Describe how you feel when low

Do you find it hard to describe to others how you feel when you’re having a low? I do. The best I can come up with is half jittery and half paralyzed. I feel shaky, but find it hard to move – hard to stand up and go to the kitchen so I can treat it. And then when I HAVE treated it, I just want to go collapse – I can hardly hold my head up. And I certainly can’t think or do anything until the feeling passes, which is usually 15 minutes to half an hour.

How about you?

I feel Nothing until I get to about 2.9 mmol/L. Then I usually get pretty tired and somewhat irritable. That’s why I test more often, so that I don’t get there too often.

It really depends on the intensity of the low:

-around 70: hungry
-around 60: irritated, cold, feeling fearless and becoming testy (rarely)
-around 50: numbness setting in, vision affected, anxiety, weakness
-below 40: loosing connection to the body, tunnel vision, world seems to be a threatening place

Usually this does not impact me for a long time. I think this is due to the fact that I am always using glucose tabs to treat lows (15g of carbs at least). I do not want to get used to these feelings.

I agree with most of Holger’s chart. I’d add that when you get down in the 40s, things sound wierd. Even > 50, if I’m low I utterly can’t tune a guitar, there’s a lot of echoing that gets loaded into the “beat tones” that makes it completely impossible. Even with an electronic tuner, it just doesn’t sound right?

Reading also becomes very challenging. That used to be my evenings on R, take a ton of insulin, eat and read until I couldn’t and test and eat some more.

Dizzy, shaky, and I don’t have words. I always have trouble talking in coherent sentences when I’m low. I know what I WANT to say, but I can’t make the words come out of my mouth. It’s so frustrating, because I can hear myself stumbling and trying to get the words out. Especially annoying/embarrassing when it happens at work. After that begins, I start having trouble remembering things, including things that just happened within the last 30 seconds. That makes me start to get really frustrated and angry and I become a major “diabitch.” My vision will start to get all wacky and I sometimes get numb/tingly around my lips. I used to get sweaty but that doesn’t happen as much anymore for some reason. Once I’m past that point, I don’t usually remember much, but people tell me that I just get very catatonic. I used to get argumentative and aggressive, but now I just sort of sit/stand there not knowing what to do. That scares me because one time my spouse found me just holding a juice box, unsure of what to do with it (i.e., I wasn’t treating my low).

I don’t notice much until I’m <45-50. I get really confused -like the time I was sure it was 8am and it was 8pm. I reset everything (computer, phone, etc) to pm becoming more agitated because I didn’t understand why they were all wrong. Stumbly, shaky.
If I drop really fast for whatever reason, I get very lightheaded and vision is affected.

I get really hungry, am tired and shaky, and I feel kind of hot and cold all over. Then, like you, I usually feel like collapsing once I’ve treated it because I am so exhausted.

If I get low enough, I lose contact with reality. I’m likely to start wandering around muttering, “I don’t understand, I don’t understand”. Whenever I say those words, my husband says “Quick! Eat!”

I usually first notice feeling spacy to one degree or another not being able to think straight. I get easily irritated. This is mild in the 50s (I only treat under 60) but can become downright weird getting lower, where if I’m multi-tasking I confuse the two things, like thinking something I’m doing on my computer has to do with a television show plot! I sometimes get tingly lips though I haven’t had that recently. Down into the 40s I get visual distortions, sometimes a slowed down feeling. When I had a bad low once, where I was unconscious (by the time I came to and could test I was 38, I don’t know how low I’d gone), everything felt surreal like I was trying to move through molasses or under water. And I became depersonalized as if watching myself from outside, “Oh, the Zoe is drenched in sweat and doesn’t remember coming into this room, she must be low, get the meter, test, eat glucose tablets”. And then my body slowly, slowly did the movements necessary. But any real thought beyond that wasn’t possible like I couldn’t count how many glucose tablets I was taking or make sense of the clock to see how long it had been.