January 6, 2009

A New (Year) Low

Filed under: Blood Sugar — Tags: — Lee Ann @ 8:30 am
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Saturday night, Jason and I went to some friends’ house along with another couple we know for dinner and board games. I snacked on carrots, celery, dip, cheese, and a beer, avoiding the crackers to keep my carb tally from being over the top. Dinner was make-your-own pizzas. There was also tortellini with marinara and Italian sausage, and a dinner salad, plus I had a second beer. Pasta and pizza are obviously on the carby side of the spectrum, but I didn’t eat an obscene amount. I probably should’ve skipped the pasta because I’m terrible at guessing carbs for it, but I love tortellini so I indulged. I also had dessert, a small brownie and a piece of dessert pizza, so, yeah…

While I think I’m usually pretty good at guesstimating carbs, this was not one of those times. I actually didn’t check my BG after dinner, so I don’t know what it was, but my sensor was hovering around 200 for quite some time, and I took a grand total of ten boluses between the unit I took to cover the carrots and dip, my dinner bolus and eight more to chase the subsequent high. Wow, right? I had no idea until I just went through the history to count them. Sometime around 1AM it started to head in the right direction though, and when we left to come home around 2AM, I think it was around 100.

By the time we got home, it was still creeping down, and I was feeling low so I ate a couple of small cookies and drank some juice. I figured that would spike me overnight without any coverage, so I took about 1/3 of the insulin I would normally take for that amount of carbs. I tucked myself in at 3AM, hoping I wouldn’t wake up to a 200+ BG. Ha.

This is Jason’s recount of the events henceforth (with minimal editing):

How many brain cells died that morning?

How many brain cells died that morning?

In the middle of the night, I started thrashing around like I couldn’t get comfortable, and I kept waking Jason up. He asked if I was OK, and I said I was fine. He looked over and saw the sheets off me, so he touched me and discovered I was covered in sweat. This was around 4:30AM. He knew I was low so he had me check my BG. I was 34. He went downstairs and got me a glass of apple juice. I drank it, we waited like 15 minutes, checked my sugar again, and I was 33. He got me another glass of juice, but when he came back, I was a little more out of it. I started drinking it, drank most of it, but he couldn’t get me to finish it. After another 15 minutes, checked my BG again, and it was 39. He figured he’d wait it out, make sure it came back up, get me coherent again, and I’d be OK. 15 more minutes and I was at 46 so it seemed to be heading back up, just as expected.

Not too long after that, I started moaning, like something was hurting me, and he asked me what was wrong. I kept saying that I didn’t know. That went on for a little bit, off and on. He checked my sugar again, and this time it was 38. He got the glucagon out. I was in the twilight zone, moving my arms and legs, not in spazzy, seizure way, but like I was trying to sit up and couldn’t. (I asked for a demonstration, and he accommodated me. I don’t know what the hell I was doing, and really can’t give you a better description than that. It was definitely bizarre though.) I was moving around and staring off in the mirror, and it was really freaking him out. Apparently, it was like I was a zombie and he thought he was going to have to bash my head in since that’s how you stop zombies. (This is the part of the story where Jason does his zombie impersonation. My husband is a funny dude.) This went on for a while, I’d thrash, then stop and be calm, and then I’d thrash for a while and stop. During one of the times I stopped thrashing, he gave me the glucagon in my thigh. He was kind of hazy about the details at this point because the whole thing was very unsettling to him, not ever having to manage me like this before . I was thrashing around, and he said I was really strong so he was having a hard time holding me still. He was afraid I might hurt myself just because of the way I was moving around and because I hit my lamp so he was trying to keep me calm.

I still wasn’t coming to or really responding to him at all, so he called 911, gave them the information, and they said they’d send somebody. A few minutes later, a cop showed up, he gave them all my information. They said an ambulance should be there soon, and a second later the ambulance was here. Two more guys came up, asking the same questions. He gave them the same answers, and a third guy showed up eventually, asking the same questions so he gave him the same answers. They checked my sugar and it was like 27, but ironically, I started coming out of it. They were asking me questions, and I was able to answer them. Jason was surprised at how coherent I was considering how low I was. An EMT gave me a dextrose IV, and that brought me up to 130-something. They started to prepare to take me to the hospital so they got a shirt on me, and wrapped a blanket around me. They were about to put pants on me, but I was pretty with it and said I didn’t want to go, and everybody was OK with that. Once that was all done, it was like 6:30, close to 7:00, so basically, the whole ordeal took over 2 hours.

The Aftermath

The Aftermath

I vaguely recall Jason getting me some juice sometime overnight, but then the next thing I recall is waking up to a bunch of guys standing around our bed. I sort of remember the IV dextrose, and I remember answering some questions, telling them I didn’t want to go to the hospital, and signing a form that I was passing on the ambulance ride. Been there, done that, and it serves no purpose other than to sit, shivering with that post-hypo bone-chilling cold, waiting for some random doctor to sign papers so you can leave. What I remember most vividly is being freezing cold. Jason had put several blankets on top of our bed linens, and he also laid a towel on my half of the bed since it was soaked to the mattress with sweat. We stayed up for a little bit after the EMT’s had departed to make sure my BG was up. When it hit 167, I convinced him to let me put my pump back on so we could go to sleep, knowing I was in for a terrible rebound high. It was 7AM when we finally fell asleep.

When I got up at 9:45 after an almost sleepless night – not that I remember much of it – my BG was 427, and I spent the rest of the day chasing yet another high. I’m perplexed about how I could have gotten that severely hypoglycemic, but I know if I tried to make rhyme or reason out of every wonky BG, my brain would eventually explode. I guess between my liver being too preoccupied with the alcohol from the beer to release any glycogen and whatever insulin was on board from chasing that high Saturday night (although by 4:30AM that should have been out of my system…), that totally did me in.

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12 Responses to “A New (Year) Low”

  1. Melissa says:

    Jeeze, Lee Ann, that’s quite an ordeal. At least you didn’t end up in the hospital, so I guess that’s a plus.
    It’s great that Jason is so clued up on how to treat a severe hypo.
    I hope you’re feeling better now, and hopefully your BGs will start to even out a little :]

  2. type1emt says:

    Wow-what a horrible low. Glad you are ok now. Lows like that suck big-time.

  3. Karen says:

    Oh honey! How scary for both of you – for Jason while it was going on, and for you now, thinking about what happened. I’m glad you are okay and that Jason is such a good D-Spouse. My wish for you is that you got your one bad hypo episode for 2009 out of the way, so the rest of the year will be smooth sailing!

  4. Major suckage. What an ordeal! Glad that you made it through in one piece.

  5. Cara says:

    I’m so glad he was there! I’m so sorry it happened! :( But very glad you are okay now. Things like this make me paranoid to live alone….

  6. Colleen says:

    So glad you’re alright now. Thanks for taking the time to write about it.

  7. Lee Ann

    Just read this now. Sounds like a really rough night. I’ll bet the next day was a stinker.

    I hope you’re feeling much better today. Thanks Jason for doing a great job taking care of you.

  8. Laura says:

    I am thinking I need to make sure our Glugagon is ready and up to date. Feel so sorry for you and your hubby. We experienced something like this last year with my ten year old son. He collapsed at school and was sent to hospital. Was not a zombie, but a demon. Standing up with IV’s in, cursing. They couldn’t do a brain scan because he freaked. I kept telling the ER to check his blood. They were like we did, it’s coming up. But I think it was like your ordeal. It wasn’t enough and started to drop again. This was a five hour ordeal before he was human again. They were talking sending him to a hospital where they could restrain children. Thanks for this beacuase it helps me feel like I was right nad the blood sugar was continuing to drop. Hey, have you ever had migraines with lows- this is new within the month for us. Hope I can find this site again. I am new to diabetic connect as of last night.

  9. Sherry says:

    Wow. That sounds terrifying. Kudos to your hubby for all he did! This is so scary for me as the mom of a type 1 child. I am terrified to experience a hypo like that in my two year old. I assume you don’t use a CGM?

  10. Jason says:

    I’m pretty awesome.

  11. k2 says:

    Oh LeeAnn – I’m just catching up with my blogs – SORRY THAT YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH SUCH AN ORDEAL!
    I’m so glad your husband was there and that you are OK. Hopefully your fully recovered from both the low and the high day that followed. You and your man ROCK!

  12. Kristin says:

    Wow Lee Ann. I just read this– how scary. Glad that Jason was there and was smart about what to do. I am also glad that he makes good impressions of zombies. I’m sure you needed a good laugh the next day!!

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