27 Responses

  1. Sysy
    Sysy May 17, 2012 at 5:41 am | | Reply

    Wow, I wonder if this happens to other people? Have you asked a doctor why this happens to you? I’m curious about how you lose touch with reality during a low. I wonder what the physiological explanation would be. Fascinating stuff because you seem like the guy that wouldn’t hurt a fly. Brave post! I’ll be interested to follow the comments.

  2. Terry
    Terry May 17, 2012 at 7:52 am | | Reply

    Back in the days before quick acting insulin analogs I used Regular in my pump. I always bolused one half to one hour before I ate. One weekend day after a particularly challenging and hilly bicycle tour I arrived home and took my meal dose and then sat down in my easy chair to wait for the insulin to start working.

    I must have fallen off to sleep. When I woke up a few hours later, I was on the floor with my shirt off and my pump and pump site torn off of my body. My medical alert necklace medallion was torn from its chain.

    I looked around my front room. The TV and book cases looked like cardboard simulated cut-outs that one might see as props in a furniture sales display. I thought that some kind of space alien was trying to deceive me! I was so convinced that I called my sister long distance to tell her this amazing story. I’m amazed I had the cognitive ability to dial from memory my sister’s 10 digit phone number. She soon convinced me to check my blood sugar. I don’t know the exact BG number but I’m sure it was in the 30s.

    I was lucky that my liver had enough glycogen to counteract a full missed meal insulin dose and keep me alive.

    You are courageous and selfless to bring your story to light as I know the emotional aftermath of these incidents are filled with embarrassment, guilt, and loss of self-confidence. I tip my hat to your loyal wife! You were smart to get a CGM. Thank you for sharing these upsetting experiences. It’ll help many to realize that they are not alone in their struggle with this daunting disease.

  3. PST
    PST May 17, 2012 at 8:09 am | | Reply

    Very good post! I am glad to hear I am not the only one. It is good to hear some one else has had similair situations (as bad as it can be). I have been Type 1 for 20 years (diag at age 12) and have had many instances of dragons trying to put their eggs in me, decepticons attacking, jason voorhees trying to stab me with a banana, etc…the list goes on, unfortunately. The best explanation I’ve gotten from doctors I have spoken with is lows beyond what your body can handle also affect your brain and create the equivalent of a brain seizure. Not just you and your body are low, but your brain as well…so in the same respect your brain tries to piece together what is going on based on what ever your most recent or strongest thoughts and memories are at the time. Unfortunately like you said, the best thing you can do for yourself and others is try to keep as much control over your numbers as you can. Some people have this issue as low as 70, I have had diabetes long enough to not get this bad usually unless i’m between 15 – 25. I hope you continue fighting this disease and controlling it to the best of your abilities (but I also know how impossible it is to keep complete control). Thank you for sharing this, it is very good to hear I am not the only diabetic with violent lows seeing messed up things out there.

  4. Patra
    Patra May 17, 2012 at 9:04 am | | Reply

    I’m so sorry that I laughed while reading this :-) Yes, the danger is severe, but I’ve had similar reactions (although yours are MUCH more fantastic and movie worthy than mine) but my husband is much bigger than me and can just sit on top of me while “poisoning” me with honey.

  5. Sandy
    Sandy May 17, 2012 at 10:04 am | | Reply

    Wonderful post! A definite read for everyone! People don’t realize all the things that come with Type 1, especially the impact on their families. My hubby used to get dangerous lows too. One I remember was when he was home alone, and I called him to check in, knew something was wrong and rushed home to find him passed out from a blood gluecose of 17. Now that he has the CGM on 24/7 things are much much better. But you never know what to expect from a low, so caution!

  6. Jamie
    Jamie May 17, 2012 at 10:32 am | | Reply

    I’ve also had mind altering lows, although not quite in the same league as yours. In retrospect, after everything is back to normal, one can sometimes laugh. The most memorable one, that makes me blush to this day, is the time I came to, buck naked, with my boyfriend (now husband) and the 80 yr old next door neighbour trying giving me something sweet. I believe the nakedness was due to me stripping off my clothes because I was hot. .

    And we all know how dangerous these can be – not only for the low we are in, but where they happen, and what we do to our people. Drs and/or other D professionals don’t tell you about that in T1 school. All I was told about lows is that you’ll know them when you have them. uhh, helpful much?

    But to the people around us, in the heat of the low moments it must seem like a lifetime while it is barely registered by us. It is very scary and very real for family members and others close to us. For that I am grateful to my family for being there for me, and sometimes a random stranger who has come to my aid.

  7. Sharon
    Sharon May 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm | | Reply

    Wow have we been down that road. My hubby is 52 and has had Type 1 for 50 years. In our 30 yrs of marriage we have experienced the super low dream state reactions where the fight or flight response takes over. Depending on what he was dreaming at the time you never knew what was going to happen. Staying clam (ya right) not cornering the wild animal,
    stating that they are in a reaction (getting the NO I’M NOT childlike reply), threatening to call paramedics while trying to squeeze enough juice out of a juicebox that he snaps out of it. Whew. But when my hubby looks at me after it’s over, scared, confused and apologetic I tell him that I meant every word of our wedding vows, including “in sickness and in health”.

  8. susan f
    susan f May 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm | | Reply

    I posted this on facebook a few years ago:

    Last week my husband told me he’d had a nightmare. I laughed proudly – I hadn’t had one in years. I remember telling him if he felt trapped in a nightmare, to try spinning three times to ‘get out of it.’

    You can see where this is going right?

    So my nightmare begins. At first I am smug. I know I am in a dream – but I am with people I love and know – and the ‘dream’ is normal daily life. But akin to Lost every 30 seconds, I drop through the floor into the ‘next’ dream world.

    I drop into nightmare #1: loud annoying party. I quickly realize that only a few people from my good dream came with me. I start quickly moving through dream worlds, losing everyone I know. I try to direct where I go next. I decide to try to sleep. First move into next dream world goes well – warm cozy bed. But I quickly fall through the fall into the next dream world, where I am suffocating in a room full of feathers. I frantically fight to get out.

    Next thing I know, I am in my room, but things are distorted. It’s like a cubist painting crossed with Dali. I get out of bed and start spinning. Someone once told me spinning around three times could break you out of a nightmare. I’m trying to clear my head, and clinging to my consciousness. Every time I start to fade, I feel myself slipping through the floor into the next dream world (even though I am standing).

    Finally, I decide to go to the bathroom to try to clear my head. Things are very distorted. I look at my pump, and it’s the size of a 30″ monitor. It reads 12:22 am, but the number representing my blood glucose is just spinning downwards.

    I call out to Julian – in another room – and he answers. I tell him I am having a hallucinating nightmare.

    But the fact that he has answered and is there makes me nervous. I realize I am awake, but hallucinating!!!

    OH SHIT!!!

    I realize I must be very very low. I again look at my pump and while I am staring at it the time changes from 12:22 to 1:22. Crap, how am supposed to know what my blood sugar is when I can’t trust that it is not a hallucination.

    Julian bring me my meter and we test. I am 42. I ask him if the 42 is real. Can you see that? Every display on my pump is no longer trustworthy. I am in a cubist painting. I am awake.

    Within minutes of taking sugar, my head clears. I realize that in my low stupor, I really did stand next to the bed spinning. Furthermore, I had almost fell down the stairs.

    It was like the cells in my head wouldn’t let go of the dream state. They couldn’t move on without sugar – and I didn’t have any sugar.

    Very very freaky. Made me very sympathetic to those that are mentally ill. I remember watching ‘ A Beautiful Mind’ and the lead would often ask others “Is that person really there? Is she real?”

    What a frightening place to be!

  9. Jean
    Jean May 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm | | Reply

    Grow up. Type 1 20 years. RESPONSIBILITY

    1. susan f
      susan f May 19, 2012 at 10:20 am | | Reply

      There is a formula for a perfect blood sugar and bolus, and any who don’t know surely must be irresponsible, ill-educated, and a bad diabetic.

      The formula is crazy simple.

      perfect nighttime sugar = perfect basals, as testing through fasting + perfect carb ratio (only tested after perfecting your basals) + perfect carb counting (taking into account the ratio of fat/protein/carbs/whole grains) – the phase of the moon – the exercise you did in the last 24 hours + your stress level + whether you or not you have your period – a recent trip where you changed time zones + whether mars is in alignment with venus + whether its high tide or not in Portugal – whether you have a headache + whether or not you are in the pre-phase of having a cold – whether or not you went to bed angry.

      Anyone that can’t figure that out is clearly flat out irresponsible.

      1. AmyT
        AmyT May 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm | | Reply

        @Susan f – Amen, Lady! THAT says it all…

      2. Scott E
        Scott E May 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm | | Reply

        I think that crazy-simple formula is just about right.

        Of course, if your insulin is skunked, all bets are off. And you have absolutely NO WAY of knowing.

        (A little pet peeve after what I just went through earlier today)

  10. Tricia
    Tricia May 17, 2012 at 9:59 pm | | Reply

    Maybe I should check my blood sugar and make sure I’m not low because WOW do I want to punch someone in the face right now! @Jean: What does THAT comment mean? Lows can happen even when you do EVERYTHING right and are SUPER RESPONSIBLE about you and your diabetes… there are things in life that are beyond your control, and many times, blood sugars fall into that category. How DARE you tell him to grow up and comment about responsibility! Maybe your life with diabetes has always been easy, but holy jugmental-ness Batman!
    I REALLY hope I read your comment wrong (and I sincerely apologize if I did – it can be difficult to interpret words on a page when you can not see or hear the delivery from the person) but if not, umm… prepare for some serious backlash that may be coming your way from the DOC.

  11. Tricia
    Tricia May 17, 2012 at 9:59 pm | | Reply

    Okay, checking BG now… 126. HA!

  12. AmyT
    AmyT May 18, 2012 at 8:52 am | | Reply

    This post actually rocked my world. I’ve gotten very “absent” when down to 42 or even 36 (!), but nothing quite like Mike’s out-of-body experiences – whew!

    @Jean – and your point is…? As a fellow PWD, how about a little empathy for the struggles of others?!

  13. Scott E
    Scott E May 18, 2012 at 9:08 am | | Reply

    Mike, this post is so powerful! Right now, I’m debating whether I should ask my wife to read it or if I should hide it from her. I just have absolutely no idea what kind of reaction it will bring about.

    Thank you for your courage in telling this story. It’s not easy to read, and I’m sure it quite difficult to write.

  14. Martha
    Martha May 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm | | Reply

    I have had Type 1 for 54 years. One night my sugar was really high due to eating too much, so I took an “angry dose” of insulin as one blogger put it. I got up during the night to go to the bathroom and bumped into several things on the way, and then fell into and back out of the bathtub. Luckily I didn’t fall down the stairs I went by, but I did end up with a few bruises and a cut on my head where I walked into a door frame. We later found a trail of blood spots that led into another room I had gone into on the way to the bathroom. I have since learned to program the pump on an extended bolus to correct highs and that has worked out very well. That said, there can still be lows that come out of nowhere.

  15. Carolyn
    Carolyn May 24, 2012 at 9:07 am | | Reply

    Love hearing that people go through the same things I have! My awesome husband had to pin me down on the bed after getting low trying to get juice into me. After no avail, and me hitting him, scratching him, and even growling, he slapped my face to bring me out of it. I drank the juice. It worked! …but laid there thinking how did not know he beats women and actually picked up the phone to call 911!! Low rational is crazy isn’t??? Thank goodness I could not dial the phone. He has saved me too many times and I am blessed to have him there to watch over me!

  16. Dan
    Dan June 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm | | Reply

    Thre is one other suggestion….. Get a dog trained to respond
    to the beginning of your hypoglycemic state. Search the Nature series on Canines. A canine team from England detected bladder cancer is one medical segment and the second is a trained canine to wake parents for a son who would go into server shock. It is on the film! This has worked for me. As always have a great day.

  17. dargirl
    dargirl July 19, 2012 at 5:59 am | | Reply

    I have been Type 1 for 40 years. Several years ago I had a unaware low in my sleep. Never knew I had a low until I saw the EMT’s hovering over me. My husband said he had to call, because he saw me as if I was a wild animal. He was frighten….with concern.

  18. larly
    larly September 26, 2012 at 10:11 am | | Reply

    It’s as if I was reading about my husband! I have had to talk him down from delusional lows on several occasions. While trying to hold him down and get glucose into him, I have been bucked off the bed, had glucose tabs spit at me and across the room, been accused of all sorts of treachery and horrific acts, etc…none of which he means and all of which he regrets when the sugar kicks in and he returns to himself. I love him dearly, but it can get wild and wooly being his wife! I have learned to “read” him fairly well and can usually head off a severe low, but those middle of the night crashes are the worst!

  19. Myra
    Myra April 5, 2013 at 6:57 am | | Reply

    Even though it was 28 years ago, I still remember my worst violent low! Dragons – I woke up and they were in my room. Instead of letting them burn me, I decided to run. Evidently I ran as fast as a very pregnant PWD can run, careened into the door frame (hitting my head), and made it to the front door of the apartment. By this time my husband was awake and physically wrestled me to the couch. That is all I remember. These days I have hypoglycemia unawareness and a CGMS. I tried a service dog in training from a reputable organization – but after 6 months we failed out of the program. She slept in my bed with me to alert. However she slept deeper than me and wouldn’t alert at night…

  20. Daniel
    Daniel April 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm | | Reply

    My wife unfortunately abuses me when she is low and I get pretty traumatized. We have had so many EMS visits, glucogon shots and craziness. When her sugar returns to normal she continues to berate me becasue she thinks I blow it out of proportion. Even though my wife is fit(she hits me when she is low, when I try to take control and help which is always a threat), she eats sugary crappy snacks all day long. I have two small daughters and I’m pretty scared and fed up. I feel like my mental health has suffered and fearful for the effects on my kids. Top it off she had OCD and terrible PMS which doesn;t make things easy. My wife says I’m moody but with not the best sleep and constant worry about low blood sugar. I am afraid of the hardship of divorce but it seems to be heading in that direction, I need a break desperately!!! I hate to be a complainer but thanks for letting me vent!

    1. Suzie
      Suzie December 7, 2013 at 2:01 pm | | Reply

      I have read so many posts over the last months and I cry every time. I live with my T2 Diabetic husband and it is killing me. I love him to death, and it is his ignorance and lack of understanding of his disease that will be his failure. He was disgnosed about 6 years ago as a result of very poor lifestyle choices. I met him 5 years ago, and have tried to learn about his condition and how to manage it. I live with mood swings, irritability, inability to socialise, anxiety, anger, no patience, night cramps, leg tremors, loss of intimacy, coughing (from smoking), but when he is not like that he is a beautiful person. I understand your frustration and sadness daniel and like you I don’t want to give up. Try until you can try no more. You owe it to your children to know that you have done your best. I have told my husband that if he doesn’t wise up, he may well lose me. I am a mental mess, but it hurts so much to love so much. T2 is a disgusting disease as well.

  21. Sue
    Sue June 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm | | Reply

    I am usually unaware of my behavior when I get really low. I have spit out the glucose tablets in anger, and one time I was told that I tried to bite the paramedic that was trying to get me to the hospital. I didn’t become aware until I woke up in the ER, and the paramedic was there as I came to. He joked with me a bit & told me I tried to bite him. I thought he was kidding at first, but I really did, how embarrassing! This usually only happens when I’m sleeping, but always when I’ve been at home, thank God for that.

  22. Miles
    Miles October 19, 2013 at 4:23 pm | | Reply

    I’ve reacted violently… I don’t remember it, but I’ve been told I have.
    It’s usually because if I am hypoglycemic I just want to be left alone. If I’m not left alone, then I lash out until I am.
    On incident happened at a court house. I wasn’t allowed inside because I had a handcuff key on my key chain; the guards refusing me entrance told me to leave it in my car. I told them I didn’t have a car (because I didn’t) and despite the fact I had been subpoenaed, I wasn’t going to be allowed in if I kept my keys. This, of course infuriated me, burned off any glucose I had in my system, and once I had thrown my keys away, and was finally allowed inside, I went hypoglycemic. It seems I kicked one of the paramedics quite badly, and the court decided they no longer needed me as a witness.
    Of course my brother showed up with a Coke, and I said “Thanks,” and drank it and was fine after that… this was with eight paramedics trying to hold me down and strapped to a gurney.
    Pretty much just say “Hey, you want a Coke?” and I’ll be fine.

    I don’t know where everyone lives that they have insurance that gives them pumps and automatic glucose monitoring things… I have to do everything the old fashioned way. It seems like it might be nice to be allowed access to those things.

  23. Sandra
    Sandra August 12, 2014 at 5:54 am | | Reply

    This happened to me last night with my 48 yo husband who has Type 2 diabetes since 32. First real bad low last night (he was 35) when I yelled at the top of my lungs to F***** check your blood sugar. He was acting goofy, crazy. Said some horrible things to me and our son. Anyway, came across this. I had to ask him 4 times to check his BS. He didn’t believe “ME” when I said “you are low”. Uh, there’s so much more to this, but I just want to let you all know I understand..I understand. Prayers.

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