A Tale of Hypoglycaemia – From scary, to funny and just plain weird!

We’ve all pretty much had them in one form or another, and in my time I have experienced a wide range of hypos - some scary, some funny and some just plain weird! I figured that they would make good reading on top of the fact they just may prove educational or help others identify with something they have experienced…

I’ll start with the first two that come to mind when I think of scary hypos (hey it can only get better from here right?)….
No1 scary one happened when I was about 16 and still living under my parent’s roof. I had an average day and average night with no diabetic incidents or any exercise that was out of the ordinary. Had my usual snack before bed (wholemeal toast and glass of milk) and my sugar was in normal range. At about 2-3am my mum heard a noise (I challenge you to show me a mother with a diabetic kid who is a deep sleeper!) and woke up to find me passed out on the stairs – my parents place at the time had the bedrooms downstairs and the kitchen upstairs. Naturally I have no recollection of this but I must’ve woken up realized something was wrong and tried to get to the kitchen – note for little black book: keep sugary snack next to bed. I also have no recollection of the paramedics or the ambulance ride to hospital….the first time I had flashes of consciousness was being wheeled into emergency. Of course none of this is particularly out of the ordinary, it was what happened next that still plays on my mind. By the time the first nurse was assessing my condition, I was coming to and she started asking me the usual questions…here is a rough transcript:
Nurse: “Hi there…are you with me?”
Me: “yep”
Nurse: “Do you remember how old you are?”
Me (16 at the time): “I’m 18……no wait that’s wrong……I’m 18….no wait…”
Nurse: “That’s ok….do you remember your name?”
Me: “Sure, my names Anthony…”
Nurse: “Do you remember your surname?”
Me: “Errr….”
Basically I knew that the answers I was giving the nurse were wrong and felt confident that I knew the answer but the words just wouldn’t come out of my mouth. It is as if my brain had been wired wrong…very wrong! I was stabilised and placed in observation for a little while before a nurse came and saw me explaining that they needed to do a cat scan because they suspected I had suffered a stroke. The cat scan showed nothing out of the ordinary and after a period of observation was released. I don’t think that I will ever forget the feeling of being asked basic questions that I know the answers to but just couldn’t come up with them.

No2 scary hypo was far more recent….this was about 2-3 years ago. It was a lazy weekend day and I was still tired from a late night from the night before (can’t remember why but hopefully it was because I got lucky lol!). Anyway it was coming up to lunch (say 12:30pm) and I was in a very comfy recliner. My partner handed me my insulin saying that lunch is almost ready (she knows to do this about 10mins away from the food being in front of me) and I proceeded to shoot up. Apparently when the food was ready (lets say 10mins after me shooting up), Nat put the food in from of me saying she was also tired (maybe I WAS lucky!) and was going to lie down. I don’t remember but Nat clearly recalls me giving an acknowledgement. At about 3ish my two kids woke up (they were approx 2 and 4 at the time) and came downstairs to find daddy fast asleep on the floor of our lounge with the lunch untouched. Apparently they tried their best to wake me up by using me as a trampoline and poking me in the eyes with no success. Nat, upon hearing the ruckus, came downstairs to find out what was going on, realized something was wrong and called an ambulance. The paramedics brought me around in the lounge before carting me off to a hospital. Spent the night in observation and was released the following day. Worst part of this hypo was that it was the first time the kids had seen me in that state and were quite upset about the paramedics etc. The second worst part of this hypo was that for the next 6 months whenever the kids saw me closing my eyes they would scream “WAKE UP DAD” over and over until I did – I missed a lot of nanna-naps that year!!

The funniest one I can remember was when I was newly diagnosed and at primary school. During art class I felt the early symptoms of a hypo and knew that I had to eat something. Those crayons just have to be tasty and sugary I mean look at all those colours…….they aren’t in case you are wondering. The teacher saw I wasn’t quite right on top of the fact I was eating my way through a box of crayons and sent me to the principal. The principal proceeded to ask me why I thought that eating crayons was a good idea. Thinking I was in deep trouble I did my best to deny any wrong doing….that was until the principal asked me to open my mouth. What she found was a technicolour rainbow of crayon colours all over my teeth and tongue!!

The last one I am going to write about is one of the weirder ones that I’ve ever had. I was about 10 years old and had just watched the superman movie where superman flies around his fortress of solitude really, really fast (I forget which one it is). Anyway my blood sugar dropped during the night which somehow seemed to effect my dream (get your mind out of the gutter it is nothing like that!). I don’t remember many dreams but this is one that has stuck with me to this day. The dream started as one of those hyper realistic ones and I was superman flying really, really fast around my ice fortress. Somehow I forgot how to fly and crashed into the wall (gotta love dreams right?!!). Now the weird part…still in my dream, when I came to, it was as if I was sitting down with my head against some form of table. On the table was a toy train set with the rails running right past my open mouth. Each time the train went past my head the train stopped and one of the cars it was pulling (like the ones that carry coal) tipped towards my mouth, pouring not coal but honey into my mouth! It just so happened that this coincided with my mum spooning honey into my mouth to get my out of the hypo – a fact I only realized in that ½ awake ½ asleep stage.

I’d love to hear of other peoples scary/funny or weird hypos they’ve had…feel free to write away in the comments :slight_smile:

Scary and funny stories! I have to say I’ve had a few memorable ones myself.
My scary one was a few years ago… I was pumping at the time and had bolused for my dinner, finished dinner and was lounging on the sofa. It was about 30 min after dinner & I started getting the symptoms so I tested my BG-32! So I asked my boyfriend to get me juice from the kitchen. In the 5 seconds it took him to get to the kitchen, I had lost feeling from the neck down. When I say “lost feeling”, I mean paralyzed!!! I yelled out to him to just bring me WHATEVER. He brought me something & I told him it wasn’t enough, to go get more. I explained that i couldn’t move my hands to eat. The next thing I knew, I was being drenched with water from the fridge!!! He then proceeded to squeeze icing from a tube into my mouth and it began to take affect. The feeling came back everywhere and all was fine. I told him if that kind of thing should ever happen again that he needed to use the glucagon pen and get an ambulance. I think he was so startled, it didn’t really click with him fast enough! Now that he has that experience under his belt, I’m sure it will click much faster if there should be another hypo like that…
My funny one is very similar to one of yours… I was visiting family in Georgia one summer (age 10ish) and one day we went to the ocean. Had a great time, by the way. I used to have late night hypos-bad when I was a kid. So I went low that night and had a nightmare along with it, As a kid, I had many of these and vividly remember the nightmares that accompanied them to this day! So in this one, I was dreaming that I was drowning, and they were trying to get me to drink grape koolaid! I was spitting it out and thrashing my arms about while they were trying to hold me down so they could try getting the koolaid in my mouth. I remember beind so frightened while it was happening, but even as I’m recalling it to write it here, I am laughing like crazy!!!
Thanks for sharing your hypo stories with all of us!

I have had several odd ones. One I remember sitting on the font of a church in town stuffing sweets in my mouth as fast as a could. A stranger to me came past, looked at me closely (soaking wet with sweat in the middle of winter!) and told me that I was on “human” insulins and I might be better off on pork insulins. He gave me details of a group not too far from me that campaigns for patient choice and better treatment etc. I did not know that there was a difference, but when this group sent me their welcome pack, I was reading my own story!!
Long story short I did get on to pork insulins - and dropped by my local diabetes centre because I was not conforming.
Hypos have occurred in some awful situations. I went hypo very suddenly (while still on the human insulin) and it was two days after the London bombings - on an airoplane! The stewardess called the police thinking that I was sweating and shaking because I had something to hide!!
Other times I have been shopping and arrived at the checkout with some really weird things that I would not normally eat - sugar cubes (open), other sweets opened and once a jar of salsa - also open!
The most recent one was when I was moaning to my pharmacist that I had been running high for weeks, whatever amount of insulin I had been injecting. He sympathised and then went off to fill my prescription - I had just started some anti-depressents which had so far not reduced my need for insulin. Decided to take a test and I was 1.2mmols! Pharmacist came back to find me stuffing sweets again and asked me what on earth I thought I was doing! I showed him my meter and grinned sheepishly and said “I lied!” Then I made him laugh when I said that I quite liked this illness. At least the treatment can be quite pleasant!

I do find the best way to deal with the blessed things is to laugh at it!

Wow Courts…I have heard of the whole paralyzed thing but never experienced it myself - must be a scary feeling esp when it happens so fast.

Latvianchick - Yeah ripping into sweets and stuff in the supermarket before you’ve bought them can get you some interesting looks…that being said, I’ve found people are pretty understanding once you explain it. Interesting with the whole human/pig insulin - I did exactly the opposite and went from pig to human insulin with much better results.

I remember one time when I had a really bad hypo and rang the doctor having had several Mars bars and still not going up. He was rather dismissive and told me to eat some more. I woke up 5 hours later half on and half off the sofa (I live alone) absolutely freezing and wet from sweat.
I have had several bad ones too when I know that I should eat but cannot remember how to! And come to think of it, have had a few of those paralysing ones where I cannot get moving. All scary stuff and I feel rough afterwards!

Well… the first thing that comes to mind was about 6 months ago, my better half woke up and found me sitting up in bed at 6am, trying to change the channel on the TV. I thought I had the TV remote in my hand, but since my BG was a low 30, I actually was holding my iphone, and was frustrated and confused because I couldn’t change the channel.

Another time, again, around 6am, I woke up with a BG in the low 30’s and found myself over at an alarm clock trying to reset the time. The alarm was blaring away, and I stood there in the dark, confused and crying, until my better half came over and sat me down.

We laugh about it now, but boy oh boy, what a mess I was on those days.

Hakima - sorry but I have to admit that made made me laugh…hey at least you can laugh at it now. Maybe stay away from electronic gizmo’s when your sugars low. When you say you were a mess in those days - was it near diagnosis or did you change something in your treatment?
MissKika - I find the plaid and Klingon interesting. I haven’t suffered anything like that but when my sugar is really low (sub 45) I tend to see bright spots in my vision kind of like when someone takes a flash photo at night. I also find it impossible to read text or a computer screen, almost like I can’t focus on the thing I am looking at - the solution for this seems to be closing one eye or some reason.

You know I can relate to all of that but the one about your crayon expate is funny! LOL! My worst low in in a courtroom. I went to do jury duty (not really wanting to do it in the 1st place and really stessing over the fact I had to) go up on the witness chair (hey all of the potential juor had to do it) beggiged with in an inch of my life to be excused. (didn’t work) was told to goi sit down with the rest of the potential jors. Get up and sit on a long bench only to proceed to pass out and start seizing (scared the judge then) They had to call 911 to take me to the hospital. When I got home I called back to find out what time I was needed to be there the next day and the lady that answered the phone ask me my name (told her) she says were you the one who passed out today? I tell her yes to which she replys “You just stay at home the judge said” Hey that was what I wanted the whole time. I ask myself “now why did I have to show my butt to 50 other ppl just to get what I wanted” LOL

Oh dear Doris! I guess that is one way to get out of something! Go hypo! But not to that extreme! Hope it does not happen too often like that!

How about the time I passed out & started seizing at a grocery store where all kinds of foods were there but me and my Hopounawereness passed out right in the middle of an ile? Hey I’ve even manage to take out a display at a Shell station. PPl look at you weird when you do things like that 4 sure! I can remember seeing them look at the “drunk” (have been told that’s the way I act just b/f I pass out) with wondering eyes (sometimes discusted eyes) then they have to call 911.

Lol Doris…good work on the display at the Shell :smiley: Can’t say that I have ever taken something out but I can empathise with the whole ‘drunk’/suspicious thing. I was doing a door knock for the red cross during a charity drive in a ‘well to do area’. Anyway I starting picking up the signs of a hypo and insert facepalm here didn’t have sugar on me nor was there a shop near by. I figured I would knock on a door and ask for help. Despite people being obviously home it took about 10-12 houses before someone actually answered the door and were willing to help…that was the sweetest coke I have ever had!

It’s honestly funny isn’t it when you look back on it. I went to the dr one day. OK I was getting through it. Hey he’s a dr he should know the signs! My husband was in there with me he said "As soon as the dr turned his back and said all he was going to say I saw this blank look in her eyes. Yep right in the Dr’s ofice I fall low. ER visit (b/c the dr insisted) came home and got the rest of the story! LOL!

You gotta have a larf!

too true after ppl tell me how i got to where i am it’s just plain funny. lol

You do have some funnies Doris!! I am thankful to say that I’ve never taken anything out in a public place around strangers. I’ve been lucky enough to only be around people that know what to look for. Usually if I pass the point of thinking clearly enough to eat, I am a “drunk”!! As a matter of fact, I just received my new t-shirt ordered from cafepress.com, it says No I’m not drunk, I’m diabetic! Love it!

"As a matter of fact, I just received my new t-shirt ordered from cafepress.com, it says No I’m not drunk, I’m diabetic! Love it! "
Awesome t Courty any chance of posting a pic of it?

Hey Ant, LOL, it’s one of the funniest stories I have… I was diagnosed in 2008, so I was two years into diagnosis. Kind of new, kind of not. (I notice that most people on these sites have been dealing with diabetes for many years) What I do now is adjust my Lantus based on my bedtime number, and since then, I’ve avoided problems like those 30’s in the morning. I also have a mini fridge next to the bed, and if I wake up during the night to use the bathroom, I try to remember to make myself drink a few swallows of OJ during the bathroom trip. Thanx for this topic, sharing these stories is great reading.

Good to hear you got it under control Hakima. I was having some pretty nasty hypos during the night due to the day time insulin I was on at the time - basically the jab closer to dinner was still at work 8+ hours later on top of my overnight one. Once the endo changed my daytime insulin to Humalog which is much faster acting my overnight lows stopped.