I have been a type-1 since childhood and I am now in my 60’s. I wear a tandem pump and deacon g6 for the past few years. I am slim, keep my A1C’s in the low 6’s and swim everyday.
Over the years, I have had a number of times where my blood sugar went high, that is 350 or higher. My usual response was a feeling of being tired and sometimes being nauseous. But it was never painful or debilitating.
Last night for reasons I still do not understand, my blood sugar was going wild. I changed the infusion site before going to bed and the sensor starting alarming at around midnight. I bolused a few units and went back to sleep. This continued throughout the night, but also for a few hours, the sensor was not getting readings.
When I woke up, my sugar was above 300 and climbing. I thought that maybe the new infusion site was bad and replaced it. I had coffee and my sugar started rising more. I was 350 and climbing.
After a few more minutes, I was heading to 400 and all of a sudden I had enormous pain. It was all through my chest, but my arms, back and legs hurt as well. It was felt like a compression type of pain. I also had deep, deep breathing and literally was on the verge of losing consciousness.
I fell onto the floor in agony for some time (I do not know how long) and finally was able to grab my medical supply bag which fortunately was near me. I got out a vial and syringe and injected 15 units.
In about an hour the pain went away and I was much better. I am still working to get my sugar down to 120 or so.
My question is why was this so painful. Again, I have had high blood sugars in the past, but no pain. This was different. Is it because I am older? What?
All I can say is that I NEVER want to experience that ever again.
Yeah, having been in severe DKA before, I did feel like I couldn’t breathe, but I also had a longer run up of symptoms, they were just hard to disentangle at the time from the food poisoning that I was also experiencing (but in retrospect, they were there for at least a couple of days, increasing in severity). By the time I had breathing issues, I had lost a tremendous amount of fluids (about 10 liters) and required hospitalization for IV insulin, hydration, electrolytes, etc, and stayed in the ICU for the better part of a week. It definitely was not solveable with one large injection. Also I did not have body pain as a notable symptom, at least not directly from the DKA (some stuff in the hospital later, but that’s a whole different story). So while it could be a very different experience with DKA than mine, and DKA can definitely cause shortness of breath, I would get to a doctor ASAP, as @Eric suggests, to rule out a cardiac event. If possible, check your O2 levels immediately if you have a home monitor, and I would get COVID tested too, even if that seems unlikely.