Help Zoe Recover from DKA and Get Back to Work

I left my restaurant job a month ago, and have been freelancing, working part time, and looking for more sustainable employment -- including potentially going back to office/corporate work. I had planned to get another restaurant job around this point if I hadn't found more solid employment. Unfortunately a bad insulin pump site led to DKA  which I had to be hospitalized for. My hospital experience was absolutely a series of unfortunate events (full story below) and I'm still recovering and feeling the effects of everything. I haven't been in DKA since rationing insulin, and now after being diabetic for 19 years... it's clear my body is rebounding very slowly. So I haven't been able to freelance and work part time as much as I planned to for the month,  and there's no way I can work in a restaurant right now, which has landed me in a really tough spot.

There are also other health concerns (some of my forever mystery symptoms like high heart rate, moderate breathing issues) that medical providers have taken interest in again since my hospitalization. So I have a number of additional tests and appointments coming up -- some of which aren't going to be fun and will likely exponentially exhaust me. Furthermore I've already committed myself to a number of MAD  related duties for the month that I would like to be able to execute if possible. 

I've felt very apprehensive about posting this, as asking for help is always scary (even when you help run a mutual aid organization and frequently tell other people there's nothing wrong with asking for help.) But it's times like these when we have to remember our values! And so with that, I'm crowdfunding with a goal of $1760  to cover the following expenses while I go through the soul crushing corporate interview process and deal my health:

$960 - 60% of June rent
$600 - past due and May bills (phone, internet, loans, credit card, utilities)
$200 - food

If you would prefer to send me funds directly my Venmo is @Zoe-Witt and CashApp is $ZoeWitt. 
 
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A kinked omnipod cannula landed me in the hospital with DKA on the morning of May 2. I had been 300+ for a few hours after changing my pod before bed. When I woke up sick up around 1am I knew something wasn't right. I threw up a number of times over the next few hours, and wasn't responding to the insulin I was giving myself. I was so violently ill so suddenly, I didn't even think to change my pump. It wasn't leaking insulin, I wasn't bleeding, and from the window the cannula looked good! I've used a pump for 2 years and I've never had a kinked cannula before. I called 911 at 4:45 and got to the Virginia Mason ER around 5am. They didn't give me INSULIN for 3.5 HOURS!!
 
 
 
My first labs came back at 5:40am. They had already put me on fluids and given me zofran, but I wasn't improving without insulin. Somewhere along the line someone screwed up my potassium bloodwork, so they had re-draw it and wait on the results before they could order insulin from the hospital pharmacy. The potassium test came in at 6:31am and the insulin was ordered. They told me they wanted to admit me and I agreed.
 
It took the Virginia Mason pharmacy TWO HOURS to get the insulin drip to me in the ER. I was alone so it was quite difficult to advocate for myself while being so ill (slowly dying.) At one point around 8am I was throwing up again and the nurse asked if I wanted more zofran. I had to yell between retching "I just need insulin!" and they finally got it to me shortly after that.
 
The endocrinologist said once my blood work returned to normal they'd give me analog long and rapid insulin until I went home and could put on a new pump. My gap closed that evening (DKA is resolved.) They gave me 16 units of lantus (under-dosed me.) Hospitals aren't staffed to be able to provide proper/ideal care to diabetics, so they have to set your "target blood sugar" higher, because they can't guarantee they can treat potential lows in a timely manor should they arise. And that's a liability problem. So they let you run high even if it makes you symptomatic (for me: very painful acid reflux, nausea, headache, increased chronic pain, among others.)
 
They keep you on the insulin drip for a few hours after they give you long acting insulin. They finally let me eat some food. I figured whatever they were giving me on the drip wasn't going to be enough to cover the carbs I ate, but I was starving. By then it was the night shift. When my blood sugar went up to 280 I told the nurse if they didn't give me insulin soon I would start throwing up again. He said they didn't have orders to give me insulin except for at meal times.
 
All the endocrinologists were at home sleeping peacefully, while the hospitalist in charge of my care refused to give me analog rapid insulin. The nurse did his best to advocate for me and ran back and forth multiple times to try to get this doctor to agree to give me humalog, but the doctor refused and said R (human insulin) is "better at night." I was high and sick all night.
 
By morning the attending and residents felt bad for what had happened to me, and they were more than willing to acknowledge I know a lot more than they do about diabetes. My blood sugar hadn't returned to normal, but I told them that wouldn't happen until I went home, put on a new pump, and managed it myself. So they discharged me before noon! I've never been so happy to be back in control of my insulin in my life.  

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Organizer

Zoë Lynne Witt 
Organizer
Seattle, WA