8 Responses

  1. Vanessa
    Vanessa October 1, 2011 at 7:08 am | | Reply

    To Hailey, I am the mom of a teenager with Type 1 and I secretly hope he finds a girlfriend (like your boyfriend) who will check in on him and be concerned! Might make him crazy, but would sure make me happy:)

  2. Mary Dexter
    Mary Dexter October 1, 2011 at 10:16 am | | Reply

    Pre-CGM I was pretty good about not over-reacting to lows. But when the thing is beeping every few minutes at 2 am with low predictions, falling rate, low several nights in a row, I just want to sleep and will eat just to get some peace. Then, I find out they were false alarms and I was actually not low, sometimes even running a bit high, and I’m screwed the next morning. Or, I’m in the middle of something (teaching or driving the freeway) and I can’t stop and I don’t dare go low and the alarms start screaming. Sometimes I think I was better off without a CGM.
    Also, I had suspected my weight gain was related to treating hypos. Makes exercising to lose weight seem futile. Explains smug tone of past idiot doctor when she said, “All patients gain weight on insulin.” She ran the weight-loss racket.
    And I hate saying no to sharing the dessert tray with friends and family, knowing I’m gaining weight from eating glucose tablets, plastic cheese & crackers. Yum.

  3. Sysy
    Sysy October 1, 2011 at 11:45 am | | Reply

    LOL Great answers to great questions. Very entertaining. I have actually had such a bad low (years ago) that I downed 3 huge bowls of fruity pebbles in a “NEED FOOD NOW” kind of rage. So when I was done I counted carbs and gave insulin and did not need lunch or dinner. Family said, “are you sure?” “No really, I’m still full.” Haha but luckily a major high was avoided because I gave the insulin necessary to cover the extra. Nowadays when I’m low I check to see if I have on board insulin or active insulin and thus usually know if I need more than 15 grams of carbs or not. Paying attention to when fast acting insulin is given is helpful. I’m lucky that most of my lows are basal insulin related so they don’t drive me to the fridge like a wild animal. And glucose tabs work well for the fast lows because I don’t really feel like having more than a few. If all I have is a bag of candy well…let’s just say I’m going to gain a pound.

  4. Kassie
    Kassie October 2, 2011 at 11:38 am | | Reply

    good advice on correcting the over-treatment, but maybe folks could chime in with ways to avoid it? Sure, sometimes you just have to eat until you feel better. Middle of the night lows feel that way for me. I’ve taken to waiting out the 15 minutes with a hard candy – too slow to use for treatment, but it keeps me busy while I wait to feel better.

  5. Lauren
    Lauren October 3, 2011 at 10:03 am | | Reply

    You’re so very right about the “caveman” and drop in IQ with lows. My husband is guilty of both of these things, and he’s in a constant roller coaster of lows and highs. And about the boyfriend checking in often, I don’t blame him. I’ve had times when I’ve not been with my husband and didn’t hear from him for a while (usually in the mornings) and as it turned out, he was low and couldn’t wake up. One of those times he had a seizure. So as a fellow loved one of a Type 1, he’s completely justified in worrying. :)

  6. Lillian
    Lillian October 3, 2011 at 10:52 am | | Reply

    I can’t offer an poignant advice as to how to avoid lows, but one thing that helps me (and anyone around like friend or loved ones whom I’ve educated about how to treat) is keeping stashes of 15 grams of carbs (glucose tabs, granola, dried fruit, whatever) around, or explaining where on a glass to fill with juice.

    This way, whether I’m grabbing a treatment serving from the stash or someone else is, we know that the carbs have already been measured out, and can then just deal with the panic/waiting. Even if I want a whole half gallon of juice when someone has just given me 6 oz, I can usually somehow manage to foggy-logic my way into thinking, ‘No, the glass only has to be full up to THERE…’

    Knowing that the servings are measure beforehand or planned out helps by letting me skip that measuring step while low, and I can assure myself that ‘treatment=this’ instead of ‘treatment=OHCRAPEATEVERYTHING.’

    Finally, @Kassie, I love the tip about sucking hard candy while waiting! Something distracting and comforting to do while patiently counting the minutes…

  7. T1 in Boston
    T1 in Boston October 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm | | Reply

    Great column on lows!

    @Mary Dexter: I can relate! The CGM low tones/low beeps (esp when you can’t test) send me sugar/food-bound, but sometimes it was just… off – way off! So then there’s trying to avert the high by taking insulin – begets the low – begets the high – begets the chasing-the-tail = one exhausted day. My solution? Turn off the ALERTS on the CGM! Just use it for the graphs from time to time, and otherwise, use your test strips. Alternative solution: Take a break from the CGM altogether, and see how your A1C responds.

    The other issue on the 15 grams-to-treat-a-low thing for me is “using lows” to eat things I often don’t get to eat/enjoy (granola bars come to mind); trying to treat a low with something more nutritious or enjoyable than just empty sugar tabs or juice. And also believing that the fiber or protein will slow down the carb a little bit, and stave off the soaring fruity-pebble high. (I’m NOT talking severe exercise/insulin-induced hypo here – that begs for glucose; more the gradual 3-4 hour post-meal/glass of wine hypo). But I think this is a failed strategy, as my total food intake ends up being a lot higher than if I just had some sugar/juice/tabs at “first low.” Lesson: drink the koolaid.

  8. Marlene Nicholson
    Marlene Nicholson October 7, 2011 at 11:23 am | | Reply

    I really agree with the conclusion of T1 in Boston. I hate having to waste calories and carbs by using juice or glucose tabs (I also use packets of sugar) to treat a lows–especially when I am going to eat a real meal soon. But I have also learned to just use the empty, fast carbs. It just doesn’t work to try to eat real food –even extra real food–when I try I routinely become glassy eyed in the middle of the meal and can’t appreciate what I am eating anyway–then I have to eat the empty carbs anyway and the roller coaster starts.

    Timing is very important in my efforts at control. My bg moves very fast when I am anywhere near low. On the other hand if I eat an actual meal when I am just a little high–even if I take the extra bolus–I end up too high. So I have to wait until I am in the low range–maybe 100 to 130 to eat a meal. But I have to get it just right, which is often difficult, especially when, other parts of my life get in the way. Some doctors, nurses, educators, etc. seem to assume that we don’t have other parts of our lives to deal with.


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