Hello… I am new to tudiabetes. I joined hoping for support in dealing with my husbands diabetes. He is 33 and has had type 1 since he was 15 yrs old. I worry that he has become too comfortable with his diabetes. He has a seizer in the middle of the night Saturday 11/01/08. It was the first time that this has ever happened and the first time I have ever seen anything like this. It was very scary. I called 911 and tried to calm him down. Of course everything is fine and he even went to work as if nothing happened. I know it bothers him but he hides it. It worries me because I am unaware of how serious and common this is. I suggested calling his doctor but he said he isn’t going to bc he has an appt on the 21st of this month anyway. He said it was just a low spell and he is fine. I am looking for some advise in this matter. Should I call his doctor or make him make an appointment sooner than the 21st. He seems fine but the incident has really scared me. He tends to think that I over worry. I am not allowed to let any of our friends and family know about htis bc he doesn’t want anyone freaking out or looking at him as a handicap. I need support and advice from somewhere. Any suggestions or advice is much appreciated. Thank you.
Hi, Parris. Welcome to our community. You’re going to get a lot of great responses here that will help you, hopefully!
I understand where your husband is coming from on several counts. For one, after recovering from a low, he is probably fine. I hate when people see me dealing with a low and then days later ask me if I’m feeling better now. I always stare blankly for a moment trying to figure out what they’re talking about and then say something like, “Oh, yeah, I’m sorry. I’m fine right now. I’ve had four lows since then! They happen quickly and pass quickly. That’s a day in the life of a diabetic.” So if it was “just a low spell,” I can understand him wanting to put the mess behind him.
It sounds like he has some real perspective issues about his condition - hiding it, perhaps not monitoring his blood sugars closely. These are attitudes and behaviors that his doctor could address. And it’s not “normal” for diabetics to go into seizures, though it does happen. I’ve never had one and I’ve been diabetic since age 10. You are asking the right questions. If he had a seizure, then what does that mean about his care and control the rest of the time?
I think one thing you can do is talk to him about what his daily care is like from his perspective (does he feel like he tests enough? would he resent a reminder from you before bed to test his sugar? does he feel like he eats what he should? are there areas where you could make it better for him at home?). Ask him about his stress level. Tell him that you feel helpless when you watch him struggle with it and would like to be there for him. Ask what you can do to make diabetes easier on him.
I’ve asked my husband to remind me to take insulin while I’m cooking dinner so that I take it early enough without forgetting. There are nights when, because he’s a light sleeper and I’m not, I’ll have him wake up at 3am and test me. I’ll give him instructions - like last night I said “if my sugar hasn’t climbed down below 160 by 3am, wake me up and have me change my infusion setting on my pump. if it’s fine, let me sleep.” He makes me a healthy breakfast in the morning and brings me coffee and my testing supplies. In return, I make us healthy lunches for work and get him out the door. If I’m particularly cranky, he knows to v e r y carefully ask me what my blood sugar is (it’s usually high then and I’ll usually bite his head off for asking but we’d rather correct it than not), But I think you have to come at it from HIS perspective. Ask what he needs you to do - don’t tell him what he has to do. You know?
I do understand this and I get it. I feel that he does take very good care of himself. He does hide his condition as much as he can but he is smart with it. He is very active and very healthy. He checks his blood regularly and always takes his insulin when he should. I really feel this was just a “fluke” thing that happened. I do not nag him at all although I really want to. I am going to take your advise on trying to check his bood in the middle of the night. We don’t do this on a regular basis. I could probably do better with preparing him a healthy breakfast to start his day too.
I am still very worried about the fact that he had this seizer though. It just came from no where. It was very scary to go through. I have seen many low spells and I have seen him go into a non coherent state while profusely sweating but never anything to this extreme. It makes me wonder if there are more to come. ??? I guess only time will tell.
I really appreciate your advice on this and I thank you for your suggestions. I am very glad that I have found this site. I expect it to be very helpful.
Welcome. I am really glad you are with us too. And I agree with Melissa about working things out with your husband so you will know what to do for the “what ifs”. I think for a lot of us, we are so independent and it is hard for us to give up even a little bit of control. But when you trade things off with your husband ask him what he would want you to do if you were the diabetic and he was the “spouse of the diabetic person” My husband is not a helping person at all, but he has made some changes and now gets up in the morning and just automatically does some things to help me out, that he has never done before. I deeply appreciate the help, but would have told you no if anyone had asked me before.
My daughter-in-law has also started making special snacks for my son (a type 1) for him before he goes to bed at night and has also simply put some non perishable things on the table on his side of the bed for during the night as well. I agree, a seizure is a very scary thing. And you really don’t want them coming back For some reason just having things available seems to be so much easier to accept than being told to do something. My best to you.
I can’t offer you support from your standpoint, the caretaker. But I can offer you a point of view from a diabetic that was pretty regularly having seizures in the middle of the night for several years. It was almost guaranteed that I’d have one every 3 months during the worst time of my “seizure years”.
For me, it’s that I’m hypoglycemic unaware. There were many many years where I had no symptoms of lows whatsoever and that translated into me not waking up in the middle of the night thus having seizures.
As the result of these seizures one thing that I’ve had to battle is not only my fears of having them, but other people’s fears. And them becoming overly protective about what’s going on with my diabetes. It caused me to push those people away.
From a diabetic who’s had seizures, I say you let this one fly, because it’s possible that he didn’t wake up simply because he was in a deep deep sleep.
It sounds like he takes good care of his diabetes and that it wasn’t due to neglect…I wouldn’t worry about it and I wouldn’t press him on the issue.
I had one seizure in 1987 and my parent were really shocked about it. They did everything right: the Glucagon shot and the carbohydrates afterwards. I came back and so they did not call the ambulance. The next day I felt very weak which is typical when Glucagon has been applied. Of course I had no memory of it. My parents tried to describe my condition but I had the comfort of distance to their words. I really think that it is hard to find your relative or friend in this condition and it is quite healthy to react with fear. Please try to explain him your feelings and the condition he was in - just make him understand that it was extreme for you.
Lows are not avoidable in a diabetic life but a low that results in a seizure is dangerous. Maybe it would be good to find out the reason for this particular low. It will help you to develop an understanding of the causes and how it could have been prevented. It will give you the feeling of control back and helps you to relax and get back to normality.
Thanks Courtney for your advise. All of the advise that I have gotten has been wonderful. It is nice to vent and get a better understanding from people who can “more than” relate. My husband does not really like to talk about it. So, I really do appreciate your “words of wisdom”. I will calm down and not freak out in front of him. And I haven’t. I have been very nonchalant towards him… all the while I’m freaking out in my head. It was just scary for me to watch. I felt so helpless. I am so thankful our daughter managed to sleep through the whole ordeal.
Do you have any idea what causes the seizers? Could it be from a rapid drop?
I think I will take your advise and let this seizer slide until his next appt. wh/ is just in a couple of weeks.
Yes! It was very hard for me to see my husband in this state. I thought it was a nightmare at first then I quickly realized that this was no nightmare. I just kept talking to him and trying to snap him out of it. I am sure he has no clue what so ever on how dramatic it was for me. Which is fine. I am just so thankful he is ok. I am going to try to explain it to him. I have always heard how severly dangerous seizers are, so it has had me going a bit crazy. I am a little at ease since I have found this site. I think it great and very helpful to me. Thank you so much for your help. It is comforts me a little to know there are normal diabetics that have had seizers… if that makes since???
I’ve had many seizures in my lifetime from going too low. And as far as him not wanting to tell people about it, that is completely understandable. When I used to have them I would get so mad at my mom for telling my friends or even my family. No one wants to be viewed as some fragile person that could drop into a seizure at any time. He probably hates the fact that you had to see him go through this, maybe he’s even a little embarrassed. I know I always was.
I always waited until my next appointment to mention anything to my doctor. There’s really no magic answer or anything he could tell me over the phone as to why it happened so I always just waited. I’m sorry that happened to you. I think checking his blood sugar in the middle of the night would really help to prevent another one.
I don’t know much about this topic, but i have heard that seizures are often caused by a sudden drop in the blood sugar (so the actual level of his blood sugar might not have been lower than usual, but it was dropping quickly).
It seems that you know and understand a lot about diabetes-- so all I can say is that your husband is lucky to have you
I hope that you don’t have to face another situation like this again. I can only imagine how scary that must have been!
As bad as this may sound… this is good news to me. It makes me feel better to know that others have gone through this. I guess just to know he isn’t the only one. I can understand him not wanting anyone to know about the seizer. I wish he was more open to letting others know about his condition though. I guess for safety reasons. Thank you for your reply. Everyone has been really helpful.
I had quite a few seizures in the early mornings when i used to get up and start to get ready to leave the house. I know it was embarrassing and quite scary even now i still fear getting seizures from low blood sugars. I think testing blood sugars during the middle of the night is a good idea. Sounds like he is taking good care of himself but im sure he is overwhelmed by this also.
Melissa, what a wonderful relationship you and your husband have! How good that he is so supportive.
And yet, Parris, freaking out in your head, while it does not directly affect your husband, isn’t good for YOU. I am glad you came here and hope that your mind is also eased, as your health is important too.
In Germany every Diabetic that is depending on insulin gets a Glucagon kit prescribed for free. This shows that the German health care system expects that this will happen sometimes. The hormone glucagon will order the liver to release glucose and this will raise the blood glucose level very quickly. This is much faster and cheaper than calling the ambulance - so it is smart to prescribe it. It is easy to apply too: you have to mix it and then you insert the needle into a large muscle, such as the buttocks, thigh or arm. My girl friend said that she would have no problem with a needle that is only applied to the skin. It is a good feeling to know that there is this kit in my fridge for the day x.