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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

My Diabetes - A Great Night Out Clubbing Ends in Accidental Coma

In the eighties when we were both young students, D was visiting her relatives and I decided to go out on a Friday night drinking and clubbing with a friend.  I promised D that I wouldn't  drink too much and would be careful.

We had a really good night but I got just a little greedy and when offered one of the road I took it.  I got home feeling a little worse for ware, tested my urine which didn't seem too bad, so I took my insulin and had my supper and went to bed.  Then the room began to spin slowly then a little quicker. It wasn't long before I realised that I was going to be sick.

I got up and was sick, and went to lie on the bed and rapidly began to realise I was going hypo, so I went down stairs and drank some lucozade and went back to bed, only to have to visit the bathroom again.  I realised that I was alone and potentially in trouble and repeated the cycle a number of times.  The last thing I remember it was around 3 am and I was sitting on the kitchen floor, so I didn't fall over, and eating a biscuit.

When I woke I was absolutely frozen and shivering violently.  I looked up at the clock and it was around 11 am.  I was a little annoyed with myself for not foreseeing what would happen if I got sick and making plans.  I realised I'd missed my 8am insulin so the whole day would need to start from now, but I was hungry and my head was killing me.

So I decided I'd go over the road and get some fresh bread from the shop and a paper.  I asked the guy for the fresh bread and he said they only had yesterdays, which was a little unusual, and I then started rummaging through the papers.  But as I did so I got increasingly confused as the papers were not the Saturday papers I had expected, they were Sunday papers.

Then it hit me like a brick, on a winters day I had been curled up on the kitchen floor unconscious for over 32 hours in what must have been a coma, luckily the low temperature and the few carbs I had consumed must have reduced my metabolic rate and thankfully I suffered no longer term damage or worse death.
D coming back and finding me dead on the floor would not have been good.

Normally my body would have broken down the glycogen etc in liver and muscles and then the fat, but alcohol inhibits this process from happening until it has been dealt with.

Learning Points

  • I realised that my youthful drinking days would have to be moderated
  • I realised that a simple night out partying can rapidly develop into a medical emergency if I wasn't careful
  • I realised that I was in control of the drinking, the offer of one for the road however kindly offered had to be balanced with the potential outcome
  • I learned over the next few months that I didn't need to get blind drunk to have fun
  • I realised that after a few drinks, any more I drank did little but to pee my money away
  • I realised that the less I drank, the easier it was to get the enjoyment part of it with very small qualities, a cheap night out ;-)
  • In deciding to moderate my drinking early in my diabetes,  I had accidentally prevented myself from getting some of the major diabetic complications in later life made worse by excessive drinking with diabetes
  • I realised that each day was a new adventure

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