#1 Edited by JDW519 (148 posts) -

So woke up yesterday to find my mom almost completely unresponsive and really incoherent. Long story short she's at the hospital right now and the doctors say she went into a diabetic coma, her blood sugar levels were fifteen times higher than what they should be. This is just something I've never dealt with and I didn't know if anybody else on the site has had this happen to somebody they know and what to expect in the next few weeks or so.

#2 Posted by Bucketdeth (8004 posts) -

I still remember seeing a close family member of mine lying there in a coma, it's a strange and unsettling sight, the only thing I could do was be there for them. It sounds cliche, but don't blame yourself, it's the shittiest and worst thing you can do in these types of situations. Also, have you spoken to her doctor yet? They would be able to inform you on what it can or will be like in the next few weeks.

#3 Edited by jewunit (1054 posts) -

The doctor is your best bet is to how things will shake out for her. My mother went into a coma following a car accident and it took her a number of days before she regained consciousness. Go step-by-step and don't get caught up in "what if" scenarios. Also, don't be afraid to talk to others and express your emotions. This kind of thing can really freak you out and it helps immeasurably to have someone around as support. Good luck!

#4 Edited by punkxblaze (2957 posts) -

Sounds like she had a severe case of DKA as opposed to a more common hypoglycemic coma if her sugar was 15x higher than average. I've come very close to the same thing before. To ease your mind; she'll probably be fine, diabetic comas aren't like traumatic comas, they're entirely reversible. Were you guys aware she was diabetic or is this a sudden thing?

Either way, hope the best for you and your mom, dude.

#5 Posted by JDW519 (148 posts) -

Thanks for the kind words, any and all are really appreciated right now. Actually the doctors just said the other day she'll be awake in the next day or so possibly, they got her sugar down to 139. It's just a matter of getting her electrolytes at a normal level now. There's diabetes in her families medical history, but unfortunately I don't think my mom monitored that kind of thing very closely. Luckily we've got a pretty supportive network of people around us and the more I do hear about diabetic comas the better I feel, just from the reality that it's something lots of people come out of.

#6 Posted by Miketakon (513 posts) -

Oh man I'm sorry to hear this. I don't know much about diabetes... but I'll send my good vibes your way.

#7 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4578 posts) -

Shit man, that sucks. Glad to hear they're expecting her to recover soon.

#8 Posted by b4d533d (36 posts) -

diabetic comas are typically reversible. the important thing is that her pH didn't get too low. as long as her blood chemistry comes back into line without much treatment she should be fine. is she on a ventilator?

#9 Edited by PilotXIan (102 posts) -

Sorry to hear about your Mom, duder. In my fourteen years of type one diabetes I've never had a problem with my blood sugars being too high. I have, however, had my share of hypoglycemic attacks. I had one such attack during my mid-teens whilst taking a nap in the middle of the day. My Mum came in to my room to ask if I wanted something for lunch to find me unresponsive with a greyish tint to my skin and practically not breathing. Needless to say she thought I was dead. The paramedics were called and I was brought back around. I can totally relate to what you're going through and wish you, and your family, all the best in the coming days!

#10 Posted by JDW519 (148 posts) -

Haven't had a chance to post anything in a bit, but my moms back home, doing much better. Just getting used to insulin shots and all that. Once again things for the response, it was really encouraging to see these posts. I've been reminded why this site/community is awesome.

#11 Posted by Tarsier (1057 posts) -

this exact scenario happened to me with my grandma . she was fine after but she had to be a lot more strict with her medicine and stuff .

#12 Posted by TooWalrus (13137 posts) -

@jdw519: Oh good. I had to call an ambulance and get my mom to a hospital once- though for a totally different reason. She was carrying a box down the stairs and on the very last step, she managed to slip and fall maybe a foot, but managed to break her leg so bad the bone was sticking out. My first reaction was to laugh at someone falling down the stairs... still kinda feel bad about that.

...nah, not really, it was really funny.

#13 Posted by Tarsier (1057 posts) -

oh gosh goodness

#14 Posted by SmilingPig (1337 posts) -

@jdw519: I am a diabetic with 4 insulin injections a day, here is what will most likely happen; her blood sugar will lower at the hospital and she will come out of the coma, than she will have to be followed and medicated for her diabetes, her diet will have to change also (basically she will have to eat 3 meals a day containing about 45 carbohydrates per meal [carbs. break into sugar]).

Don't worry too much, diabetes is a very common condition, you can get a lot of good info on http://www.diabetes.org/ .

#15 Edited by TrafalgarLaw (1039 posts) -

It's sad to see that diabetes has become a common illness in this day and age. But on the flip side, the medical world has a lot more experience with treating diabetes because of it.

The brain is a peculiar organ, it can only use sugar (glucose) as an energy source. Sugar levels in blood is regulated by insulin, but insulin is a must for the brains to take up sugar from the bloodstream. With diabetes, you have either an impaired insulin regulation or a totally absent one.

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes can pretty much occur at any age and usually runs in the family. It is called the insuline-dependant type diabetes mellitus because of a total insuline deficiency. You can become hypoglycemic very fast and if you do not use insuline at appropiate times, which can ultimately lead to death if it is a prolonged hypoglycemia.

Type 2 is a relative-insuline deficiency, you have some insuline but not enough or does not work as intended. This occurs from adult ages onwards and is associated with obesity and other unhealthy life styles. It occurs more often in families that have diabetes as a familial condition but it's not inheritible.

Depending on her type of diabetes, which I'm almost certain of it being type 1 diabetes.

Diabetic Keto-Acidosis, abbreviated as DKA, is a condition in which the body uses fat(ty acids) to convert into sugar-like molecules for the brains to take up if sugar metabolism is impaired. While you might think it's something good, the byproduct is pure acid. This acid makes your bloodstream acidic which can endanger your life.

Due to decreased (or totally absent) insulin, your brain is actually starving to death. You can go in comas, have trouble with vision, uncontrollable shaking, breaking out cold sweats, looking pale etc. I won't touch on diabetes type 2 on how that differs but diabetes is a pretty serious condition, don't underestimate it.

The long-term effects of diabetes is a pretty long list, with most notabily being kidney-failure, vision loss or blindness, heart attacks, loss of (tactile) feel on the limbs and impaired wound healing.

But you can rest assured that with supervision of the doctor and with treatment, but also YOU who needs to support your mother and keep an eye on her, things will be fine. Take good care of your mother and I wish you and your family the best of luck dealing with this.