Funny or scary low blood sugar stories needed!

My name is William “Lee” Dubois. I’m a health journalist, Type-1, and diabetes author on assignment for Better Homes and Garden’s Diabetic Living. We’re doing a piece on low blood sugar risks for persons with type 2 diabetes.

I’m looking for a couple of real-world anecdotes (either funny or scary) from type-2s who’ve experienced hypos. I was wondering if anyone had one to share?

Went with friends recently to the cider mill. While they pigged out on fresh donuts and cider, I enjoyed a half donut and some milk. While I was proud that the half-donut was my first since my diagnosis a year earlier, I also felt a little wistful that I couldn’t also have cider. I am resolved to limit simple carbs and I knew the donut was enough for that day
But a few days later I was experiencing a low blood sugar at home. Rather than go for the yucky glucose tabs, I starting routing around my kitchen for something sugary, tasty, and forbidden. Aha, the cider was in the fridge! I poured a 6 oz. glass, at last I tasted the season, and brought up my BGL as well.

I’m type 2, and I was taking Lantus, which isn’t supposed to cause lows. I was sitting at my computer when all of a sudden I started to feel a bit low. I stood up, and then I realized I was shaking and wanted to sit down, but I managed to walk from my barn office into the house to test. The meter said 25, and I figured it was a bad strip, so I tested again and got a 30.

“Hmm. I think I’m low,” I thought. Last time I was low I overcorrected, so I decided not to do that again and started preparing my lunch, some telapia sauteed in olive oil. Then a miniscule remaining part of my brain said, 'Hey Dumbo. Sauteed telapia is probably not the smartest way to bring up a low." At that point, I was shaking even more and had difficulty standing up. So I ate something a tad better for a low, like glucose tabs, and collapsed on the sofa, where I could hear my heart thundering in my ears. I don’t think I ever passed out, but I understand now that lows can affect your brain (what little of it is left).

Anyway, that’s how I discovered for myself the “Lantus Lows” that can occur when you inject too close to a blood vessel. A friend had had the same thing several times a year. They occur about 45 minutes after you take the Lantus. It’s because Lantus is supposed to clump in the interstitial fluid. If it gets into a blood vessel, it’s diluted so fast it can’t clump, and then it acts like R. And 20 or 30 units of R sure pack a wallop.

I am diagnosed as a T2 and have been on insulin since last december. I’m sorry I don’t have any really funny or scary stories. I think I was very fortunate to have started an insulin regime before I had to totally burn out my remaining beta cell function. This means that I still have some natural protection against hypos. I’ve never had any really bad lows, mostly mild hypos related to exercise or corrections. I have found that if I don’t manage my insulin and diet around exercise, I can suffer from hypos after exercise, the so called Late-Onset Hypoglycemia (LOH). I described some of that here. It took me some time to really understand this. I require enough insulin during exercise to avoid going high, but I must eat properly around exercise to avoid the LOH. Early on, after exercise I had a hypo about two hours after exercise. I went into the 60s, hardly a harsh low. I treated it, but I still kept going low. Eventually, I had consumed nearly 100g of carbs (and I did not overtreat). It was then that Iearned the truth. A mild low may be treated with a single glucose tab, but a serious low can take a lot of effort to treat. Since then, I’ve altered my regime and no longer have LOH, but I remember.