Hypoglycemia: Living On The Edge With Diabetes

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Hypoglycemia - BG 35Hypoglycemia is dangerous. It can actually be deadly. But somehow when I have a real episode of hypoglycemia, I mean a truly low low, the kind that wipes you out, it seems like just another part of the day. It has a very significant physical effect, but emotionally it doesn’t really register.  No post trauma or even much reflection, although it is essentially a near death experience. 

Last Saturday night I went out for a post marathon celebration with a few of the guys I run with.  I don’t go out or drink beer very often, but I decided that I deserved to have some fun, and since I wasn’t in the mood for any serious drinking, I joined the crowd and had a couple beers. I also had a Caesar salad topped with grilled chicken.

I bolused three times, once for each beer (something I’ve learned I must do) and for the salad (I ate all the croutons J.)

At around 10:30 I was tired and decided I was going home. I had planned to walk home (it’s only a mile and a half) but when my friend offered to drive me, I didn’t refuse.  But I did tell him to let me off a few blocks from home so he wouldn’t have to go too far out of his way. 

I enjoyed the fresh air and felt good, well, at first I felt good. When I reached the turn onto my street I suddenly felt very weak, like I was about to fall. I started to sweat and realized I was going low. I continued walking thinking to myself, like during the marathon, just don’t stop.

Then I realized I didn’t have a house key. Shit, I hope Jess isn’t sleeping.

I took out my phone and started to text Jess, with a shaky hand, to “please open”.

As I reached the door, she opened it. Without saying much I headed for the kitchen counter, where I had left my glucose meter, and checked my blood sugar. It was 35.

I was totally out of control, and I felt like I was about to pass out. I grabbed a mini Snickers bar from the kids’ treat drawer. Then I ate some fruit. And then a mini Twix.

After checking my blood sugar a few times to making sure I was on the way up, I went to the couch and fell asleep.  I was sound asleep until I felt Jessica pulling off my shoes.  I don’t really remember what else happened.  Somehow I made it to bed.  Jessica has a more accurate account of the evening.

The next day the roller-coaster continued. I woke up high, bolused, dropped to 44….

That evening Guy asked me who had the last Snickers bar.

“I did,” I said

“Really?” Guy asked in disbelief.

“Yup,” I said.

“Was it good?” He asked.

“I don’t know,” I said.

I’m not sure he understood, but not being able to remember what the candy bar tastes like made me realize how serious and dangerous the situation was.

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Joao Neves
Joao Neves

I learned to go for plain sugar when I feel hypoglycemia. I found myself holding the fridge door, way too often, melting in sweat, incapable of deciding what to eat. Also I quickly lose taste of sweet “junk” in these crises. First mini Snickers bar is wonderful, 2º-3º tastes like rubber. Very strange… Some kind of inner control, preventing getting out of hypo straight into hyper? Familiar to anyone?

betica
betica

Hello, Michael! I find useful to use glucose or sugar to treat very bad hypoglycemia. They enter quickly in the blood. It might be very dangerous to take greasy treats for hypos especially when they rapid ones. Chocolate might be dangerous. Betica

betica
betica

Hello, Michael! I find useful to use glucose or sugar to treat very bad hypoglycemia. They enter quickly in the blood. It might be very dangerous to take greasy treats for hypos especially when they rapid ones. Betica

hmbalison
hmbalison

One of the worst lows I ever had was when we were in a little town in Mexico far, far from any type of medical care. I accidentally mixed up the vials of Novolog and Lantus and took 8 units of Novolog right before bed. I woke up 2 hours later  talking about our friends “Bud and Karen.” I kept asking, “Where’s Bud and Karen?” My poor husband kept saying,” Who are Bud and Karen? They were imaginary. He made me test my blood sugar, and it was 35.  This happened the next night, too, and that’s when I realize… Read more »

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