Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What is it like to be high?

I'm sure by the title some of you may have thought this post would be a fun way to reminisce those naughty college days when "getting high" was a futile attempt at achieving an ambiguous nirvana through the means of doobies, grass, joints; you get the idea. But, actually, this post was created as a response to a question I received about Sydney and her diabetes so I thought this would be a good teaching moment. A few posts back I did a video and showed what a symptomatic low was like for Syd. The question I received asked what Syd felt like when she was high.

Having high blood sugars can create a wide array of symptoms (other T1 moms please chime in with your thoughts and experiences!) Some of these symptoms can be unique to the individual. These are some that, when Syd has them, we go, "Aha! I bet she is high. Let's break out the glucometer!" :-)

**The list below is not all inclusive and every time Sydney is high she doesn't have all of these symptoms. This is a general list of the symptoms a person can get because of high blood sugars. The first 7 are generally how Syd feels/acts when she is high. The others are symptoms of prolonged high blood sugars.**

--She is GRUMPY. Or moody. Or emotional. Some people get violent and mean due to highs.

--She is thirsty--this is beyond normal thirst. From how she acts it's like "get me a drink right now before I take you out behind the woodshed and bury your body!" (This was one of the original symptom she had before diagnosis.) I can only describe it as extreme thirst. She has been known to down 3 glasses of water, one after another, in a 10 minute period because of this kind of thirst.

--She says she gets "fuzzy eyes" which I can only decipher as blurry vision.

--Her stomach hurts this may or may not be accompanied by puking.

--She gets a headache.

--She gets friendly with Mr. Toilet....a lot!

--She is dizzy and/or lethargic.

--She gets dry, itchy skin.

--She has an increased heart rate and fast breathing.

--High sugars can also cause her to have a fruity or sweet odor on her breath.

--Untreated highs will eventually lead to unconsciousness, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and death.

I thought this cartoon was kind of silly drawings but it gets the point across through a visual. I am a visual learner which is why I try to incorporate pics with all my posts! Click to make bigger. So, Audrey, I hope this answered your question. :-) Thanks for asking!


Audrey said...

Thanks for answering it. For some strange reason I'm starting to see and hear more about kids with diabetes. A boy in my home ward had diabetes and I had no idea what it was. Also a teacher a few years back was low and had to check his blood sugar and eat a brownie. I appreciate knowing more about this to understand those around me.

Rachel said...

Very nice summary Shamae. Another one with Tristan is that he gets really hyper... he runs around like crazy. Oh wait, that's all the time!!! But when he's high, he won't stop or follow directions very well.

The Lane Family said...

You are a great mom and I admire how you handle this disease and how knowledgeable you are. I am sure that many other moms look to you for your knowledge and support as they struggle with this horrible disease.