I have debated for a few days as to whether or not I would post about this. It’s not often that I share my private life, but by posting this I hope I can raise awareness of an important issue or two and if this post helps someone, either with the same condition, or just to understand someone close to them who has this, then it was worth it.
I have been neglecting the blog and, to be honest, my business, for a couple of weeks now. For sure, this is a crazy time of year for all business owners and for photography business owners it is manic. There are album and framing company deadlines to adhere to, clients ordering precious photos in time for Christmas and, for me and many others, Christmas weddings and portrait shoots. The last thing we need, therefore, is any downtime.
Last Sunday, I had a lovely meal out with some local photographers, we chatted, we drank, ate, the usual. It was fun, everything was fine. The next day, having not over-indulged, I had my annual eye test and as I had to have my eyes dilated, I got a cab into town. I decided to walk home but halfway decided it was way too cold and icy underfoot, so I stopped at a bus stop … anyone who truly knows me will now be picking their jaws off the floor … Gill took a BUS ! LOL
On that 20 minute ride home, I managed to pick up the airborne Norovirus, easy to pick up, especially with someone who’s immune system isn’t always the best.
And so we come to Tuesday morning. I awoke with nausea, so I decided to sleep it off. No such luck. I vomited constantly for the next 28 hours. Straight. Every 20-40 minutes, again and again and again. I couldn’t THINK about food, I couldn’t hold down water. I was dehydrated beyond belief but no sooner did I try to get fluids IN, out they came. It was hell on earth.
To complicate matters, I have type 1 diabetes. With any “normal” person, the Norovirus will be painful, awful but will last a couple of days and hey presto, back to normal. With any severe illness, a diabetic’s body will suddenly become intolerant to insulin. This is a major problem, as you can imagine.
I finally called for help on Wednesday morning and was rushed into hospital. I was immediately placed on drips with saline for severe dehydration, potassium replacement and insulin, before being admitted for 2 nights and monitored constantly. Turns out the virus had led to Acute Ketoacidosis, a very dangerous condition.
The staff, doctors, nurses, were all wonderful. One of the most positive things was that I got MOT’d at the same time … ECG … check ! … Chest X-Ray? … check! (that latter was to check on my lungs … did you know that prolonged shallow breathing can lead to a build up of crap in your lower lungs which can lead to pneumonia … yes, really). I was well looked after and was out after 2 nights. Of course, I second guessed myself at every stage. Did I do something wrong? Something different? Could I have prevented it?
I had my follow up appointment with my consultant today. He confirmed the virus, alleviated my fears that this was something I could have avoided, as he put it “you got unlucky”. He started to build my confidence in myself and my control of my condition, something that this whole episode knocked for six.
So, what now. Well, I am on the mend more and more every day. I tire easily, but honestly that’s a side affect I am willing to work around and live with. I had to cancel a couple of portrait sessions which were scheduled days after I got out, mainly because I had so many blown veins I couldn’t be confident I would be able to hold a camera for any length of time. I have very understanding and caring clients. Thank you all.
I do, however, have 5 weddings scheduled between now and the end of the year and I am so excited to be shooting them. I am feeling fit, up for them and cannot wait to get there and get shooting ! I would like to thank John (aka hubster) who is helping me on Sunday, Sara for Monday, Steve for Wednesday and Matt for the last 2 of the year … in advance I already know your assistance is going to make the difference for me and for my clients. Thank you.
So, if you’ve made it this far, thanks for listening. Thanks for everyone who sent me messages on email, text and Facebook … you have no idea how much it was all appreciated. It got me through a horrific time. Thank you.
One final thought … take care out there, stay healthy, take vitamins, pace your workload, whatever it takes, take care.
And if I forget to tell you later … Happy Christmas to you all xx