Last night I had the worst low sugar I can remember. At 9:30 Dexcom had me at 87. Finger stick had me at 78 so I took 3 glucose tabs. That normally raises me about 40. Finger stick at 9:56 had me at 96 so figured I was safe to go to bed. At 11:25 Dexcom had me at 85 so took 2 more glucose tabs. At midnight Dexcom had me at dreaded 55. Finger stick showed 70. Drank 4 oz of orange juice. At 12:15 Dexcom dropped to 47 but finger stick was 67. Drank 4 more oz of orange juice. Finally by 12:40 Dexcom had me 97 and rising. So after about 44 carb grams , finally out of the woods. Still laid awake about an hour watching Dexcom for any signs of a drop but everything ok from there.
Remember that all else being equal, CGM will usually lag behind. So does the finger stick (sometimes) but normally by much less. So 9 times out of ten, the finger stick is the one to go by. (Don’t forget, the CGM does not measure blood glucose directly; it tests interstitial fluid and uses an algorithm to calculate BG.)
That’s why I kept doing the finger sticks. The Dexcom trends were definitely right. Based my decisions on the finger sticks. I was just surprised at how persistent the low was. Took more than usual to turn things around. Thanks for the reply. I like input from other PWDs.
We’ve had that happen here, too. Usually involves a lot of swearing and juice boxes. Sometimes both my son (9 years old, had t1 7.5 years) and my husband (just dx’d t1 last November) parallel each other with their lows. I figure it has something to do with barometric pressure and just… deal.
Worst low I had was at diabetes camp of all places…there was an emergency (missing swimmer) so they had to round us up all at one place outside and kept us there…false alarm…by the time I could check my BG I was 25
I probably wouldn’t rely on CGM to correct for lows…finger stick is best…that is part of the reason I stopped using CGM with my minimed…it would thresh suspend me in the middle of the night when I wasn’t really running low
So… I’m assuming basal-bolus MDI, not a pump? Advantage of the latter is being able to crank back on the basal when this is going on, though I’m fairly amazed how often I forget that. Came to pumping only recently, maybe that’s why. Helps to flatten out the BG roller coaster a bit, anyway.
My worst lows were all on the accursed old R/NPH (aka “Eat Now Or Die” ) regimen, which was notorious for it. Thanks to 20 years on that sh** I have some pretty clear indicators trained in that clue me to what’s up even before I test. If i start getting a big flash-burn in the center of my visual field when I blink, kind of like the after-effect of glancing at the sun or a camera flash, I know I’m in for a nasty one. Cone vision usually follows–this is the 50 and below range. Still get those occasionally even with pump and CGM, though a lot less often.
Before I went on a CGM and experienced hypos while sleeping, I knew as soon as I opened my eyes that I was having a low less than 50. I had those spots in my field of vision like the visual aftermath of flash photography. These were usually several round spots that were blue and they obscured whatever I was looking at. I also had a funny sensation in my mouth. Once I sensed those symptoms I would often pop a glucose tab or two and then check my BG because I just knew I was low.
With the CGM and my dog those events are rare now.
Actually I am on a pump. I forgot to include in my post that I Also did a basal decrease. I used to get those bright spots sometimes when going low. Now I am pretty much completely hypo unaware. That’s why the Dexcom.
I am sorry you had that experience; it is so stressful. My lowest lows have been between 30 and 35. It is rare, but when I have been that low it has taken two or three attempts to stabilize my blood glucose.
My father had type 1 diabetes and lived his life before the advances that we benefit from were available. He was born in 1919 and died in 1987. He intuited on his own that he needed more insulin than his doctors directed. Miraculously, he avoided most of the complications of diabetes that one hopes to avoid. However, he frequently had such dramatic lows that he seemed transformed into a different person. I cannot even imagine how low he was.
I an so grateful for the innovations and treatments that make type1 diabetes management possible in a way it once was not. It is a daily challenge, though, to be sure!