"Sick" means something different when you have diabetes.

"Sick" means something different when you have diabetes.

The gracious Halloween holiday came and went and I didn't have to fumble with high blood sugars. Score! I got a candy apple, had a lot of cheese and veggies at a small get together that a friend of mine had. Fantabulous! My, my how time has gone by and I have not had a chance to blog. Well, here it is, just so that you have something fun to read on your lunch break.

The downside to Halloween weekend was that I did get sick last Thursday. Upon getting into work and sending off the newspaper to the printer, I felt nasty pangs in the stomach area. I didn't know what it was at first. Something I ate? All I had that morning was a large coffee with cream and Splenda. Was is the caffeine on an empty stomach? Was it bad creamer? I had no clue. All I knew was that I had to send off the paper in time (along with a special insert which added more time) and get home to bed. My parents were coming home from their anniversary vacation that day and I had agreed to pick them up from the airport.

I left early after closing the book and decided to go home first to drop off a few things. On the ride, things got really ugly. I had to take long, deep breaths to keep my lunch down (because I thought eating would help), and I called a friend to coach me through thinking of other things besides throwing up all over my dashboard.

I finally made it to my parents' house where my aunt and grandmother were waiting for me. I typically kiss my grandmother hello, but as I walked in and slowly peeled off my jacket, I said, "Grandma, I can't kiss you because I think I'm about to be sick."

I slowly walked to the bathroom telling my aunt, "I'm going to throw up, I think," and her response was, "Did you bring your laundry home?"

All I had to do was look at the toilet and up it came: crackers, sloppy joe, water, all of it. I didn't know how this was happening, but boy, did it sure feel good. C'mon admit it. After getting stomach cramps and all that, it feels amazing to get it out of your uneasy stomach.

As I flushed the toilet, washed out my mouth and opened the door, all I could think of was laying down. "That sucked," I said to my aunt when she came to see if I was all right. "Do you want some tea?"

I didn't pick up my parents from the airport. Instead my uncle did and when my mom got home, she was full of adrenaline and talking about the trip. My stomach and ribs hurting, she said, "What happened?" I was achy, my back hurt and all I wanted to do was sleep it off.

Thank goodness this only lasted for 24 hours. I've had the longer flu bugs that keep me bedridden for a week. Those suck more. But when you have diabetes, life is a little harder with the flu. You have to keep hydrated, have to worry about too much insulin being given (then you'll have hypoglycemic episodes where your blood sugar drops too much), consider the stress your body's under and your immune system's strength.

First, I would say, don't even think about overexerting yourself, especially if you have a fever. Lay in bed and hydrate yourself as much as you can. Drink water, water, water, agua, water, water, agua. Because of the loss of electrolytes and  sodium, and a lack of food in the system, small doses of Gatorade work well to help you out.

In Latino households, 7Up or Sprite work well because of carbonation. It may help settle your stomach. Eat crackers! The salt will help you out and the cracker is simple for your body to break down. It won't make you as nauseous or give you as many problems going down.

Check your blood sugar!!! I cannot stress this enough. Your body is going through a lot of stress when you're sick, so checking blood sugar is the best way to make sure you're as in control as you can be. It's scary to see the fluctuations, but nevertheless, you have to at least KNOW where you are when it comes to blood sugar levels. This is especially important if you have a fever. Fevers are never a good sign and usually mean your body's fighting off an infection.

I can't tell you any more than you might already know but I will say this: If you're throwing up for more than one full day and you're diabetic, go to the hospital. I only say that because it could be something worse than what you think. Also, being so dehydrated can lead to a variety of other complications in your body, including diabetic ketoacidosis, the process by which the sugar begins to turn into acid in your body.

Either way, take care of yourself for the flu season! Get your flu shot!

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    As a person with Type 1 diabetes for the last 20 years of her life, Christina or "Kiki" for short, decided to take it upon herself to write about her findings, experiences and struggles with her disease. Her inspiration to educate people about all types of diabetes can be found communicated in this blog.

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