It was a Friday morning, January 2020, when I woke up with a bad stomach and couldn’t keep down food. I was driven by my wife to get OTC stomach drugs, but the dispensing pharmacist suggested we take a blood sugar test. We drove to the nearby clinic and, upon administering the test, the doctors panicked. My sugars were so high the machine literally just indicated “High” as they were off the scale. They got a drip running to rehydrate me, and administered 50 units of insulin. They got a second machine and it produced an error as the sugars were off the scale it could read. The hospital couldn’t handle my case and I was referred to another hospital as I was in Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA).
When I arrived at the new hospital, I felt like I had lost my feet as I couldn’t walk. Upon taking an electrolyte test, I was low on potassium from the frequent urination I had experienced over the last two months, accompanied by weight loss. I had lost around 40lbs; muscle tissue and fat had literally been pissed off. I was admitted to the ICU for serious rehydration and Electrolyte Replacement Therapy. The first night I was fed a soup that I violently threw up. I woke up fine, got visitors in the ICU over lunch hour and at this time I couldn’t walk or sit up.
The second day is when all hell broke loose. I couldn’t talk and had developed slurred speech and double vision. The aggressive electrolyte replacement therapy had caused an imbalance and my brain got swollen. Doctors feared the worst, being I had got a stroke and I got booked for an CT Scan to know what was going on. My parents, wife, and in-laws were shocked to find me having lost speech and It was one of my lowest moments seeing them break down and my wife pass out.
Now, the funniest thing that happened is, as my parents stayed beside me as I rested, I was listening but not speaking much. They started complaining about my sister’s pet cat, which was being potty trained. The cat had peed in the sink and my mom was so irritated and airing her frustrations about the cat. I literally burst out laughing in the ICU and they couldn’t believe it. We had 30 minutes of good laughter together talking about it.
I remember the whole time my wife would come in the morning, and was the only one allowed by my side as the doctors had noted I was slipping into depression, and her being my best friend helped talk and ease it out, as well as feed me.
I was transferred from the ICU to a nearby ward to have my brother spend the night with me. We laughed over the brief moments we watched TV in my room, but I would sleep out as drugs kicked in. He helped push the wheelchair to physiotherapy to have me on my feet again, and I remember my mum and wife cheering on as I started being physically active, it was literally small steps, but it meant the world to them.
I was discharged from the hospital and had requested my wife to bring loose clothes as I wanted to literally walk out of the hospital and not be pushed in a wheelchair. I shed tears walking to the car in my unbalanced gait, but it was one of the biggest moments of my life as I had brushed shoulders with death.