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Living with Diabetes and coping with surgery

It is hard for anyone under going any type of surgery, but it can be particularly hard for those of us with diabetes. Coping with having anaesthetic and not being in control can be a huge worry. The key is to plan, the only time I have had surgery since being diagnosed with type 1 was when I was having my little boy. I was lucky as the c-section had been planned for months so I new what to expect, here are a few things that might help you get through it (if the surgery is planned!):

1. Speak with your diabetic team. They will help you get your levels under control now so there is less chance of complications. They will also be able to give you a idea of what you can expect your levels to do after the operation. Having a baby is slightly different than other operations as my insulin requirements had already gone up so I new as soon the baby was born my insulin requirements would go down.

2. Talk to the anaesthesiologist. How long the procedure will take will be a big influence in what the anaesthesiologist will do. They will usually put a drip of saline and insulin in your hand. This should help with controlling your levels and will be kept in until you are able to eat properly.

3. Try to be the first in the operating theatre. The doctor should try and schedule your surgery first, this will help you plan your insulin requirements. You should be able to have your normal insulin routine up until the night before, depending on how long you should not eat for. If you talk to your diabetic team they should be able to help you through this.

4. Plan your overnight bag. Even if you think you are not staying always plan for an over night stay. Ensure you have enough medication and hypo stoppers (lucozade sweets etc)

I think the main thing is to try and plan and not to worry. The main fear for me was the doctors not understanding my diabetes, even though their knowledge wasn’t great mine was! So I tried to ensure the plan I had made with my diabetic team was adhered to!