Living alone with D + low bg's

This sounds so familiar, I used to have a lot of lows/seizures too, back when I lived at home with my parents. My bedroom was next to theirs so they would hear me kicking down the wall at night. They also happened at school, the grocery store, at home, with friends you name it!

When I moved out for college 9 years ago, the severe hypos stopped, but so did my control of bg’s.
I’m guessing I might have been afraid of seizing around peers, so letting by bg stay higher.

And while reading your post I realized I might have had some during the night for the past year or two, as I sometimes awake with horrible headaches. I can often put them down to having had a low bg during the night, which woke me up and I had something to drink/eat.
I think that it’d have to have been low for quite some time in order to give me such severe headaches. And other times I have them without having awoken at night, which might be due to what you described, that the body eventually takes care of itself… I’m not sure, but it does make sense to me.

Over the past year I’ve also had two episodes of losing consciousnss during low bg at daytime - well drifting in and out of consciousness while hallusinating is more like it.
And a third time where I hallucinated while being aware of it . that was an interesting experience!
I also frequently get blurred vision when low, which can often be the only sign of me beeing shaky.

Although this might not be life-threatening, my life certainly would be a lot more comfortable without the fear of seizing.

I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one with a very attentive dog!

So I can agree with those of you who say that one might/will not die from seizing,
but I cannot imagine that it’s healthy to allow one’s blood sugar to go this low frequently, or to have our brains go through seizing x number of times. Surely this must have some long term effect (think I’ve heard something about memory loss relating to this?!)

Although the low bg itself might not kill us, the circumstances around in such a situation might!
What if: you’re in a bath tub, there was a fire, you’re in traffic (dangerous for yourself and others), you are climbing a steep flight of stairs, you are carrying a baby (dangerous for the baby obviously) etc.

My point is, I still think it’s serious, and even dangerous. I have probably had 10-15 seizures in my life (until this week I hadn’t had one in 9 years), so I know that one bounces back from these things, but it still scares me like nothing else!

Even though I’m married, 2 months ago I was on a trip and felt one coming on, and it was a 20 - 25 points lower than my previous record! It made me really wish I had a CGMS. That said, before I was married I used to keep my bg up a bit, on the advice of a Dr. who thought that the risk of sudden death was more serious than complications over time. Well, with neuropathy, kidney issues and the like, I wish I could go back and even things out a bit.

My guess is that if you can find a way to swing it, a CGMS would be a big help. I’m so convinced that I am paying for one out of pocket. IT is worth that much to me.

I once had one while in the bathtub. I ended up passing out while in there and swallowing a lot of water. Ended up coughing up blood for a week and was hospitalized for pneumonia. Another time I had one while I was walking on the street; it was winter, I live in Alaska, the street was icy, and I broke my leg. So, yeah, you can have damage done by having low seizures.

I don’t really know the long term effects, but I’m certain that I will get Alzheimer’s, if I live long enough.

Carrie: I can sympathize and have been pretty lucky in my life – despite bad lows, I do not think I have had a seizure, but have certainly had situations when lows are highly disorienting, particularly the ones that happen while I am asleep.
I live alone now for the most part, so do not have the built in safety net of a partner next to me – just my daughter in the next room sometimes.
And, there is no real backup plan, so I rely on planning ahead and trying to make recovery from lows as idiot proof as possible:
I have “low cards” in a variety of places – a simple reminder sheet so my minimally functioning brain can see simple words to follow. Having my “low card” in front of me reminds me I might be low even though I am in denial and gets the minimal brain function I have focused on fixing the problem.
I also keep glucose tablets around all the time and carry them with me – yes, I run out, but it is the same as planning to make sure I have enough test strips and insulin.
I have used the CGMS, but don’t find it helps with lows often enough. But, stopping MDI and using a pump did help alot, making lows more manageable and less extreme.

Keep glucose pills/jells by your bed and have 911 (or a member of your family) on speed dial. You may also want to get a dog trained to identify LBGs. I have been living alone for a long time, but even when my kids were little, I was a single mom. I always woke up when I had hypoglycemia.

I wouldn’t worry to much about brain damage. The most likely way to get brain damage would be as an injury from the seizure rather than the seizure itself. The brain is still getting oxygen as long as your heart is beating and it’s oxygen deprivation for a period that cause brain damage. If seizures themselves caused brain damage epileptics would be in serious trouble but that is not the case.

This is not to say that seizures are harmless, there is a good risk of injury, but brain damage shouldn’t be an issue for adults.

Using an insulin pump has helped me have way less serious hypos. I also have a CGMS, my Dexcom, and it helps especially at night. My problem with night time lows was that I wouldn’t wake up for quite awhile, until I was totally drenched in sweat. I would be totally wiped out the whole next day. My Dexcom alarm goes off and wakes me so I can treat right away. It’s much easier on me. I keep sweets next to the bed. If I have to go to the kitchen, there’s a good chance I’ll eat everything in sight. Yeah, I also sleep with my cellphone.

i had the same thing almost. when I was sleeping through a low, the cat would jump on my chest and walk on me and meow in my face until i woke up

i think that it is a little overly hopeful to dismiss the idea that lows can not kill you. it takes some time for the resources in your liver to rebuild enough to give you the boost that you need when going out. for some this can be a matter of hours and for some a week or longer. the first one you will survive, maybe the second… the third one will get you, it is rare, but not unheard of. the other thing quoted here that may be a trifle incorrect is the “no danger of brain damage” your brain needs three things to survive; oxygen, water and sugar. the results from a lack of any of these is very similar… dead brain cells, at times regions… the regional thing is more from lack of oxygen… but none the less, you can foul things up by going low too often. it is not the seizure that gets you, it is the time with no sugar… you have to stay on top of it and ride a little higher if your hypoglycemic awareness is impaired…

I agree. I was disturbed to hear/read that "you will not die from a low and that you did not get brain damage/cell destruction. This is misinformation and dangerous. We have to remind ourselves that we are not experts on the subject. We experience it and we know how our bodies respond but we don’t know someone else’s reality.

I completely disagree. Low BG can DEFINITELY kill you, if left untreated. There is a vast possibility of dying in your sleep if you get a severe low. I’m not talking 60s or 50s… but it IS POSSIBLE to die from a severe low (say 20s and below) while sleeping.

Not everyone can wake up from lows. I know I certainly can’t wake from them. When I begin to get low, I get really sleepy and pass out. This happens to me around 30s- but I can usually catch them in time. But, while I’m sleeping, I do NOT wake up from them, nor do I get a large “dump” of natural sugar into my blood from my liver to “save” me.

I actually DO owe my life to my family and fiance. If it weren’t for them waking up to me seizing, I would DEFINITELY not be here today.

I do not want newly diagnosed, or young diagnosed T1Ds to read this panel and think that having a seizure from a low, or going to bed with borderline Low will be okay- that their bodies will save them- because likely, they will not (and we will not hear from them again).

Hello Carrie:

Fear is a GOOD THING… it teaches us to try and avid the avoidable when possible!

Cut back on the insulin for a bit see how that does in terms of the middle of the night ~antics~. You did fine… and you’ll make yourself NUTS with fear…

A bad example, but adequeate on some levels… do you fear your period? You know it will happen, and it something that you expect once in a while. In that way lows are the same… merely with far more “teeth” and a much longer memory when someone encounteres a low with you.

There is nothing special about being a diabetic and single, alone. Even if you were engagued, married, a parent… lows could and do happen while nobody is around, or in reach! Learning to cope with the fear of being alone takes time. The “backup plan” is to have a 20oz can/bottle of soda in your night table, one in the fridge, just like you do in your car 24/7. It is a safety precaution, you don;t do without.

You must sleep. You don;t steer for the icebergs in life, but sometimes they find us. If they do cope and keep going. It was not luck… you survived Carrie! Now be alive… ; )



Not meaning to be disrepctful but I think many are being over dramatic. How many people do you know who haven’t survived a severe low? Not many I suspect. In my 55 years as Type 1 since age 4 I don’t know any who died or suffered brain damage from a low. Ever hear of the liver producing glucagon to bring you out of a low? I’ve had hundreds if not thousands of severe lows and show mo ill effects. I’ve also lived alone for years at a time (many long before pumps and bg meters existed). Keep glucose tabs by your bed (not bisquits or other slowly absorbed carbs). I’m also not sure what these seasures are that seem to get talked about alot. A severe low is certainly scarey especially to others who witness it but at least in my opion no reason not to live alone. I also reject the idea that cutting both your carb intake and insulin will help. It’s a
ll in the ratios. Do the math. not trying to start a war. Just trying to assure people that sleeping alone is nothing to worry about. On another list there is a adult T1 who is afaraid to go to sleep without a working CGMS. Makes me wonder how many of us made it all these years with nothing. A CGMS is sure nice but it is a luxury not essential. Still waiting for the cure.


I do not live alone with diabetes. But for a period of time my husband worked overnights and I did have that fear of going low, and no one home to help me. It is a fear that we all have wheather we are in a crowd or alone. Be prepared have that glucose tube, tablets, juice next to your bedside. If anything it will give you confidence.

agreed, always know where the cookies are stashed! I personally use dove dark chocolate when i’m love, it dissolves more easily for me. (glad i stopped carrying jolly ranchers around, they never worked fast enough and skittles hurt my teeth ouch)