First (and hopefully only) Blackout

I blacked out last night. Not the best way to start off the year… When I went to bed my BG was high so I dosed and went to bed. I took too much insulin and woke up a few hours later. I was having a low but I don’t remember it feeling like a ‘bad low’. I got up to get some juice and then BAM! I woke up on the floor of my bathroom with a bruised elbow and a knot on the back of my head. Everything in was in disarray. This is the first time in ten years of being diabetic that I have completely blacked out. It was scary to say the least. I’m ok but I do feel kind of groggy almost hung over today. I know that I should have something to treat lows at my bedside. Last night I didn’t. I feel lucky that I eventually came to and was able to get some juice. Has anyone else had this happen? If so what did you do in response to it? I really hope to not repeat this again.

I'm so glad you came to, Brian. Yes, I once came to to find myself drenched in sweat, tested and was 38 (don't know how low I had been). I treated with glucose tabs that I keep in my nightstand, but was unable to count how many I took or watch the clock to see how long it has been. My suggestion? I'd be careful with doing fast-acting insulin and then going to sleep! I allow myself to remain at high numbers I'd treat during the day if it's bedtime, and if I'm really high I'll treat but either stay up to watch my blood sugar or else treat very conservatively. To me, bad experiences like this are a learning experience, but sorry it had to be such a painful one (literally!). When it happened to me, I was sitting in bed reading (or had been) and I'm not sure I could have managed to get the glucose tabs if I had to get up to do it; it felt like moving through molasses to test, open the drawer, get out the tabs, etc. My bedroom was on the second floor and the concrete stairs had a turn at the bottom or else a 3 foot drop so it was a good thing I had tabs upstairs. I don't know if you live alone, but I do and feel I need to take extra precautions.

I'm glad you're ok!

Glad you are okay!! I have learned that if I take fastacting at bedtime I take HALF the normal amount and set my alarm for 2 hrs afterwards and then another 2 hrs. I also keep a meter and regular Pepsi and Skittles on my nightstand. I have never passed out, but have come very very close....crawled to the fridge and had the phone in one hand and grabbing a Pepsi in the other, rubber legs and heart pounding out of my chest, seeing black with silver stars. Pulled out of it I think just in the nick of time.

Hope you feel better and this is the last time it happens to you. So happy you are okay.

Yikes! I'm glad you came to too! I have had this happen several times, including a few trips to the ER. It hadn't happened for maybe 10 years until last summer when I was a bonehead and wiped out again, livening up a family reunion considerably. Usually, MrsAcidRock can deal with me but it was a wierd situation. I'd say my sister perhaps jumped the gun on calling the EMTs (my cousin was an EMT and he and Mrs. probably had things under control after he tackled me when I jumped over the couch...) but the whole situational aspect of that is extremely unlikely to repeat itself for me.

If I correct at bedtime, I will add a CB to a small snack bolus and wait like an hour and check and make sure my BG is going down before I eat the snack? Some of the hypos I had when I was younger seemed to be the day after wild parties so I am usually careful to eat a lot when I'm being a wild and crazy guy these days.

When I was on shots I also used to take half my usual correction dose before bed, and that only if I was up around 10-12 mmol/L. I keep a stash of low stuff in my bedside table, just in case, although I have not had a bad low in over ten years (not since NPH days). Overnight is the time I am most paranoid about lows (except maybe at work, I’m pretty paranoid there, too), because I had my share of scary lows as a kid/teenager, including one where I did not wake up in the morning. That one scares me the most because if it happened today I would not have anyone coming to wake me up and discover the low. Hope this doesn’t happen again to you … stay safe!

i am glad things worked out. I know these can be very scary, several times I have woke up in a rage with the fireman holding me in place they wife crying and the this awful IV half in and half out of my arm. Oh joy.

I wish I could tell you you a good way to not let this happen. I really cannot. Gerry probably has the best idea. I do were a sensor and it does work. it is not 100% fool proof, but it has saved my butt once or twice. i know that with out Sheryl, I would not have made it 8-10 times over. So if you are alone, these are usually grounds for a sensor. so i suggest petitioning for one.

rick phillips

im so glad you woke up!

crazy saying that :(

Ugh Brian I’ve had that happen MANY times in my 37 years with diabetes. I’ve had 911 called b/c I went into seizers after passing out. Got many stories to tell about the “fun” of doing that. My suggestion (what has saved me MANY tines) get your dr to prescribe a gluagon kit for you. If this happens again just give yourself (or have someone understand what to do and give you) a gluagon injection.

I've stumbled to the kitchen in the middle of the night with a low after treating a high at bedtime. After reading about your experience I just put glucose tabs in my nightstand.

On Thanksgiving I went out to dinner with my sister and father and bolused for the whole meal including dessert before realizing, hey, I won't be eating all that in the next 15 minutes. I came very close to blacking out and was stuffing glucose tabs, bread, soup, everything in my mouth. lol. Course later I went high.

Great suggestion, Doris, but not an option for those of us who live alone. (Brian didn’t say if he does or not). For me, since I don’t plan on acquiring a roomate or a husband anytime soon, and my cat only wakes me up when SHE feels the need for my company, my best option is to avoid severe lows at all costs! As I mentioned above, I do this in part by being very conservative about doing fast acting insulin at bedtime. I also always keep glucose tabs and my meter right next to my bed so even if I’m pretty disoriented I can manage to do what I need to. (assuming of course, I’m conscious!). The one time I went unconscious I was lucky enough that my body’s resources kicked in, but I never want to risk that again! Now that I’m starting on a pump I want to remember that risk by not using the temptation to keep my numbers super-tight and by perhaps lower basals at night. I think there are definitely separate issues for those of us who live alone.

Thanks for all the responses. I do currently live alone so I do need to be more prepared. I use to keep food/juice box by my bedside but have gotten out of the habit. I’ll have to make that priority #1. I have tried glucagon in the past and have actually found it to be not so effective. I still needed to eat a lot in addition to the glucagon. In this case, I didn’t even see it coming. I was just out. Still not feeling particularly great. Yesterday, I wasn’t feeling that well either. I might be fighting something which could have also contributed to the situation.

Dont feel so bad Brian, In my near 10 years now of having this, I have blacked out more times than I can remember from lows, some to find my self waking up in the hospitals, others times at home after getting sugar into my self, then going into the temporary blackouts from the lows before the sugars brought me out of it.

Now I have not only sugary candy by my bed, but also sugary juices, and even the hypo emergency kit right there and ready, and of course the test kit too. If it wasn't for those hypo kits, I wouldn't be here writing this.

I would highly recommend you have that same stuff right there at your bed too.

If this is you're first black out and you're already 10+ years with this, then I would say you doing pretty darn good, a hell of a lot better than me for sure!

I know this may sound unorthodox, but when I’m a bit too high between dinner and bedtime I treat with a small glass of whiskey, on the rocks. And then eat. Then take my basal insulin before I go to sleep. I never take meal insulin before bed. On New Year’s Eve, I indulged a little and when I normally test a few hours after dinner, my bg was at 199. Way too high. So I drank the small glass of whiskey on the rocks, ate my snack, tested before bedtime and basal, and my bg had dropped to 129, within an hour. I slept really well that night, and woke up with a good bg. Just my crazy way. Rarely have to do this.

Sounds like a perfectly good “remedy” to me, except I prefer wine. Cheers!

Water of life! Which sort of whiskey?

Bushmills! Or sometimes, Jamesons… Can’t help it, the hubby’s from Irish stock. His dad even owned a bar back in the day. (though that does not make me more alcohol tolerant, lol)

Yes, bottoms up and all that! :slight_smile:

I’ve lived with Diabetes for 51 years and what you described happened to me in my 38th year of living with this disease. It will happen again because what you have is Hypounawareness. I told my Endo what happened and he refereed me to a CDE which they didn’t have during the dark ages when I was dxed. Meeting my educator was my education about how to better manage my D. The educator taught me many things I didn’t know and also taught me how to use a pump and I have been pumping for about 12 years and haven’t passed out since.

I second the conservatively idea! I was just looking at some charts that show that people naturally go down during the night (and then, for some, the dawn effect kicks in). Better to be a little high, because you've undertreated, than go horribly low because you've overtreated!

So glad it had a happy ending, though -- even if you hurt, being alive is a good thing! :-)

Glad to hear your ok. Sounds pretty bad. I've been diabetic for three years and no blackouts or anything yet, "knock on wood". Lots of scary lows in the 20's to 40's but glucose tabs have saved the day so far. Glad to hear a person can actually wake up on their own, I didn't know it was possible.