Suddenly, my diabetes – as I know it – has changed. I learned this when I saw what you see in this picture.
I am thankful that the CGM alerted me to several PREDICTED LOWs before the actual LOW (my low threshold is set to 80 mg/dl), and after those repeated nags (despite a manually suspended basal), that I finally pulled out the meter.
I learned that my blood sugar was not 79, but it was 48…
…and I feel fine.
And that scared the crap out of me.
I wasn’t too scared of the 48, but was scared that I didn’t feel a freakin’ thing. Previously, I’ve dipped into the 70s and even the 60s while being unaware of my hypoglycemia, but never the 40s.
I felt perfectly fine. As if I could have gotten behind the wheel and driven to the grocery store (thankfully I didn’t), or stopped what I was doing to change my son’s wet diaper (I did). I didn’t hesitate to snap the photo in real-time (notice its not going back in the meter history) just before popping five glucose tabs. Nothing could slow me down. Nothing but my own self-restraint, that is.
I felt absolutely NOTHING. Physically.
Mentally, I felt bad about not feeling bad. And that feeling is terrifying.
And I fear it could happen again.
My name is Scott, and it’s been 25 years since my last glucagon shot (spoken in true AA fashion).
I have about six of these things sitting on a shelf somewhere in my bedroom. I’ll bet that at least half of them are expired. I really don’t know. They never leave that spot — even when I go on extended vacation. Every so often, my wife asks me to remind her how to use it, but we never get around to doing so.
Some people, I feel, are more liberal with glucagon use than others. If they test and see a BG below, say, 50, they take a shot. For me, I see it as a method-of-last-resort — i.e. if I’m unconscious. If I can get food or liquid in my mouth, that’s what I’ll use. As I’ve been taught (or, at least I misunderstood the training), I should never have to give myself glucagon — because if I’m capable of doing so, I don’t need it.
(Flashback to the time when I was living alone, wandered to the kitchen in the middle of the night to get some juice from the fridge, and woke up later with an open bottle of apple juice on the floor, a nice bite on my tongue, and a possible concussion from hitting my head on the counter while falling to the ground).
(Or, more accurately: How my mother met your mother)
It’s Diabetes Blog Week again! For the next five days, Karen , author of Bitter-Sweet diabetes, will tell me what to write about. (She did this last year, too). Today, she wants me to write about a memorable diabetes day. I don’t know if this one is my MOST memorable, especially since the most significant diabetes-events tend to be the ones where I’m in no capacity to remember things, but here goes…
This happened over ten years ago. Add old-age to hospital-grade hypoglycemia, and memories get hazy, but I’ll do my best.
Back then, I was living alone in a second floor apartment in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. I was dating a girl who lived on the outskirts of Queens, NY. Because of the distance between us, we only saw each other on weekends – and the “dates” usually included an overnight stay.
This vlog (video-log) could have just as easily been titled “A Consequence of Hypoglycemia”, but alas, that name was already taken. So I’ll just go with the “Rocky Reality…” name.
(subtitle: “Gonna Cry Now”)
Running time 3 minutes
This is a twist on Wednesday’s post on Arden’s Day, where Scott B. asks “What have you always wanted to say to your child’s teacher”.
I don’t have a response to that question, but I do have something to say from a different perspective —
Sometime between May of 1981 (when I was diagnosed) and June of 1983 (when I moved on to another school), there is a vivid image burned in my mind. One of the Phys Ed teachers at Mill Lake School (we’ll call her Ms. S) was on-duty to watch the kids outside during recess. I remember the time when she was running from the playground to the school cradling my limp, semi-unresponsive body in her arms. I don’t remember collapsing to the ground with a low blood sugar before she picked me up, nor do I remember the school nurse squirting glucose gel in my mouth once we got inside of the building. But I do remember that sprint across the blacktop as she looked at me with that very concerned look on her face.
I suspect that the image remains in her mind as well, even thirty years later.
So Ms. S, wherever you are, I’d like to pass along the message that I remember that moment, that I’m doing fine, and that I’m sorry to have scared you. And Thank You.