The Two-Story Diabetic

When we chose our house I was thrilled to get one on a cul-de-sac so the kids could run around without having to call off their game of football with a resounding, "CAR!!". The panoramic ocean view from both kids' rooms was a great selling point as was the community pool and jacuzzi to finally teach the kids to swim. The one thing I overlooked was the fact that a diabetic should never live in a two-story house.
When 2 a.m. calls and my blood sugars have plummeted to 38, pausing for a moment just before falling off the cliff that some do not come back from, and I have to locate some sugar in the house, when I spring from my bed in a panic and begin the sprint to the kitchen before my eyes are even open, when my brain is still asleep and my body has been robbed of the sugar it needs for my muscles to move in any sort of coordinated way, while it's still dark and the stairs seem to be swaying in the wind, I attempt to hobble down those stairs without spraining my knee or falling flat on my face. I, most of the time, make it to the kitchen and force the chocolate milk sludge into my gullet, but I have certainly had some close calls. I have learned to count the seven stairs until the landing halfway down and the other seven to the bottom just so I don't step where there is no step, or forget to step when there is.
When I finally make my way upstairs late at night with hardly the energy to climb those stairs, I often realize I have left my blood glucose testing kit downstairs on the coffee table. So I have to extricate myself from those warm covers I have just settled myself under to wander back down the stairs. I climb seven and seven back up and get settled again under the covers to test my sugars before turning in for the night hoping to make the correct adjustments to avoid yet another nighttime low, when I find that I am currently low and am 10 feet too high to reach the fridge. So back down I go, pounding some choco-sludge and the back up seven and then seven more. By the time I am upstairs again, Tony has had a good ten minutes of lead-time and is sound asleep. I shut off the light and hope for a low-less night avoiding another more chance of a season-ending, blown ACL from only counting to six before turning.
So my advice to the diabetic world out there, go for a single story, maybe a ranch style or a sprawling mansion, but whatever the land-use gurus are promoting and the highly paid real estate agent is pushing, avoid the two story, and by all means, run screaming from a tri-level home. Believe me your knees will thank you for it.

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Two-story diabetic here. After stumbling, several near misses & a fall down the stairs (15 steps--just counted them), I keep an extra meter & jelly beans in the nightstand drawer.

An ocean view sounds heavenly!

When I visited China, I stayed in a dormitory room with a roommate. The first night, I woke up low and tested at 32, and the only thing I could think of was that there was a can of Pringle's potato chips right next to my bed, so I sat and ate the whole can, munch, munch, munch!

In the morning, my roommate testily said, "Did you HAVE to eat potato chips in the middle of the night?" Well, yeah, I guess I did, LOL!!!

Seriously, though, I think it's a good idea to keep a carton of juice, or some candy right next to your bed so you don't have to negotiate those stairs. And then look at them every night and remind yourself they're there.

I once had a low at a cat show, and there was a can of regular Coke right in front of me, but I didn't remember it was there, and went wandering through the hall to find a friend, whereupon I butted my head into his stomach and told him to buy me a Coke! He did, and I drank it, and boy did I feel stupid when I saw the Coke that had been there all along!


Natalie ._c-

Chocolate milk sludge to treat a low? I am sorry but this is foolish. It is painfully slow and the outcome is not very predictable. When I go to sleep I make sure that I have glucose tabs - twice the amount to treat a low - next to my bed. For me there is no exception to this rule - no excuses - just do it. If I wake up from a low I know where my meter and my glucose tabs are - right next to me. I just need 5 minutes to treat the low and then I can sleep again. The glucose tabs will raise the BG quickly and the alertness caused by the low will get less and less within 15min. This short interruption of sleep and the advantage that I will usually wake up with good numbers are the reasons for being so rigid about these things.

The feelings of a low are not describable to people who do not have diabetes. I too live in a two story. After many lows, I have a nightstand, and everything is on it. Meter, phone,lamp, my GU chomps(Best thing for lows, they equal 16 gm of carb for 3 and actually taste ok) . Has made my life a lot easier. I cannot stand having to force myself up and run down the stairs. The steps always change because I never thought of counting them . Anyway, you are not alone.

funny stuff we live in a split level but still hate to have to navigate those 6 steps in the dark in a low sugar panic

used to be two story, when i bought my own house i went for a ranch for this and because of my MS. but there's a bottle of glucose tablets next to the bed for me also. and on the stove in the kitchen. and the coffee table. and the bathroom cabinet, my purse, the center console of my car and my desk at work. yet sometimes i still can't find them when i need them

One story house, but it's a long way from my bedroom to my kitchen in the middle of the night. Therefore I have a small fridge in my bedroom containing Danactivs and Mini York Mint Patties for low, glucose in my nightstand, so no stumbling around at night waking up everybody (woof woof). I don't trust the little fridge with my insulin though, so a high requires stumbling to the kitchen where the young ones sleep (woof woof).

I live in a 2 story house since the manufacturing of glucose I always keep a bottle on my night stand. I also keep a bottle available downstars.

Meter and glucose tablets on night stand by bed, an absolute must for me.

Night time lows SUCK! Last night stumbled from bed to kitchen to test, bs was 34. Silly me, glucose tabs above my head on headboard. 48 years and I am still working out the kinks!

Ok. So I finally got my act together and stashed some glucose under my bed. But the chocolate milk is still worth the trip. Its like when I became a vegetarian, there were strange things I missed. For me, it was Taco Bell tacos (before I found out what was in them), pepperoni pizza and bacon. Now that I am a diabetic there are things that I miss, apple juice, frosting on graham crackers and chocolate milk. So if I have to run downstairs to get it, it is usually worth it. And, Holger, it is a sludge of exactly measured powder (three teaspoons for a low below 45 and two for a low between 45 and 70) and skim milk (up to the top line of the little plastic cups I stash in the fridge for this very purpose) and it does exactly the trick every time, no unpredictability for me. Every body is different. Those little glucose tabs are torture for me, far too chalky and hard to chew in the middle of the night. I'd much rather drink my sugar any day.

And I am grateful that the two story house puts me far enough away from the sleeping kids that when I stumble around and make way too much noise, they cannot hear a sound, well, only the sound I make as I tumble down the stairs. :)