Bad Hypo at Work

Yesterday afternoon I had a bad hypo at work. Usually, I’m pretty good at catching them, but I was walking back to my office and sat down, and I knew something wasn’t right. A friend came to talk to me, and she noticed I was sliding off my chair. She knew my sugar was low, because I was slurring so she was trying to help. Then, a couple of more people/really friends (thankfully) stopped by, and one of my best friends sat in my office most of the afternoon to get me back on track. When I’m low, I keep insisting that I’m fine, but people could tell. The problem is is that I’m so embarassed. I’m ususlly a put together guy, and this is a professional work place. I always get embarassed after a hypo…even in front of my family. Coming into work this morning was hard, but I just did it. Now, I feel a little paranoid like people are waiting for the next one and trying to see how I’m reacting. I’m just venting, because I don’t think anyone I know truly gets how I feel right now. Thanks for letting me vent. Peter

Hi Peter. I really get what you are saying. I also get embarrassed after going low when I’m around people. For instance, I’ve been dating this new guy and the other night (only our 5th date) I started to go low. I was apologizing up and down about it, and he was really sweet and just trying to help out, but I still felt bad and like I had to explain but couldn’t because I was kinda out of it from being low. Even around my friends I get really apologetic when it happens. Fortunately I haven’t had a bad hypo at work yet, but I would feel the same way as you. Are people looking at me just waiting for it to happen again? I guess maybe I feel bad because they feel bad about what’s happening to me and I don’t want them to feel that way because of my condition. I know that probably doesn’t make much sense, but that’s how my twisted diabetic mind works these days. :o)

I get it.

I hate being low around people because then I feel like they think they have some sort of right to take care of me or watch out for me. Even weeks or months later, they check in to see how things are doing, even though they have no idea at all what I do daily or how to help me if I am ill. I hate it when people ask me things like "can you do this? Are you okay? (when I am obviously perfectly fine), will this be hard for you, etc. I don’t want special considerations, I just want to be a normal person. Then I feel ungrateful, but still pissed.

It makes me angry and also strangely afraid, but mostly just angry.

I have a friend with Type one diabetes, but years ago, even though we were close, I didnt know as she kept all her friends in the dark. One day at lunch, she started sliding into unconsciousness and collapsing, but just managed to say the words sugar…I gave her some and was astonished to see her come back to life!!

I did tell her off for not letting me know about this - she never makes any sort of fuss about it now, just carries on, and if she goes out during a meal or when we are out, I know she is going to inject but because she doesnt apologise for it (very important!!) and is so matter of fact, all her friends take this message from her. I am aware she has diabetes but it doesnt define her in any way.

I think she is quite a role model with her diabetes, she does occasionally refer to it if it happens to impact onto what people are discussing, but in such a matter of fact way, with no apology, that people do take their cue from her. I never ask her how she is thinking about the diabetes, just how is she in general, and she does me, not referring to DB at all. I do know it is tough, as I have other disabilities that I feel I need to apologise for but writing this is reminding me - not too much apologising, just be matter of fact and folk will take their cue…so I will do that too, on other things. Good luck to you…sorry if I sound a bit matter of fact - & rambling too…lol…((hugs)) Cathrynn

My hypos, like yours, are known as asymptomatic. I seldom know one is coming. I’m told that a CGM system would be important for me but Medicare doesn’t think so.

Two of my employees once drove me home. Then my wife called an ambulance. One minute I was looking at a computer program in the computer room; the next, I was staring up at one of those big round lights in the emergency room. I can’t say life isn’t exciting!

I’m with you, Peter…lows embarass me to no end…and especially in front of my children, who; though they are adults…are still my kids, and I suppose once a mother…always a mother. I teach; and my worse fear would be to go low in front of my students (elementary grades)…I compensate by always running a little high in the classroom.

You are preaching to the choir. I am the same way, as a manager I didn’t want to be seen as anything less than “professional”. And like you I don’t notice lows coming until it is a little late. You know, when you know you need sugar but can’t figure out how to get it. Embarassing would have been not going in this morning. Then it is seen as having the better on you. Or so it seems to me. By being able to go in you showed it isn’t the end of the world. And maybe they will take you seriously next time you say it is time to break.

So true…well said Mark.
Now as for myself (and I’m sure other go through this also)…you can’t stop replaying what you remember/or what you think you remember of the hypo over and over for the next day or two.

I’m sorry for you that this happened (been there, done that–actually, I’m low right now, but at home… darn, why didn’t I decrease my lunch time shot since I knew I was going to Walmart??); but I’m glad you have friends that understand and helped you. Some of us find it easier to give help than accept it, but both are important in life and in friendships.

My husband is also diabetic; we support and fully understand one another…what we often do at family restaurnts, is share a meal (generally far to loaded in carbs for one person)…some of those meals are enormous, but that doesn’t seem to be a deterrent for some of the folks at nearby tables!!!

Oh, dude. Dude. I so hear you. I get low at least 3 times a day at work. Fortunately, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve had one bad enough that someone else noticed.

It is incredibly embarrassing. Many times I wake up the next day, and I just do NOT want to go to work. But I pull myself together and make myself go. I put my head down and pretty much run to my office (fortunately, I’m right across from the staircase, so it’s really easy to sneak in). Reactions among coworkers vary. I have a lot of experience, so I can give you a listing of the various reactions you’re going to receive (in order of my preference):

  1. Ignoring it. Some people will just pretend it didn’t happen. They might look at me a little funny, and, if it happens enough (probably not to anyone but me), they will start getting annoyed with me, but I’d say about half the office will generally pretend it didn’t happen.
  2. Humor. A few will make jokes about it. This is nice, because it kind of shows they don’t think I’m a freak. (My favorite was a lady who talked about all the hot firemen.) Not too many people do this.
  3. Overconcern. Generally, one or two or three people per office will drop by and check on me fairly often to make sure I’m alright. I’ll get a speech about how, if there’s anything they can do to help, just let them know. Have I eaten lunch? How are my sugars?
  4. How diabetes affects them. There are usually a few people in the office who will tell me about how their father or husband or brother or great-aunt’s husband’s second cousin’s dog has diabetes and how it was SO awful for them.

But I try to be understanding. People want to help, and they’re worried about us. They don’t want to see these bad things happen, and they’d like to be able to do something, they just don’t know what. And, for some people, that means making jokes, for others, it means telling me about their husband’s grandmother’s best friend.

I can tell you, though, that people generally forget about it, and it fades away. They usually bug me for about a week, and then less and less, and, after a month, it seems to be forgotten. (Well, not forgotten, but at least they’re no longer asking me if I’ve eaten.)

And then there’s…
5. Think you’re a hassle. I’m a teacher, and know fully well that if I run low too often…A. The pricipal will disapprove
B. The parents will pick up info from their kids, and likely be concerned that I can’t teach properly or that I’m a hazard to the stydents…and will complain to the principal. This is a private school…no unions!
A fellow teacher, not knowing that my odd response to a request from another teacher that I switch yard duty with her, blurted out in the lunch room, in front of other teachers…“What’s your problem anyway?”. I explained to her that I was low, but her response will remain ingraved in my mind forever. The mere fact that my odd response was out of character should have been enough to suggest that something was amiss…sheesh!