Well, Now That Was Embarrassing

I woke up this morning and my blood-sugar was fine. 127, a good number. I ate a quick breakfast and headed out the door to my eye appointment. I hitched a ride to the doctor with my husband. He dropped me off on his way to work. I arrived early, that was fine, I checked in and sat in one of the comfortable chairs in the waiting room.

It didn't take long to be called in to the pre-exam. I confirmed the medications I'm taking, did the vision test, got my eye pressure taken and then went over to the smaller waiting room to wait for the actual exam.

That's the last thing I remember.

Well, not exactly. I vaguely remember talking with other patients in the waiting room. But it's all like a foggy dream.

When my memory returns is when my doctor was calling to a nurse to "Get her vitals. Check her sugar."

"I'm OK." I said as I popped a glucose tablet into my mouth. But I wasn't.

My blood-sugar read at 35.

Apparently I was not responding to the doctor's questions and just not acting myself. He knows me well enough to tell if I'm not right, I've been seeing him nearly weekly for over six months.

The doctor had the nurse check my blood-sugar several times while he went and saw other patients. He wouldn't let the nurse leave my room until my BG was 70 and trending up. Then he went ahead with the eye exam.

I felt so odd with all the seriousness and worry. I guess I'm just so used to low BG's that I'm like, "What's the big deal, just feed me and let's move on."

On top of everything, the location where the nurse pricked my finger wouldn't stop bleeding...a lot. I'm on Plavix (blood-thinner) so I have to be careful how deep I prick myself or else I bleed forever!

The exam was good. My eye is healing up well from my latest surgery which was a lens replacement for a cataract as well as to clean out a hyphema (collection of blood) in the front of my eye, and a couple other small issues with my eye.

We discussed my issue with low blood-sugars which was odd to discuss with my Ophthalmologist. He is an MD but endocrinology is not his specialty. But he is a doctor in the end and has the mindset of wanting to help and solve medical problems.

I apologized for worrying everyone and wasting their time. They were all understanding and told me it was OK and they just want to make sure I'm OK.

I return in a month for another follow-up on my eye.

Ophthalmologists know much more than the average (non-endo) doc, about diabetes.

It's still funny to have the eye doc "no diabetes in that eye", "no diabetes in that eye either", and all I can think is, the rest of me has diabetes!

The way your doc didn't want to talk to you until you were over 70, might mean he's way above average.

Most of my eye docs in past 20 years or so know about A1C's and average bg's, but did not know about the minute-to-minute control someone on insulin and worrying about hypos has to know.

Yeah, he is a retina specialist and specializes in diabetic retinopathy and other diseases of the retina. So obviously he knows a lot about diabetes. He has proven to be an excellent doctor and surgeon. I am so lucky to have ended up with such a brilliant doctor. :D

You are very lucky to have such a knowledgable doctor

You picked a benign environment to go very low. Your safety is the utmost importance. Embarrassment is no fun but no harm, no foul! It's good thing you weren't driving.

Have you been unaware of hypoglycemia for very long?

I had heart surgery back in October 2013 and have been on Metoprolol ever since. One of the side effects of Metoprolol is the inability to feel lows. I have slowly been regaining the ability, but today was a day I didn't feel it coming.

I know exactly what you are describing with the finger sticks. Sometimes I find blood all down my hand, or clothes minutes after a finger stick.

I'm taking Plavix, plus aspirin (another anti-platelet - although through another mechanism) and a an anticoagulant (Xarelto), so I can bleed profusely if I just stare intently at my skin for a while. :-)

My doctors tell me to be very careful and not cut myself (yeah, right 300-400 finger sticks/month; 10-12 infusion site changes; and 4-5 sensor changes), don't fall down; and on top of everything else, do not get into a car accident! Because Xarelto has no known 'antidote' like Vitamin K for warfarin.

Bleed on!

I'm on Metoprolol as well and for me it does an excellent job of masking the adrenergic manifestations of hypoglycemia: sweating, palpitations, shakiness, anxiety, nervousness, etc.; so it's important for me to be aware of the neuroglycopenic manifestations: Negativism, irritability, belligerence, combativeness, weakness, confusion, etc. The wife is acutely aware of many of these for some reason. :-)

LOL, so is my hubby!

Really the only neuroglycopenic manifestaions I usually have is that I become very apologetic and burst into tears and become confused. This usually doesn't happen until I've already gotten very, very low, and just before I lose consciousness.

But my husband may beg to differ. :P

Be careful with them lows. I cannot always tell when I'm low and have also had a few embarrassing moments. The last one was a few years ago. Went shopping at the grocery store, not even 10 minutes after arriving I fell to my knees. I remember people asking if I was o.k. and I, for reasons unknown to me said yes. It was like a dream. I woke up in an ambulance. Didn't go back to that store for a while:)I haven't blacked out in at least a year. Good luck to you!

My eye doctor is the one that diagnosed me with diabetes at age 17 when I went in for my eye exam after having some blurred vision. He asked me questions like, are you tired a lot? Urinating, drinking a lot of water? all of these symptoms had been happening of years and none of my general docs picked up on it. And of course he's going to take low blood sugar seriously. If he let you walk out of the office and you passed out on the street he is responsible. You have a great doc! good luck!