Severe Lows

Came to this morning with Lee checking my blood-sugar. Apparently I had another severe low last night. This time Lee says it was different. Usually I am unresponsive or at least incoherent. This time I appeared to be perfectly awake and coherent (although I remember nothing), but I was sweating profusely and complaining I was hot. Lee says I was very cold to the touch though. He checked my blood-sugar and it was 39, very low. He fed me and watched me and then checked it again and it had come up to 86.

I would find it interesting to hear some other type I's symptoms during severe lows. What are your experiences?

Hi! Lows while sleeping are sweaty. I have one story in YouTube “diabetic Aaron”. Was told my eyes looked like had smoked too much weed. Blackouts sometimes. The cgm first benignity is catching lows.

I'm sorry this happened to you, Tiki, scary stuff! It sounds as though you have these type of severe lows on a regular basis? I noticed on your website a picture of "R" and "N" insulins. Is that what you're on? Is there a reason for this? If you are able to get on a more updated form of basal/bolus insulin you might have more stable blood sugar. Also if you haven't yet done so I suggest reading Using Insulin by John Walsh for help with setting basal, I:C and ISF. Finally, is a pump an option? There are definitely ways to avoid severe lows on a frequent basis, though of course some are unavoidable for a Type 1.

Glad you're ok, nice husband!

The diabetes introduction video 10 min exactly long has one sleeping and one blackout story.

Hi Tiki,

Sorry you had that bad low. I have a lot of different symptoms, sweating, palpitations etc., but I have never been incoherent or unresponsive and I was always able to treat myself fortunately. I had one bad one last friday which came on suddenly after dinner- I drank two glasses oj and ate 4 glucose tabs because I could feel I was dropping rapidly, sometimes I can feel I'm going to drop at higher in range numbers. I said I may need help and then just lay down hoping the 80g or so would work- I had all the symptoms and felt I could pass out for sure, but fortunately I came back up to 86 eventually and I didn't spike- I did some stair stepping 2 hours later when I got to 110 or so. So it must have been pretty bad with the 80g and my dinner in me. For this one and some of my past lows I believe constipation is playing a role and the food isn't getting into me properly.

Btw, my reading for this one was only 59, not super low imo.

I definitely would try the newer insulins.

Severe Lows....Been there done that.... 40+ times in the five weeks prior to starting on the pump! A few in the 30's, many in the 40's.

The lowest was sort of interesting, a 33. I had no symptoms what so ever, at first. Around 3:00AM one morning, our dog came into the bedroom and body slammed the bed very aggressively. I thought he had to go out. Nope, when I got up he went and laid back down on his bed.

So, I went to the bathroom and felt just a little shaky...really I checked, just for the heck of it. Surprise!

Treated it and everything was fine.

The next one is a very difficult to share publicly, mostly because of the embarrassment, but it may help others...

The worst 'hypo' I ever had was not technically a hypo, but I had a very extreme reaction to a sudden drop from around 180 to 70ish in a couple minutes. (On MDI and off-schedule combined with hypoglycemia unawareness, a little stress, and a history of severe hypos, are a very bad combination.)

I started to get upset over some inconsequential thing the wife and grand kids did. That should have been my first clue, but we all know how that works sometimes. Wife even said she told me to check my BG and to eat something, but that just invoked more outrage!

It evolved into me screaming at my wife and even threatening physical violence (I'm told)! We had just left the park and I don't have any memory of it or the drive home except for the screaming. I remember pulling into the driveway, then an overwhelming fear of impending death as I drunkenly staggered toward the house. Profusely sweating. I distinctly remember my vision failing at this point. I don't remember how I got in the house, the keys were still in the car.

I managed to get to inside fumbling my way to my desk, it was an overpowering urge to get to my Carb stash, even though I had my glucose tabs on me. Then, inexplicably, I HAD to check my blood sugar, before treating the low! But I could not see the numbers - looked at it later and it was like 73! Felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest! Stripped out of my clothes, (I was naked when I 'came to'). This was when the full on panic mode hit!

I gobbled gummy bears! Wife said I was completely out of it. Having, apparently, auditory hallucinations, etc. She was trying to calm me and the grand kids and explain that their Grandfather was not going crazy! So she did not have time to call 911 or get the glucagon ready before I came out of it few minutes later.

Thankfully that was the first and last such extreme reaction.

I ate something like 90 grams of carbs and the BG only went up to 110!

I came out of it (sort of) rather quickly and was coherent and fairly normal within minutes. I ended up eating around 120 grams of Carbs over the next couple hours just to keep the BG above 100. Really did not feel right until the following day. Worst day of my life.

Wife and I had a very long conversation later. After much groveling and apologizing dozens of times, we worked out a protocol if something like that were to happen again. Then having to explain to a four year old (the oldest) and show him how to call 911 and Grandma if Gramps gets CRAZY again!

Establishing something in a gluco-normal brain that might be recognizable to an impaired brain is not easy. Hopefully we'll catch it early enough next time.

This was the event that convinced her that the pump and CGM were really good idea, despite the cost. No definitive medical reason was established other than, Stuff Happens!

After the event I documented everything my wife and I could remember, in excruciating detail...Looking for an explanation; Documenting it so we could better work together in the future; And yes, as a very painful reminder of the embarrassment, shame and extreme danger I placed everyone in that day.

Since I started on the pump and CGM (June 18th), I've had a grand total of three hypos.

At the moment I am still on N and R. I am waiting to get a referral to start seeing an endo. It is slow going because I have so many health issues right now and am working on them one by one. But it's in the works. I really do need and want to change insulins...and eventually get on a pump. :)

One reason I am having so many severe lows (about one a month) is because I am on Metoprolol and it keeps me from being able to "feel" my blood-sugar dropping. So if I don't eat something before bed, I end up having a low during the night. Last night I had come home late from work and was so tired I went straight to bed. Bad idea.

Working wears me out a lot. Better if sugars are good.

I’ve quit trying to feel the lows because brain isn’t rational. I might feel thirsty and hot. Hunger is a high sympt too. The cgm tells me low just before symptoms would start. I get symptoms impending low while still in the 120 range but having dropped 50 fast. Juice calms me and steadies my graph