Worst symptoms/experience low

Discussions about lows going on in other threads.

Got me reminiscing about the lows I've had, and the weirdness of how variable the symptoms can be.

I've been in the high 40s and feeling only a bit jittery, and other times in the high 50s and feeling confused, thick-headed, thick-tongued, etc.

So, it got me thinking: What's the worst my body/brain has ever reacted to a low?

For the purposes of this discussion, a low that landed you in the ER doesn't qualify. Or rather, it's "overqualified".

My worst was at bedtime, around 10-11pm. I was reading. I noticed I was starting to feel a bit shaky, hyper, etc. Ignored it and kept reading (good book :-)).

15 minutes later I was on the floor, unable to put together a coherent sentence (or thought), wife shoving skittles in my mouth. After getting 20g in me and waiting 5 minutes or so, I was able to get back on the bed with assistance.

For the next half hour, I was curled up in a fetal position under a blanket, shaking, unable to think or speak well, feeling like I was going to die. It was the worst experience I've ever had as a diabetic.

With my 66 mg/dL reading, my lowest one yet, I overestimated my thanksgiving dinner. Some time after my dinner I was doing laundry (I think?) and my legs were shakey and I felt weird and kinda clammy? I also honestly felt confused and anxious and almost started crying over something stupider than usual. So I tested my sugar and lo and behold 66 mg/dL . I think I've only had a few hypos so my experiences are limited. I don't wanna experience below 60, that sounds scary.

My worst symptom was my heart beating terribly fast. I thought it would explod at times. Another would be the overwhelming feeling of despair and it would make me cry.

I had several paramedic involved hypos but one that sticks with me is waking up naked in the bathroom, with cranberry juice sprayed (spit?) all over the walls and myself.

I almost fainted on the subway once. I don't know how low I was (I had juice before I tested), but I did walk nearly a mile after that before I got back to school and had juice. (The low-voice in my head kept telling me I could wait.)

I also had a low in the 50's last year where my only symptom was severe nausea.

And, of course, there have been all those lows where I felt fine when I was low and felt awful while I was coming back up.

My worst low happened when I was traveling with my Mom. We had been drinking and had had a small dinner. There was no place nearby to get food at the hotel we were staying at. At the time I was on NPH and R. When I woke up the next morning I could barely walk. I tested my BG and I was 22! I wouldn't let my Mom call 911; I kept scarfing up candy and eventually my BG came up. It took me all day to recover from that.

Maybe not so funny for others but for myself, the funniest moments of my time as a T1D is when I had low blood sugar. I do all kinds of crazy things. For example, used to go to Diabetes camp as a kid and while there, a friend and I decided to see who could get the lowest (dumb...I know...we were kids). We skipped a meal and ran around the camp like a couple of crazy nuts. By the time my blood sugar was too low for any meter, I turned into a completely different person. Ran around the camp singing, flirted with some of the guys, tried to tell jokes (or something like that). Someone eventually figured it out and I was dragged to the infirmary. Nowadays, if I get that low (which is very very rare today), I either get severely un-coordinated so it's hard to stand let alone grasp on to anything or if I pass out, husband says I punch and kick. Poor guy has taken one to the face a couple times.

I know it's not funny but come on.....I think it's pretty hysterical. Makes me wonder if there is either a boxer deep within me or I just really hate to be helped. Today I don't play games with BG so episodes are few and far between. I will add that before I realized I was becoming insensitive to low BG, I did have a couple episodes at work which were NOT fun and I still don't laugh at those frankly because the people around me freaked out.

For the most part, I think it's pretty funny. Gotta laugh at yourself I guess.

Recovery sucks huh? For me it can be 2 days to get back to normal. I would have done the exact same thing :)

You never disappoint, AR!

Wow, Jen... it does make one go "hmmmm...." that so many people just didn't seem to notice. Probably more that they thought they were being polite, and in the case of the friend, too young to really figure out what was going on.

Low like that for hours? Whoah... glad your still here to be a part of our community!

Staying above 70 is the right goal. However, don't be terrified of something below 60 but above 40. 40 is the "rule of thumb" where it gets serious (this varies by person, of course). If you accidentally get in the 50's, don't panic -- just eat.

Most important, make sure that people you can trust that you're around routinely know about lows, and what to do to help. My family is fully up to speed, as are a few coworkers.

I've had one bad low at work, late evening, after everyone but one fellow had left. Bless his heart, he hung around with me for 45 minutes until my BG was back over 100, at which point I told him I would be fine.

My more extreme lows were in my first year after dx and I hadn't realized till now that that was probably bc I was using R and NPH then. I feel lucky that homolog became available pretty soon after my dx, bc those other insulins were pretty h*llish.

One was a lot like how you describe, not being able to form words. I was sitting at a table in some kind of study area of the sociology department at my college and one of my profs was there and I think she could see that there was something wrong and came over to me. I can't remember what she said, but I remember just sitting there thinking "spoon" with all my might and not saying it. I had a yogurt in my bag that I was sure I could manage to get for myself if only somebody would give me a spoon! But the spoon problem felt so insurmountable. And then I couldn't even talk. And then I finally got it out, like I just kinda blurted out "SPOON!", loudly. lol And the prof was like, whoa! I actually think she may have already known I was diabetic... but anyhow, that's all I really remember about it. I think she got me a spoon and I ate my yogurt and that was that.

During that same time period, I had one where I was walking down the street and FELL. How embarrassing. I think that was actually in the first month or so after dx. And there were one or two times where I felt like I couldn't control my limbs. Like I'd try to move my arms and they would move but not right, like they'd just flail around. My husband (then boyfriend) was there for that and it scared the crap outta both of us. That might have been the only low that I feel like I really needed someone else's help (I woulda drunk that yogurt eventually, I think, if there was nobody to get me a spoon, lol).

The worst, though... drumroll please... was more recent, happened maybe a half dozen times in the last 6 or 8 years, but maybe has stopped since I started using my omnipod, were horrid horrid nightmares that I couldn't wake up from in which I was responsible for saving the world and couldn't or didn't. These dreams felt like they went on forever, like hours, though, for all I know it was ten minutes. But when I would wake up from them I would be so disoriented that I was really not sure if the dreams might be real and the world was ending or over. And I'd have this realization that I had to kill myself FAST to escape some awful fate. And a couple of these lows occurred when my younger son was an infant and in bed next to me and I just laid there unable to move with tears running down my face feeling so confused and scared about what I'd have to do. When this would happen, it always seemed like I'd lay there being completely freaked for quite a while, and then BOOM I would realize it was a low and then everything was normal again and I'd just get up and get some skittles. I spent a lot of time talking about this in therapy. It was AWFUL! And it really made me feel like I understood what it was like to be seriously mentally ill and completely not in touch with reality.

ETA: Just remembered one more, though not much detail about it. It was in the last five years or so and I was at home and dh was out, not sure if kids were here, maybe asleep -- and I was kinda wandering around our 900 sq foot house and I was LOST, like I couldn't figure out how to get to where I was going. Good grief!

I have the exact opposite problem where people flag any disconnection as a low. For instance if I’m zoning out on a conversation with a lot of 'huh?'or if I veer off course in a hallway, my friends freak out. Funny thing is, they almost never notice an actual low. It’s quite weird.

I guess the worst one that ever happened to me was couple of months ago. I was alone at my apartment and I woke up during night with my heart racing, I measured it was 3.0, even though I was feeling really bad, I was not much scared because I have had readings below that and was not feeling that bad. So, I got juice started to drink and suddenly notices I was feeling worse and was and was about to pass out, so I got sugar syrup and started drinking it, next thing I remember, I was laying on the floor syrup poured all over my face and I could not see anything, I was sure I would remain blind for the rest of my lifetime. It was just a nightmare, but my vision got back in a minute or so.
Even though this entire thing seemed to me to last for like hours, in reality, it all happened within 15 minutes of time-span. It is a miracle I survived, the worst thing is thinking what could have happened if I did not at all wake-up during night and measured my BG or what if I never got back up once I passed out. After that I was so scared I would not go to bed unless my BG was above 9.0, just to make sure I would not get low. I hate lows, end of the story..:)

Oh my... that sounds terrifying! So glad you're okay, here to tell us about it!

Yeah, thanks guess god has other plans for me or I am lucky or whatever, I am just glad I survived it and hope nothing similar to that will ever happen again.

There are so many different ways I've experienced lows, but the two ways you talk about here, the fall and limbs flailing, I've done. I was leaving the hospital with my co-workers one night (we're all in nursing) and we were talking normally in the elevator. Got out into the parking lot and BOOM!! I went down to the pavement. I heard someone ask where I was and then they found me. I was all skinned up and insistent on going home. Finally to get them to leave me alone I checked my blood sugar...uh oh, it was 28. And the limbs flailing (I call it doing the herky jerk) has happened several times. Once I felt the low coming and went into the kitchen to get a glass of Coke. By the time I started to pour it into a glass it was too late. My arms were jerking and my legs were jerking and I was slinging Coke all over the kitchen and myself. And I knew it and all I could think of was if I could get through this I was going to have a big old sticky mess to clean up.

While I can’t speak to how my husband felt, I can explain how it looked at his worst. I woke up at 3 am to “baby I’m low”. I ran to the dresser for glucose (our messed up routine) when I tried to get him to take it he started pushing me and walking to the bathroom. He started throwing up and I kept trying to get the sugar in him. He started hitting me and shoving me every time I came close. I finally got behind him holding his arms with my legs and got the glucose under his tongue. It felt like hours but was actually 5 or so minutes. He kept vomiting and shaking we were both covered in his cold sweat. It took 45 min to get him back to bed. He hurt so bad in ways I obviously can’t explain, his sugar was 29 15 min after I got the glucose in. I thought I was going to lose him worst moment of this diabetes. The next morning he asked me what happened to my face, I simply told him I hit it on the counter when we were on the floor. He doesn’t remember all of it, just how sick his stomach was. That’s one story I will never share with him.

Boy, do I hate lows and how it affects your body. Six months ago, I went to the ER to see about this sore on my foot and while I was there, they went and changed my insulin. I was on Humalog (bolus) and Lantis (basal) and they put me on this 70/30 (which is unpredictable) and I ad experienced more lows than I ever did. More like once or twice a month. Whenever I recover from a low, I seem to get more agitated and feisty at times because I have been in situations where I fell out at stores and out in the streets at bus stops or train stations. Since I moved back to New Orleans, since I was born and raised there and I know the city's makeup, I'm worried about having a low, falling out and wake up with empty pockets and no shoes and, if no relatives around, the possibility of not being helped or noticed that my BS dropped or worse. I can't even continue with this discussion without thinking about it....

I was robbed at gunpoint when on business in New Orleans. I would go back, traveling with a group next time.