DH becomes aggressive and mean when low; what to do?

In the past, DH (type I) has becomes aggressive, belligerent, mean, and sometimes violent when he goes very low (40 or less). Last night he was 35, so he drank 2 glasses of juice. An hour later, he tested again and was only 40, and this time refused to drink juice or eat anything. He just wanted to sleep or watch tv. Of course, knowing that was a bad idea when he was so low, I pestered him to either eat or drink (I even brought him juice). He got super annoyed and mean. He repeatedly stomped out of the room. I threatened to call 911, which I have done before when he went so low he was incoherent, but he just laughed at me. I've given him glucagon before, but he wouldn't let me near him this time. I really didn't know what to do. 

What would you have done? Called the paramedics (he would have been PISSED at me if I had done that this time)? Let him make his own decision (which I did and he basically slept for a while, got up to drink a little, slept more, then woke up hours later feeling like death)? I hate being the wife in these situations; I get no thanks for trying to help him, yet all the flack.

I can only speak as a mother of a son with T1 and a wife, but I would call the paramedics. It is dangerous to be so low and go untreated. He would be pissed at the time but would hopefully be grateful (or at least understanding) later once he felt better. At least if you have the paramedics there, you have some back up. And the quickest way to get them to leave is to let them do a glucose IV. Just remember, he is NOT himself at these times. It has NOTHING to do with you. Your husband may not even really remember the whole situation later, so it may be more disbelief that he was treating you so poorly and not really understanding that he is 'crazy' at these times if he remains pissed about it later. I think you have to be really honest with him and say "Hey, I was afraid you were going to hurt me. I know you would never do that if your BG is normal, so that is why I needed help."

I believe in the book, "Think like a pancreas" the author describes some similar situations when he has been dangerously low and also was agressive. Maybe find that book and see if reading about a similar experience helps your husband understand.

Another trick as a parent to treat a sleeping child with a low is to squirt some frosting in their mouth. It works pretty fast because it can be absorbed thru the mucous membranes of the mouth and also dissolves slowly enough that it is just swallowed with saliva. That would be up to you if you can 'sneak up' on him and get that in his mouth, but it might at least raise his BG enough (60 or so) that you could wake him up and he would drink some juice or eat.

I'm sorry you have had to go thru this, it must be really scary.

As a diabetic, I can tell you we don't make good decisions when our BGs are low. We will fight you tooth and nail just because we know you are right and don't want to admit it. But, later, we will thank you for the help you gave us when we are able to see clearly. 

Do what you have to do. Even if he is angry with you, if you have to call 911 do it (or give him glucagon). Sometimes our loved ones have to put up with our irrational anger to take care of us. It's completely not fair to them and I recognize this. I can't always help the way I act when my BG is low, but I also can't express how thankful I am for those around me trying to help me. 

Don't let him get to aggressive (hitting or calling names). If you have to call 911, let them know his blood sugar is low and he is being aggressive and you are afraid for his own safety. They will know how to gently handle him until he is better. It might be embarrassing for him later, but you need to think about your own safety as well. He doesn't mean to hurt you, but he also might not know what he is capable of. 

Sorry you have to deal with this. Good luck in the future. Please let us know what we can do to help you or him or both of you together.

Has he considered a cgm so he will know his bs is dropping before it gets to the point of him being aggressive/mean/violent/etc.?

I have to agree with the person above. It would be better to call help in to treat him rather than let him go so low something awful happens to him. Short term, he'll be mad. Long term, he'll LIVE. I feel so bad for you though because I know exactly how you feel. Except, I have been on the other end of this as I am the T1D in the relationship. I normally get very emotional when I go low. Like crying for no reason. LOL I know one time when I went low my husband brought me a slice of cake and was urging me to eat it. I just remember that I wasn't hungry and I was refusing to eat. I remember telling him I would rather die than have to eat another thing I didn't feel like eating. (At that point I was often having low blood sugars and it seemed like I was constantly having to eat or drink sugary junk to keep my numbers up.) Anyways, of course I'd rather not die anytime soon! LOL But you just don't really think straight when you're low. Anyways, they make this oral gel stuff that you can squirt into your mouth. It's intended for people whose blood sugars have dropped so low they cannot eat or drink, they have probably passed out. But anyways, my husband has some and if I ever get incoherently low ago he's told me he'll hold me down and squirt that stuff in my mouth. LOL I know it's really hard, but just try to remain patient with your husband.

I would say do what u have to to get him to drink/eat something.  I get really angry and sad also when I am low, and a lot of the time I cant stop myself and I will even think to myself, you are low don't be mean and just drink something, but honestly, the ONLY thng I want to do is sleep.  I dont even care at that time what the outcome will be.  I even have my kids (age 6 and 9) recognize when my additude gets bad and they tell me "mom, you need a cup of juice!!"  Thats funny, sometimes they just go get one for me!  Sorry, we can't help it, atleast I cant!!

I also am the T1 in my relationship and have never gotten aggresive, but have definitely been way outta touch with reality.  I woke at 27 once--my hubby didn't realize what I was doing since at the time I was not an avid tester.  I remember stumbling into the wall in almost a drunken stupor and when I tested, I laid down from sheer mental and physical weakness.  I had to wrestle myself off the couch and force everything sugary I saw down my throat.  The other time I was 37 and my hubby and I sat in the living room eating jolly ranchers and tootsie rolls til I was better.   It's a horrible thing to be low, I get moody, shouty and aggrivated easily (that usually happens if I'm high too), but the disorientation is the worst and an happen at awful times, If I was in the state your husband was in, I would want people to do what was best for me...ambulance, shot, police, whatever it may be. I would appreciate the help in keeping me alive.

This is a very difficult situation to be in.  I actually have seen both sides of this situation as my husband is a type 1 diabetic and I was just diagnosed a year and a half ago with type 1.  When I first started dating my husband he wasn't the most avid tester.  There were quite a few times when he would go low and be totally out of it.  I remember one time where he was low and I had to try to pull him up to give him juice.  He refused and started swinging at me.  He actually made contact a few times but I kept trying to give him the juice.  Once he came out of it and I told him what happened he started crying cause he felt bad that he had gotten aggressive with me.  I've never gotten so bad that I've gotten aggressive but there have been times when I've been low where I definitely wasn't myself.  I think now that I have diabetes and have experienced the low blood sugars I understand more what he was going through.  When you are that low you really don't know what you are doing.  You can get aggressive or emotional and have no recollection of it after the fact.  I know its hard being that person that has to take care of him but in the end you need to do what is best for him, even if that means calling the ambulance.  There have been quite a few times with my husband where I almost called the ambulance because he wouldn't drink the juice.  I try as hard as I can but if I can't get it in him I will call the ambulance because that is what is best for him. 

When blood sugar gets low adrenaline is released, which can cause aggression.  Being low feels like being drunk... bad judgement, bad coordination, sleepy, and a huge ego that wants to pretend everything is just fine (though it obviously isn't).

I'm the diabetic and my husband and I finally agreed that I would drink juice or test ANY time he asks, without question.  That skips fighting about whether I'm low and jumps right to treating it.  As much as I used to hate it, he can usually tell I'm low before I can.  Now I'm just thankful for his help and for a good partner. 

If he's beyond reason you're going to have to call the paramedics.  Make that clear in advance so he's knows it's a consequence of having a low and being resistant to your help.

Like the CGM, your husband might also consider an insulin pump if he doesn't use one.  Before a pump I had terrible lows, now they're rare.

As a person who has had several incidences of being low and refusing to cooperate with my husband's attempts at help, I think I agree with your decision to leave him be.  911 isn't needed just because a person is low and being difficult - but is needed if they go unconscious, start seizuring, hurt themselves/others, etc.  DH has used glucagon on me in the past when I've been low, incoherent, and laying in bed refusing to do anything about it so you definitely have that option too. 

When a person is really low, their brain goes into survival mode which means fighting off any perceived 'threats' (ie. you pestering him to eat or drink).  He's not doing it on purpose or because he's too proud. Try offering him juice and just leaving the glass with him, without the pestering.  You have to kind of back off a bit because it may make him more combative.  If this is happening on a regular basis (which is shouldn't be), he needs to adjust his insulin levels because he's getting too much - or go see the doctor.

And whether he wants to thank you or not, he's very very lucky to have you and I bet he knows it!

Yes, you need to call 911 for sure. Of course he may get mad at you because that is just how low blood sugars can sometimes get us, stubborn and angry. I know when I'm low I start yelling at everyone for no reason and people that don't understand get offended. Then when I am better and try to explain, it's always okay but I know deep down they will never really understand.  He will thank you later though because you are saving his life. Don't let him make his own choice when he's low, it may end very badly and you will regret it. Definitely try to help him first and if he gets so violent or stubborn then that's when the paramedics should become present.