Sounds dramatic, no?
This is how I refer to the period of time before I was diagnosed with diabetes but was obviously sick (in ketoacidois). For the most part, when I say "when I was dying," everyone knows what I'm referring to. It was not until the other day did I realize how much this reference had been accepted by the people in my life.
The realization occurred when Jerry and I were talking about my hair (trust me, it was a thrilling conversation). I think my hair stopped growing "when I was dying." But instead of the usual reference, I started the sentence with "I think when I was sick blahblahblah..." (which is probably the exact way Jerry heard it). Jerry interrupted (which isn't unusual) and questioned, "You were sick? When you were sick?" (Are you noticing my fondness of parenthesis in this post?) (They're fun, aren't they?)
Umm, yeah, you remember the time that I drank water like it was my job, pissed like I had the bladder of a 5 year old, ate whole gallons of ice cream and still managed to lose 15 pounds. That time?
Instead of saying all that (which would have been sarcastic and sooooo totally unlike me), I reminded him, "Yeah, when I was dying."
"Oh" he said with full comprehension. The conversation continued. At least until the next interruption. :)