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Holiday drama

Where to start? Well, I was three days into my two-week holiday in Tenerife, in October 2011. My little brother and my mum had both had a stomach bug, and when I began to have severe vomiting and diarrhoea, I thought I just had the same.

What I didn't know at the time was that it was my ketones making me that ill. For three days I didn't leave the room or eat, and I could only take tiny sips of water. Also, my chest felt compressed, and I could only take in short and shallow breaths. That was my body trying to breath out the ketones, and the vomiting etc was just my body trying to get rid of them.

On the third day I started to get extreme pains down my side and back, and they eventually spread to my other muscles. My mum and dad had to call the hospital doctor. He said I was dehydrated, had a stomach infection and needed to go to hospital. He called an ambulance and in 45 minutes I was in it.

Mum explained that they would just put me on a drip with water in it, and I would be fine and not to worry. But she was wrong. Dad came with me in the ambulance, and in about another 45 minutes I was at the Las Americas hospital.

I was put in a wheelchair and rushed to the A&E. They put me in an examination room and had to take a urine sample and some blood. I can't really remember what happened but I remember that my blood sugar levels were off the charts and then I got rushed to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit).

Lots of tests

I don't remember much about being in there either, I was constantly drifting in and out of consciousness, I remember dad was always by my side, and my mum came out as soon as she could. Luckily, our friend at the hotel said she would watch my brother for the day. I remember lots of needles, and I had a drip with five different solutions going into me. There was water, antibiotics, saline solution, salt and potassium solution and insulin. They had to put the needle right into my vein. It was very painful. Also, I had four machines monitoring me, a heart monitor, other vitals monitor, pulse rate monitor and something else I can't remember. I also had a blood pressure test every hour. My nurse was lovely: she made it a lot easier for me.

I was very confused and it didn't help that everything was in a different language. On my second night at the hospital I was still in the ICU, but they gave me something to eat. It wasn't very nice and I wasn't hungry so I only ate a little bit. I remember not sleeping well because I kept getting blood tests or drips replaced, and once one of the monitors stuck to my chest fell off and set off an alarm.

I needed everything explained

The next day I was feeling a bit better and managed breakfast. Then my nurse said I was going to get moved to a normal ward that day. I was very happy, but first I needed  everything explained to me. I found out then that I had diabetes. I had heard them talking about it in the A&E but I wasn't 100% sure.

It was good when I got moved to the normal room. It had two beds so someone could always stay with me. It had a proper shower and toilet (I had to use bedpans up until that point). It had a couch, two tables and a TV (although all I could find in English was news). I was much happier there.

The food was OK sometimes, but other times it was dreadful. But I had to eat so I did the best I could. I was always fine with breakfast, cereal and/or a roll. Lunch and tea (or dinner) were about the same. Starter, main, a roll, and fruit for pudding. I would always have salad for starter, (I basically lived on them!) and I tried to eat most of the main course.

My gran and granddad were so worried about me, they had flown out on the Sunday (I had been in the normal room for one day) just to come see me! I was so happy to see them and I let them make a fuss of me. Gran refused to leave me and stayed with me for two nights.

In the normal room, about 15 minutes before I ate, a nurse would come and take my blood sugar levels and  give me my insulin injection. At first it was very high, but after a week we finally got discharged at 9pm. They didn't even give us any insulin injections! Just a scribble on a piece of paper mum was told to give to the pharmacist!

Good to be home

It was good to be back at the hotel. I enjoyed my last day's holiday, but was glad to be going home. Now I am back home things have been much easier. I already know things I can eat lots of, and things that are an occasional treat. I learned so much more after talking to people at the diabetes clinic. I thought I was going to have to live on salads for my life, but they told me I can still have proper chocolate etc as long as it is with a meal. I only got diagnosed two weeks ago, but I think I will manage to cope well with the support of my family, friends, and the diabetic clinic.


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