Moving up from the paediatric diabetic nurses to the adults diabetic nurses is a change that I can remember as if it was yesterday for many reasons.
In the eyes of the law you are not classed as an ‘Adult’ until you’re 18. In the medical world you’re an adult at 16, I remember one of my hospital stays- it was a couple of weeks after I had just turned 16 and I was not prepared for experiencing the adulting life let me tell you that! Obviously when you’re a child, being in hospital is scary. Hence why the wards are filled with bright colours, toys, books, play rooms, tv’s with DVD players and even xbox/playstations! Its all there to ensure that the children remain calm and relaxed… well, as relaxed as one can be when you’re in hospital.
I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting from the adults ward but it was definitely a far cry from the colourful comforts of the paediatrics ward I’ll tell you that. As soon as I was given my bed on the ward there was one lady to my right, she was elderly and was in hospital due to a fall. The nurses told me that mum wasn’t allowed to stay with me, I guess it was to be expected but this was not an option for her – much to my relief. Before we go any further with this let me tell you about my mum.
She is probably one of the most stubborn people I know. By this I mean if she is told something that she does not agree with she will relentlessly work to get the verdict changed (or until the unlucky person that had the pleasure of telling her no eventually gave up). For the most part, when it comes to me she will not take no as an answer, something that looking back I am actually quite grateful for especially in this specific situation. My mother also has this quality much like other mothers where being in her presence makes you feel safe, she will calm you down when you’re panicking and has this way of knowing exactly what to say and do I guess it’s a mothers instinct?
When the nurses told me and mum that she couldn’t stay I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried. Yes. Me, a 16 year old crying because my mum wasn’t allowed to stay with me! That may sound ridiculous but this was such a massive change that I was genuinely scared. Thankfully though my mother had no plans of leaving and when the nurses realised this they did actually supply her with a pillow and blanket! However, I came back from a walk to the indoor shop to find the cheeky lady having a little nap in my bed so I guess she did have a good sleep after all! (Much to the nurses surprise when on my hospital records it said I was 16 years old and the lady in my bed was in fact…. not.)
Remember the lady I was speaking about? Let’s call her Maggy. I said that Maggy was in hospital due to a fall which is true but another thing about Maggy that I should tell you is that she also had dementia. Maggys dementia caused her a lot of upset and stress as it confused her where she was, why she was there, where her family was and why she was surrounded by so many strangers. It was heart breaking I won’t lie.
I remember waking up in the early hours of the morning to my mum speaking with Maggy as she tried to pull the curtain back and come into our room, I froze and quite frankly was quite scared – it wasn’t a fear that I thought Maggy would hurt us or anything as extreme as that but more of a fear that she would hurt herself (and that it was pitch black and there was a person in our room but that’s neither here nor there.) My mum was so compassionate with Maggy, the calming quality I spoke about earlier came out and she managed to get her into her bed & stayed to speak with her to ensure she was ok. It turns out all Maggy wanted was her slippers, she didn’t know that someone had tucked them under her bed (most likely to ensure that she wouldn’t trip over) but as she couldn’t find them it caused her to get really distressed which soon escalated into her coming into our room.
The atmosphere of the adults ward is so much different to that of the children’s, I mean I know why because if you’re in the adults ward you’re I dont know, an adult I guess? but that doesn’t mean that the design has to be gloomy! Now, I may be the only adult that thinks this but when you’re feeling like absolute rubbish a little bit of colour can actually make you feel that little bit better! Well, that and having lots of good food!
Nonetheless from being in the adults ward it meant that my diabetic team had changed from paediatrics to adolescents. This was quite the change to as, of course, when you’ve been with a team for almost 7 years and have frequent appointments you build up a rapport. There was also SO MUCH more responsibility. I think that was the main thing that was harder to get my head around, as I was growing my hormones were of course in haywire which led to more insulin doses and my nighttime insulin being increased!
The other big change that came into affect was carb counting. Now, I will explain carb counting in more detail in another post because I’m sweating thinking about it now. To summarise it though you need to be on it like sonic and have some knowledge of maths… two things that I would say are not part of my skill set. Trust me when I say this is exactly what I looked like trying to calculate how many carbs were in a croissant:
Until the next time though….