I am writing out of concern, upon recently experienced hypoglycemia symptom, that I experienced for the 1st time in my 21 years of journey of T1D.
I woke up around midnight, very confused and little terrified from a dream, and I ended up waking my family members and my mind was only focusing on sharing something that terrified me out of that bad dream, which eventually got wiped off from my memory within few seconds, and was struggling to remember it at that very moment (this was 1am). Felt pretty crazy!
MY CONCERN: What’s concerning me the most, is that during this entire time, I had no clue that I was hypoglycemic.
I didn’t have a presence of mind to check my sugar level until my dad mentioned about it. When I started checking my sugar, I was not recognizing the finger pricker which was right in front of me. Eventually my BG was 38.
My body was not feeling ANY symptoms at all at such low sugar level, which has never happened before and got me highly concerned.
Has anyone ever faced/experienced this kind of situation? If so what precautionary measures are you taking to avoid this kind of situation in future? Any recommendations?
Hi @sojitraaditi and welcome to the forum! I’m sure most of us have experienced scary lows. Sometimes our bodies lose the ability to recognize the signs, and other times we may just be sleeping so soundly we don’t wake up until we’re very low. Thankfully your family recognized what was happening and helped you.
Have you looked into a continuous glucose monitor (CGM)? They are frequently used with pumps but you can use them if you take injections.
Dexcom is probably the gold standard, in party because it loops in with pumps to adjust insulin flow as needed.
Freestyle Libre is also a very good one - current models do not connect with pumps so they may be less exclamations if cost of an issue.
Talk with your doctor about prescribing one for you - you still have to do the work of managing your diabetes but they can add great place of mind for you and family.
Gotta go get dinner - my Dexcom just let me know I’m 91.
@sojitraaditi Welcome Aditi to the JDRF TypeOneNation Community Forum!
The confusion you experienced and your inability to recognize your lancet device - or other familiar objects - are true symptoms of hypoglycemia. You most probably had your more common symptoms that normally warn you much earlier but missed them during your sleep. The terrifying dream may be a warning for you to check your BG.
Over the many years that I’ve lived with diabetes, I’ve had a few experiences like yours, and I’ve noticed that my “warning signs” have changed somewhat over time.
I’m happy to hear that you have recovered and are now doing well.
Hello @sojitraaditi welcome! Ok so yes this has happened to me. In my case it was 4PM I was working all day I must have been slowly dropping. No symptoms. I was traveling for work. I told the guys I’d meet them in the lobby in 30 minutes. I got yo my hotel room and I couldn’t remember who I was or what I was doing or where I was or why. It was unsettling. I searched my backpack for clues. I found things I couldn’t recognize. I found an old snickers bar and ate it. 15 minutes later I was fine.
After this happened, I decided to wear a Dexcom. It’s been good with another thing that can alert me. Cheers and good luck.
Thank you it’s a bit relief to know that I am not the only one who experienced this symptom… I know HYPOS are something difficult to tackle, but this one was at a different level.
I am currently on tandem T-slim insulin pump and I have been using dexcom g6 sensors as well. But I do develop rashes becoz of sensor glue (different issues that I am tackling with), and becoz of that I take breakers from sensor in between.
Unfortunately I happened to experience this hypo incident when I was on that mini break from sensor. So my CONCERN is during this time how can you be more alert and prevent this situation while u r sleeping.
@Dennis I was completely unaware and am surprised to know that these are true symptoms of hypoglycemia. And what I probably had until now are probably. Thanks for this info.
Yes what I started implementing afterwards is that if I feel any thing weird or strange in my body behavior I check my BG.
Like when before CGM were available, test more, get up at 3AM to test, add protein to your 9 or 10 pm snack. It also requires a bit of luck!
I fear what happened to you and that’s the main reason I insist on a CGM at night. If I have trouble with it, I set an alarm to awake me so I can finger stick every hour.
I have always been aware, though rattled, but it’s been close. Before I wore pump and cgm, I awoke one night in a sweat, heart pounding, full of fear….I immediately ran to the fridge and guzzled down a glass of juice. I knew. THEN I did a finger stick and BG was 25! I was able to function and was able to get my BG up and get back to bed eventually. Since that night, I have a healthy respect for going low risks. I can’t imagine using pump without CGM. That would make me very nervous. I’m so glad you are okay!
I use an Omnipod pump and they can be quite painful to remove because of the the glue. Thankfully I found an underlay patch to wear under my pump: you glue the pod to the patch, and use a Simpatch to keep it in place hopefully the Simpatch adhesive does not bother you🤞🏾). It holds my pump in place very nicely and they make them for Dexcom.as well. I got my underlays from Etsy.com and the overpatches from Amazon.
The American Diabetes Association has a list of 18 symptoms of hypoglycemia.
I think you have already done the best you can to deal with overnight lows. You have a CGM most of the time and you have family members in the house. Your body will also help you out by dumping a little store of sugar it keeps in the liver. This has saved me a couple of times when I’m too confused to treat myself then “magically” I’m able to think clearly.
In regards to your reaction to the Dexcom adhesive, Dexcom got permission from the FDA in February-ish of this year to change the adhesive on the G6 sensors to what they are using on the G7. Double check that you are still getting a rash that requires a CGM break. If the new adhesive isn’t any better for you then Dorie has a good suggestion about using a barrier. I can’t stand that massive hunk of adhesive that is the simpatch but there are at least 100 medical grade adhesives, a surprising number available at Amazon and your local non-chain pharmacy that you can just swab on the skin side of the barrier. Talk to your doc or if you happen to know a nurse that that works in an OR or doing post operative care they’ll be able to suggest some good products.
The barrier needs a patch to hold it in place. I place a shoeld over my Omnipod or Dexcom, and the Simpatch goes over it: Simpatches usually stay on me for up to 10 days but if one does start to peel off - or if I mis-apply - the shield prevents it from pulling the device out. So it has to be bigger than some people like. There are other options if you don’t mind it touching the device tape.
Another option for allergic reactions is Benadryl: it’s available in ointment (which of course might interfere with adhesion), spray, and pill forms. An allergist or dermatologist should be able to help as well.
One other tip that I don’t think the others have mentioned - If you decide to take a CGM break and are worried about going low overnight, it’s ok to raise your target blood sugar a little bit. I do that regularly. My target’s 120 most of the day, but 150 before I got to bed because my blood sugar used to routinely drop in the middle of the night. The higher target gave me enough of a buffer that I’d usually be alright.
Thank you everyone for all your inputs… these are indeed valuable.
I am traveling currently, so sorry for delayed response. But I will be sharing any weird lows, if I happen to experience any, in this thread during this journey.
You made me remember - back in the days of plain old BG meters, if I was home alone overnight I would set my alarm clock to sound every 3 hours or so, so I could s wake up and check how I was feeling. I might have taken a few sips of juice or something even if I felt fine, “just in case.”
@sojitraaditi if you take a break from your Dexcom you might try the Freestyle Libre as an alternative - it may or may not use the same adhesive as Dexcom. That said, hopefully the G7 adhesive is better for you!
Apologies if I missed this someplace in the thread but did you ever determine the reason you went low on the first place - you skip a meal or miscalculate your insulin, get some exercise (if that lowers your numbers)…? I’ve had some “aha!” moments when I realized something after the fact, and take it as a lesson learned so I can adjust add necessary the next time.
It sounds like you might be experiencing Hypoglycemia Unawareness. Definitely keep track of how often this is happening.
I experienced it several years ago while working in a position where my schedule was different every day. My blood sugars were all over the place as a result - - difficult to control when you don’t know what time your meals are going to be from one day to the next! Once I finally got a new job, with a set schedule, my blood sugars got better and I started to recognize my lows again. This, from what I have read on Hypo Unawareness, is quite common.So, keep track of your blood sugars as well as what might be affecting them.
Hang in there! You’ll figure it out with time.
Let us know what you find out!
T1D 59 years and counting!