Sorry. This is long.
I guess the only thing I can say, as background to all of this is htat I am no novice. I’ve had T1 for 40 years and been in really great control for the last 19. I’ve been high, and I’ve been low. I know the drill. So I am travelling for work and in another country, not too far, just Canada, I am still out of my element and in a hotel that is a smidge more unfamiliar than Hilton.
Oh yeah one other bit of background: recently I have started working out. I am sick of feeling blah, and weak, and so I have been working out. I lift 1 to 2 times a week and run 5k 1 or 2 times a week. After the 2nd week I have had to reduce basal, first in the overnight and then in the afternoon. I have halved my bolus for breakfast and I am eating fruits (1 serving +/-) at each meal. My blood sugar has been great… if not a little low. So I’ve been gradually reducing my use of insulin. Sounds great, yea?
So here’s what happened. I traveled in the morning and was under a bit of pressure all day. The team parted in the lobby and agreed to meet in the bar in 30 minutes. I did my usual: cleaned up and FaceTime’d my son. All was good at home. Somehow, a brutal low came on very fast. No adrenaline reaction, no tingle in my lips, just sweat…everywhere and (here’s the good part) a complete loss of cognitive abilities. In a moment, I lost most of the information in my head and ability to solve any kind of problem.
To say I lost my s**t is an understatement. I was so confused, I couldn’t tell you what I was doing, what I was supposed to do next, why I was in this strange room, why I wasn’t home, who I was supposed to talk to or why. I remember getting angry, and saying out loud, over and over again “What is your mission”? as if this was a scene from a superhero movie. It wasn’t helping. Nothing was helping. I thought if I emptied my backpack I might find something useful. I started feeling anxious. I dumped out my backpack and was looking for some clue as to why I was here in this place. I was staring at each item, I didn’t recognize many items. What I did eventually find was my emergency backup “Milky Way” bar, partially mummified because it was in there for maybe 4 months. I didn’t stare at it, I just remember eating it. I sat in a chair and wondered what might happen next.
Of course, 15 minutes later, I was fine. I was up in my room for an hour and a half. My work buddy asked what happened… I said I was “tired”. Shaken up a little… It took me 24 hours to feel 100%.
Fast forward to last weekend. Playing cards with my brothers at my little nephew’s 11th birthday part, we were having a pretty good time. I skipped lunch but typically my basal settings would allow me to skip 3 meals and nothing happens. Same kind of low… fast onset, no symptoms except I couldn’t add card values. My brothers made my use my meter and I know I did, but I don’t remember doing it. 35 mg/dl. Totally confused… one brother put a glass of juice in front of me and without saying a word I drank it and sat there in a fog for about 15 minutes till my head cleared.
I guess a Dex is in my immediate future. It’d be OK if it were like the thousands of lows I’ve had before, but these lows have not been. Putting it out there because, like we all already know, just when you think you’ve got this figured out, T1 throws some new rules your way.