Friday, 14 August 2009

Swine flu!

At first I wasn’t too worried when all the fuss started about swine flu – I expected it would all die down just as bird flu did a few years ago. But now that it is pandemic, there seems to be a much higher risk of me contracting it, and I am now one of those people with ‘underlying health problems’ – my diabetes. With diabetes, when you are ill your body is less capable of using the insulin you inject efficiently, and as a consequence blood glucose levels in the blood may rise. This has to be countered by injecting extra insulin, and it is important to know what decrease you can expect for each extra unit of insulin taken. It’s also important to drink plenty of fluids, and also to check for ketones, either in the blood or the urine. High ketones and high glucose levels can lead to the life-threatening condition called Diabetic Ketoacidosis, which is best avoided. I know this, as this is what I was (unknowingly) suffering from when admitted to hospital just over a year ago – I do not EVER want to repeat that experience! All these precautions and procedures are known as ‘Sick Day Rules’ in Diabetesland.

So, it is rather worrying for me at the moment, as I haven’t really been ill since diagnosis and haven’t had to put my Sick Day Rules to the test. There’s a possibility that I will be one of those given the vaccine as soon as it is available, so hopefully I might escape unscathed!

Swine flu, what will we do?
How will the pig flu affect me and you?
I’m keeping my head down and trying my best
To prepare fro the day that I’m put to the test,
For we diabetics are really no fools,
And we have to adhere to out ‘Sick Day Rules’…

The flu can make levels increase rather fast,
So we must test our blood till the illness is passed,
And treat all the highs with insulin corrections,
And pee on a stick for the ketone detections!
It’s all rather worrying, so please, if you will,
Stay away Mr Piggy and stick to your swill!


  1. When I first heard about swine flu I thought good it's not over here. Then they said some folk had brought it back here followed by the dreaded whereabouts " Falkirk" which is near where I live, got me very paranoid. I had a mild flu a month later, no idea if it was swine flu or normal but it was milder than normal flu. So it's not that bad.

  2. I think most people only get a mild illness, and maybe don't even know they've had it. I know a few people with diabetes who have had it - and survived! - but it does seem to hit harder than the general populace (although I have very limited data to go on!). Glad to hear you got through it OK!