Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Your Input Needed: Lows

We all have those Diabetic Horror Stories, tales of what happens when our blood sugars fall so incredibly low that we cease to recognize reality and enter a diabetes-induced drunk-like state. They aren't a common occurrence, but they do happen as we venture on this D-ride together. I've had my share through the 25 years of living with the D, and I've tried to share some of those more recent stories here at The Corner Booth, in an effort to not only share my experiences but also help educate others with a touch of humor.

In elementary I recall screaming in class and trying to punch the teacher or fellow students. Luckily in those days, I was smaller and could be held down and force-fed juice or candy. In high school, I recall passing out in the pool during practice and having a teammate come to the rescue. On the job, I once passed out in a newsroom while sitting in front of a computer - awaking, I was sprawled out on the floor with my boss and paramedics hovering above. The paramedics have also been to my home a handful of times in the past years, and I've come out of those reaction-states seeing my bedroom ceiling, an IV in my arm, and those Greenwood Fire Department faces above me. (It's a good thing I don't sleep naked...). The "Are you Kidding?" and "Oh Sh-t!" moments quickly follow the realization. Some of these stories I've shared more recently here at The Corner Booth: The Dog's Trying to Eat My Head. My Alien Wife Trying to Force Alien Poisions of Apple Cider & Honey Down My Throat, and so on... Twice in my quarter-century of diabetes life the situation has gotten dangerous enough where I've found myself behind the driver's wheel in this condition. (This comes amid a new study showing Tightly-Controlled Diabetics Present Greater Car Crash Risk.) On occasion, I have also managed to meander from my office outside, stumbling around as I'd tried to find my way to the parking garage. Riding up and down in the garage elevator in a haze, at times phoning my wife just enough to put her in a panic. Fortunately, I was blessed to not harm myself or anyone else.

Paramedics have been summoned to fill me up with IV-delivered sugar. My wonderful wife has had to force-feed me juice, icing, cider, glucagon. Earlier in life, my parents were the ones. Only once, I've been tucked away in an ambulance and carted off to a hospital - (I would've objected had I been in a more coherent state, and I paid the cost - literally - when the way too costly hospital bills started arriving...)

It's enough to drive a person crazy with worry, not wanting to drop into this state and put yourself or others in danger. I've stopped managing my diabetes and intentionally kept my sugars higher, just to avoid this. It's a psychological nightmare - do I stay higher and out-of-control in order to avoid this overwhelming loss of immediate control that could lead to danger, or do I push for Ninja Control to ward off the possible, uncertain complications that may or may not arise and may even come with the best control? Hmm...

In reflecting on all this, I've realized that there are few stories out there in the DOC blogosphere about others' reactions. Fellow D-bloggers have shared the low-sugar symptoms and what they've done to ward them off, but not specifically the reaction horror stories.

So that's what I want to hear now. From you. Those who've lived it, both diabetics and non-diabetics. The ones who've experienced reactions. Spouses enduring and treating them. Family members and friends who've watched and worried. Co-workers who've heard about, but maybe never experienced it. Input from all makes the most complete picture.

Please, take some time to share:
- How often you do/have had these happen?
- Stories that stand out, for better or worse?
- Worst (most dangerous) examples?
- What brought you out of that reaction?
- Scariest part of all this?
- Lessons learned?
- Whatever else might be pertinent, relevant, or randomly of interest?

This is my effort to create a more interactive blog post, where commentors can share revelations through the comment section. Thank you in advance for your willingness to participate and share these very personal issues. Now, let's get back to those Head-Eating Dogs & Alien Spouses who follow us on this never-ending D-roller coaster ride...

1 comment:

Tom said...

When my control was poor, these used to happen more. they are very rare now. One that stands out in my mind is a Sunday morning when my wife took the time to make a nice breakfast. I had a low come out of nowhere and I ended up screaming at her for no reason.

I know it was not my fault, but to this day I still feel terrible as I picture her sitting there as I came out of it.