This is Day 2 of what's being dubbed D-Blog Week by the Diabetes Online Community. No need to read them in order, but here is Monday's post if you're interested. The second installment: Making Lows Go Away. This is where we get to talk about our favorite ways to treat a low, whether it be by juice, glucose tab, or secret candy stash. You just might find a new trick to add to your D-Arsenel Belt in treating a Low, learn what brings blood sugars up fast without spiking too high, or even just getting a laugh at common tales or stark differences between us People With Diabetes.
Glucose Tablets have always been my thing.
As a kid, you had those little white squares that just resembled hardened sugar and came in little silver-wrapped packages. They were "for emergencies only..." But that didn't stop me. Even without a Low, sometimes I'd go for one. If you were watching, you might notice that the numbers dwindled and the squares would just magically disappear from the bottom bathroom drawer where they were kept with other D-supplies of the day. In the mind of a child, I was all sneaky and brilliant because, seriously, who would think to eat these like candy when they're really a medical treatment for a low blood sugar? Surely, not a diabetic. It must have been someone else, I'd reason.
In "sneaking" those white tabs as a kid and teen, I'd take them to school and could sometimes be seen popping one in the hall (whether I was Low or not). This did, at least once, cause a stir about what I was injesting. I remember having that conversation in one of my first days of high school. It also came up in later years when I was at a swim meet, and strangers saw this. It never got to the point I've read that other D-Kids have faced, with officials putting drug-user or dealer notes in their school records, but it was a pain to even have to assure a teacher this wasn't what they thought it might be. (Equally exciting was when strangers at a swim meet would see me injecting a clear liquid in a syringe!) Of course, I won all of those battles when someone cared to call me on them.
Anyhow, because of my fondness for them despite being told repeatedly that these are "not candy," glucose tablets evolved into my preferred method of treating Lows once I entered adulthood. Sadly, B-D has discontinued those little white square tablets and the smaller, round, multi-flavored tablets that come in jars or sleeves are the new norm. These are handy as I can keep a sleeve in multiple spots: my car door, desk drawer, work briefcase, inside coat pocket during the colder months, and in the wife's purse. Larger jars sit at the ready on the nightstand next to my bed, on the microwave downstairs, and in the car console. Plus, I have a nifty 4-tab holder on my keychain for those warmer no-coat months when I'm away from those above-listed places and just don't have any glucose tablet sleeves with me.
Of course, there's other methods I use, such as the tiny less than a buck tube of gel frosting that can be used in the case of a severe Hypo. Suzi has used this from time to time to coat the inside of my mouth, to avoid the Glucagon or calling the paramedics for a late-night visit. I've also recently discovered Royal Rolls fruit-flavored candy, which come in rolls of 6 and are basically like LifeSavers - love em! Each full roll counts for 18g, so it's a good little boost when needed. In addition to these quick-sugar fixes, I accompany those with something more of substance like a piece of toast with PB or some PB crackers from the vending machine at work. Really, though, you want the truth? When my sugar goes low, while I prefer those above-mentioned items, I'll take Whatever Works.
So, that's how I like to Make a Low Go Away.... Just give me a Glucose Tab. So says the man who's been told he's a user, dealer, or plain old diabetic with a sweet tooth!