar is only 11, you’ll be fine for a bit.
      No problem, I’ll give you a shout when I’m in DKA shall I?
      After 24 hours on a sliding scale the cannula had blocked and was removed. Unbeknown to me, thanks to buckets of morphine making me see little green men (no, I don’t mean surgeons) my pump had been locked in the drug drawer by my bed. I could hear it alarming plaintively but couldn’t get it out. I had to argue to get the drawer unlocked to get some insulin.

      2. Sugar levels of 10 – 16 are fine and only to be expected in hospital.
      Why? I don’t expect them at home. Apparently 4.9 is too low for a type 1 and should immediately be treated with a plate of biscuits.

      3. An insulin pump is indeed the self same thing as a sliding scale.
      I was told to increase my basal level from 0.6 to 2 units per hour! After arguing the point I chose to ignore this advice on the grounds of wishing to remain conscious and hoped for a swift discharge home.

      Apart from that I am am exceedingly grateful for the treatment I received, just a bit alarmed about the diabetes side of it.

      Have you had received any bizarre advice/treatments ?

    • #14153
      Tim
      Keymaster

      My main reason for staying healthy is so I don’t have to go to hospital to be killed by a well-meaning but diabetes-ignorant nurse. The thought of not being allowed to be in control of my diabetes terrifies me.

    • #14072
      Tim
      Keymaster

      My main reason for staying healthy is so I don’t have to go to hospital to be killed by a well-meaning but diabetes-ignorant nurse. The thought of not being allowed to be in control of my diabetes terrifies me.

    • #14155
      Alison
      Keymaster

      Its the thing that scares me most too. I was in a couple of years ago, and was so grateful that the husband was pretty much up to speed with my diabetes stuff. I was quite ill – well enough to make diabetes decisions, but not well enough to have the full blown argument needed to get them to let me make the decision – that’s where the husband came in handy – he had the argument on my behalf. Very helpful.

    • #14074
      Alison
      Keymaster

      Its the thing that scares me most too. I was in a couple of years ago, and was so grateful that the husband was pretty much up to speed with my diabetes stuff. I was quite ill – well enough to make diabetes decisions, but not well enough to have the full blown argument needed to get them to let me make the decision – that’s where the husband came in handy – he had the argument on my behalf. Very helpful.

    • #14156
      Annette A
      Participant

      I was in hospital a couple of years ago (pre-pump). I flatly refused to let the nurse give me the insulin injection, because, frankly, I didnt trust her (or rather what she’d been told) to give/be the right dose. We compromised – she drew up the dose, I checked it and gave it myself while she watched. But I do dread having to go in and deal with all that on a daily basis, particularly if unwell.

    • #14075
      Annette A
      Participant

      I was in hospital a couple of years ago (pre-pump). I flatly refused to let the nurse give me the insulin injection, because, frankly, I didnt trust her (or rather what she’d been told) to give/be the right dose. We compromised – she drew up the dose, I checked it and gave it myself while she watched. But I do dread having to go in and deal with all that on a daily basis, particularly if unwell.

    • #14157
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It is scary contemplating going in for anything. My consultant has the attitude of its your pump and you look after it. Bring in everything you need and if you need anything contact the Diab team. I have to say they are brilliant at Poole Hospital I actually managed to inject my own anti clogging DVT injection HUGE needle!! but I left only a small bruise in comparison to the ones the nurse gave me. Obviously i still have the injection knack after 4 years on the pump.

    • #14076
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It is scary contemplating going in for anything. My consultant has the attitude of its your pump and you look after it. Bring in everything you need and if you need anything contact the Diab team. I have to say they are brilliant at Poole Hospital I actually managed to inject my own anti clogging DVT injection HUGE needle!! but I left only a small bruise in comparison to the ones the nurse gave me. Obviously i still have the injection knack after 4 years on the pump.

    • #14182
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      My hospital-based diabetic horror stories include:

      1. not being allowed to keep my insulin and syringes with me! The nurses took them away and put them in a fridge (not sure if it was for pharmaceuticals or for the nurses’ lunches and milk for tea and coffee!). When I asked to have my insulin it came back from the fridge frozen solid! The hospital pharmacy was closed for the weekend (no, I don’t understand how a hospital is supposed to work without access to drugs?!) so there was a major exercise to get a pharmacist back in to issue some more insulin. Of course, they didn’t have any porcine insulin in stock so I was forced to accept the pseudo-human stuff that takes away my hypo warnings! Stressful? Oh, yes! Moral of the story: guard your insulin with your life, don’t let it out of your sight, and don’t believe anyone who says they will “look after it” for you!
      2. being put on a “sliding scale” while undergoing surgery after which I woke up feeling like I was about to drift off into a diabetic coma; the nurses thought that a blood sugar in the low 20s was appropriate! After much argument with the nurses it turned out that part of the reason for my startospheric blood sugar was that rather than the standard post-operative saline drip they had decided that a 10% glucose drip would be safer! When they refused to change it for a normal drip I disconnected it myself which provoked hysterical panic among the nurses who called the surgeon to “reason with me”! The surgeon was horrified, told the nurses to disconnect the sliding scale and to give me back my insulin! [In this case I don’t think ANY of the nurses on the ward spoke English as their native language]

    • #14183
      Tim
      Keymaster

      What is this “sliding scale” that you people speak of?

    • #14185
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @tim A “sliding scale” is just a method of calculating* an appropriate insulin infusion rate (delivered by a syringe driver rather that by a proper insulin pump) based on one’s blood sugar. I’m sure there is some kind of “standard” but whenever I have been subject to one it has literally been scribbled on a bit of paper by some junior medic and handed to the nearest nurse who then does her own thing. The result is that your blood sugar is well beyond any kind of control for the first 12 hours (as we all know, we are all different) until they start to work out how YOU respond. By then the need for the sliding scale has passed and you go back to your usual delivery method trying to regain control.
      All good fun really (not)!

      * When I say “calculating”, I mean “guessing”.

    • #14186
      Alison
      Keymaster

      Yes, it’s kind of an idiot’s guide to managing diabetes – if he’s between 7&10 give him 1 unit, if he’s between 10&12 give him 2 etc.

      I had an unfortunate time as a teenager when I was in hospital about to have my tonsils out and some idiot misread the sliding scale during the night, leading to me being given insulin to deal with my “high” blood sugar of 3. I was too low to argue effectively against it. Unsurprisingly I was unconscious pretty soon after the injection and was sent home because I wasn’t fit to operate on. That’s why I always want the husband with me now, to fend off the idiots when I’m not capable of doing so.

    • #14200
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      For @tim – Some light reading on the sliding scale!
      http://blog.joslin.org/2012/06/understanding-the-sliding-scale-in-diabetes-care/

      Your welcome, anytime;-)

    • #14201
      Tim
      Keymaster

      Cheers Mike, that looks like some great bedtime reading.:-)

    • #14211
      lizz
      Participant

      When I was 17 I was in hospital and fell asleep and the snack trolley was taken past as they didn’t want to disturb me. At lunchtime they saw I was asleep and left me there. Aww. Some time later my b/f came in and as I was asleep, he sat down to read a book. When I started making funny noises he summoned nurses, who summoned Drs. I woke up (it took half an hour) with a Dr’s fingers under the tops of my eye sockets. That usually brings them round if they don’t respond to anything else, he said.

    • #14217
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      In contrast to Liz, I experienced the overzealous diligence of the ward nurses on the ward where I’d just given birth. How I enjoyed being woken every 2 hours throughout the night and told to test my sugar, I guess it was preparation for the sleep deprivation to come!

    • #14220
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’m afraid my experiences of hospitals is similar to that of many above – I have been unfortunate enough to shatter my left leg twice – once sky diving, and the other scaffolding collapsed, the result in both cases is the same – the ground is harder than your bones.

      On the second occasion they wanted me to go on the sliding scale but I refused point blank, then had a succession of gradually more senior people coming to tell me they knew more about my body than I did – given that they were in the main orthopedic doctors I told them quite bluntly that they may know more about my bones – which by the way were broken, but I knew about my Diabetes. I did get quite stroppy – and I don’t think it was down to the pain killers.

      I was eventually spoken to by a ‘senior’ administrator who told me I HAD to do what the doctors told me to do – I told her if any of the medical staff tried to give me the sliding scale I would make a formal complaint to the local police re assault – ABH, as they were expressly going against my wishes and therefore committing an assault – that shut her up and I was able to use my pens with my insulin and my monitoring system and my BG’s remained pretty good. Although I got pretty poor service from the staff on the ward – but I didn’t really care about that as the bones were screwed back together and all I wanted to do was get out of the place.

      Dr’s and nurses can be very very good – but they are not gods and need to be told every now and then.

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