Anyone ever get hit with a bad hypo while out in public and no sugar or any way to get any? This has happened to me rarely but it has happened. “I thought you people were always supposed to have some candy with you!” – yeah yeah, but every once in a while you’re caught without anything, it happens, dammit. This past Sunday I was about halfway through my hour-long bike ride when my CGM went from steady, to angled down arrow (expected!) to suddenly my level dropping 20 points since the previous interval and breezing past 100 with a vertical down arrow. I had some IOB when I started but I thought that post-prandial 180 meant I would be ok, maybe a little low at the end, but uh uh. So I pulled up by the Arthur Fiedler Memorial (I ride along the Charles River Esplanade in Boston) with a real Indiana Jones “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” kind of bad feeling about this. Because I still had half of my ride ahead, with a pretty decent headwind and a couple of inclines, and ya know how you were going to make sure and refill that tube of glucose tabs in your cycle bag? Didja do that? Um, I don’t think so…
In the end I managed to get home on the one glucose tab I had, taking it re-e-e-e-ally slow and having to grit my teeth toward the end, but I did find myself standing next to the modernist sculpture of Maestro Fiedler and pondering very seriously the question of what I was going to do if this thing didn’t level out and I just physically couldn’t do it. No money to buy anything, no spouse or friend to help out. Aaack! So what do you do? Steal candy from a passing stroller baby? Which is more mortifying, passing out or having to prevail on a total stranger? Aack.
OOOh DrBB, uggh, that is the worst. it has happened to me that ive been caught out without sugar for exactly the same reason as you with the stupid refill problem. i went into a cafe and asked for a sachet of sugar, between 8 and 10 grams of carb. they didnt ask me why or if if i was a customer, thank god.
What is it about cycling PWD? I had something like that happen to me on a bike ride, too - also at the halfway point in the ride! I did like @DrBB, and took the ride back slowly, though eyed almost every passerby thinking, “Hm… maybe if I asked them, they’d have something to help me…?”
Worst part in my case: I got home and then found a $10 bill in my bike shorts! Guess I wasn’t in as much trouble as I thought – though, my BG was low enough that I couldn’t reason that out at the time…
Isn’t there the Charles River Bistro right there? I don’t have any hesitation asking for a couple packets of sugar.
Of course I am one to talk. My problem is that when my blood sugar gets below 70 mg/dl I start to get stupid. And stupid is as stupid does. I would probably stand there for five minutes trying to think of what to do and then make the wrong decision anyway.
There should be an app to track and see if other diabetics are near you for support. Kinda like they wanted to do with the x-men mutants. One of us will have candy!
Swipe left for glucose tabs…
I’ve never had the problem on a bike ride. I haven’t (so far) forgotten to have something on me. Only I put it in a pocket, not the pouch, so there’s never any question whether it’s there or not. So far, that’s worked.
My OMG-I’m-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-with-no-sugar incident happened not long after dx. We were visiting some friends who live way, way out in the sticks—the nearest town is about 18,000 people and almost 10 miles away—and were hiking in the hills when I started feeling distinctly weak and shaky and realized I had nothing with me. Fortunately it was summer. I sat down and tried to maintain while the rest of the party went foraging and found some ripe blackberries. That was enough to get me back to the house and it made me ultra paranoid. I was always pretty careful after that. Then, when I started using insulin, I became downright OCD about it. So far, so good.
Yes–I was focused on the fact that I didn’t have any money so even though the kiosk was there it wasn’t any use to me. Didn’t think of sugar packets! Now @pancreaswanted mentioned that, I’ll definitely keep it in mind. Much better option than stealing candy from a baby.
I know that I can actually boost my blood sugar with sprints (as long as I don’t have too much IOB). Any type of strenuous anaerobic activity is enough to cause my blood sugar too rise.
I always have sugar packets in the back of my mind. I think that’s because of the number of times I’ve sat in a restaurant after a bolus and the food took an eternity to show up. I grab a couple of sugar packets from the table when that happens. I could use my own sugar, but why not use theirs—they’re the ones keeping me waiting, after all!
When I’m very low, like under 50, I have a hard time thinking of words, much less putting together a whole sentence that is appropriate. It’s as if diabetes disables effective tools just when needed most. Social interactions can seem like a Mt. Everest obstacle when we’re low. (How do you seek permission from a grocery store clerk that you’re experiencing a medical emergency and you need to eat something on the shelf and you’ll pay for it later?) They’re complex and layered even when I’m in full command of my wit. This is when our “type awesome” loved ones can instantly assess the situation and move with knowing purpose and speed.
@DrBB, you tell a great story! Glad you made it home safely.
You don’t you just go do it. Better to ask for forgiveness later than die.
That makes good sense. My thought process when low, however, is illogical and a bit loopy!
There is - to a point - it’s called “HelpAround.”
I actually resorted to that one of the other times this happened to me. This was quite a while ago, back when I was on R/NPH–those hypos were the worst for some reason. Came on while I was driving, couple of miles from home. Somehow you could tell with that stuff when it was going to be a severe one, there was just something about it, hard to describe. Anyway, I realized I was starting to get that cone-vision thing even before the hunger and jitters kicked in, always a bad sign. I pulled over and went into a convenience store but I had no $$. Tried to explain to the clerk it was an emergency–I figured everyone knew from watching TV (“Diabetic? That guy’s gonna need a shot!”–the iron rules of Hollywood!) But even that let me down. Between hypoglycemic fumble-mouth, as you describe, and the fact that the clerk’s English such as it was wasn’t very such, I was completely out of luck. Fortunately it was only another five minutes or so to get home so I just chanced it. And yeah I know all the rules about driving and I’m really ashamed I got myself into that situation but sometimes sh** just happens.
Ugh! There’s not much worse than being stuck somewhere low without glucose! I’ve had it happen to me a few times. The first was in high school, when the reason I didn’t have glucose with me was because I refused to carry it, despite having a severe low requiring assistance from others numerous times. Passing out in front of two dozen students while trying to get to my locker took care of teaching me that lesson. Since then I always try to have glucose on me at all times.
while I’m not usually caught forgetting glucose, I have found myself running out if I have a lot of lows in one day. A few times I’ve found myself with a blood sugar of 1.6 or 1.8 mmol/L and no glucose with me. Once was while lesson planning in my classroom alone as a student teacher; once was while alone at a is stop after a workout; and once was while stuck in a lineup at the border on a Greyhound bus. Once I was standing talking to a colleague and out of nowhere suddenly felt extremely low. My supplies were just upstairs in my office, but by the time I got up there I was 1.7 and feeling like I was about to pass out.
I got through each one, but these days I carry two tubes of glucose tablets plus a few fruit leathers (12 grams of carbohydrates in a very small/flat form factor). I also bring glucose tablets with me in a pocket if I’m moving to a different room from where my bag is. Bur having a CGM has also helped a lot with the sudden and scary lows.
I keep it in my briefcase, in several rooms of the house, in the glovebox of each car, in my D kit, and usually in my pocket. Plus anywhere else that seems like a good idea.
Holy cow I was just kidding. How much are these glucose tabs worth to ya buddy? $$$