Type 1, Pregnant, and Alone

So I am almost 15 weeks pregnant, have type 1 diabetes, and I am often alone. Not alone as in single, I am still happily married. But my hubbys job is pretty demanding. He is gone for 1 week at a time, then home for 1 week at a time. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT complaining about his job. He has a great job and super lucky to have it in this economy! However, I hate when he is gone for such a long time. The last couple weeks I have been dealing with low blood sugars. I normally don't feel them until it hits the 40's. Last night I felt myself getting low so I went to the kitchen to grab something quick. My hands were shaky (that's 1 of my low blood sugar symptoms). I knocked over a glass and shattered it everywhere. I try to clean up the glass and cut my hand on a shard. Anyways, I finally get my low fixed (and my kitchen cleaned). My blood was 135 when I went to sleep. During the night I wake up to use the bathroom. Felt totally fine but thought I should check my blood anyways since I was up. Good thing I did because I was already down to 45. So at 2:30 in the morning I am in the kitchen again. LOL I did a temp basal on my pump -35% and my fasting # that morning was still only 70. I hate to think just how low I would have got if I didn't wake up and check my blood. Anyways, I try to keep a cell phone with me at all times but really what good does that do if I end up passing out or something? So far since being diagnosed (About 2 yrs ago) I have never passed out, had seizures, went into a coma, or anything of that sort. I hope I never do!!! But I worry about being home alone. There is no one there to help me if I do pass out. Anyone else been in this situation? What do you do?

I to have had similar issues, I wasn't pregnant at the time, but I've had the seizures, I have passed out, luckily, no comas yet though.  I was also a teen so my mother was around when it happened.  The only thing I can suggest is maybe setting yourself an alarm in the middle of the night, or perhaps even fasting before bed and testing every 2 hours (my doctor had me do this to try and figure out a pattern for where my night time lows were starting).  I don't work so doing it isn't that difficult for me, but if you do, I'd suggest doing it the night before a day off, and then once you see the pattern, set an alarm for 20-30 minutes before that time frame to get up and test and eat something.  I start to notice I'm dropping when I hit around 80, so if you've got a number like that and it shows up, try eating a fast acting carb coupled with a protein (I used to eat graham crackers and peanut butter and a glass of milk).  When all else fails, talk to your endo about your fears and definitely check into a CGMS if you don't have one already, you sound like an excellent candidate for it.

Hi RachelEmily!

I totally am facing this fear right now as well...I am only 4-5weeks pregnant, but my husband is deploying soon for a year. And I've never lived alone before. It's going to be a long year, but hopefully this pregnancy will keep me occupied. :) I currently have a Dexcom CGM which I love. It does alarm when my blood sugars are too high or too low, but unfortunately it rarely wakes me up. I currently set my alarm for 2am just to wake up and check where it is. I also have set a HammerGel on my bedside table, as well as on the edge of my kitchen counter. HammerGel is a fast acting, sports gel I typically use while running or biking when my BG drops. I also keep one in my purse for emergencies too. Sometimes it has certainly saved my life.

Not that it will help a whole lot, but I think I'm going to have my parents call me every morning too just to make sure that I'm doing okay. Or maybe tell them to call if I haven't texted my mom by a certain time. Some kind of safety check. It is terrifying to think of, but I'm just doing everything I can to prevent the worst from happening. Before, and especially being an athlete, I would let my sugars run a little high (120-200) for fear of lows, but now that's certainly not possible. My last A1C was 6, so I'm keeping my sugars in a good range, but I do get lows and get them often. If you come up with any other ideas I'd love to hear them! :o)

Porter, I'm sorry to hear about your husband deploying! That is truly a difficult situation for anyone, but especially someone with health complications. Most of my husbands family is currently active military or retired military so at one time it was a path he thought about going down also. However, right at the time he was considering this he got his current job offer which was too good to refuse. He is still required to leave me for 1 week at a time, but I like this arrangement better than him deploying!

I do not have a CGM, although it is something I have considered for some time. My insurance will not cover them. They wouldn't cover my pump at first either. I had to fight with them for about 3 months before they agreed to cover it (still had a HUGE deductible). Anyhow, I feel that something seriously needs to be done. This evening for dinner I ate about 60 carbs. I would usually take 6 units since I am on a 1:10 ratio. I know I have been running low lately (especially evenings and nights) so I only bolused 2.5 units. Thought this would be fine. 2 hours later I check my blood and I'm 43. Normally I struggle with highs, NOT lows. I guess this is just a pregnancy hormonal thing or something. It stresses me so much because I am trying to keep my numbers GOOD while I'm pregnant and feel like I'm failing. I have currently put temp basal on for -50% and I just ate an apple so hopefully no more lows tonight!!!

My mom also calls me every morning if I haven't already called her. I have on occassion had her or my dad actually drop by my house to make sure I'm alive if I don't answer the phone. LOL But again, a phone won't do me any good if I'm passed out and unable to make a call. Maybe I need a service dog? I have heard they actually have them for diabetics! LOL

You've got to stop having lows.   Lows are linked to babies having brain, spine and heart defects.  At the very least your baby isn't getting what it needs when you're having a bad low.  

If you haven't done so, ask your endocrinologist or OB-GYN to set you up on a temporary CGM and see where you might need to adjust your basal rate.  If you can go on the CGM for your whole pregnancy that would help you.  They alarm if your blood sugar drops below a certain level.   You may also need to stick with foods that are easy to carb count so that you're bolusing correctly.  

If you don't get a CGM then make sure to set your alarm for 2am to wake up and test your blood sugar.  You may also need to test an hour after eating and then 2 hours after to make sure the levels are on track.  Set an open can of 7-up or a plastic glass of juice in the fridge so it's easily accessible if you're low.  

The tiredness and lows of the first trimester will wear off, but you've got to actively control your blood sugar right now.  In the 3rd trimester you'll have the opposite problem and will need to increase you dose dramatically (mine more than doubled).  

This might not be an option..but have you considered asking a close friend or your mom (if that's an option) to stay with you the weeks he is gone, at least until your first trimester is over?

The first trimester is the hardest (I've heard) and since you're having a lot of problems with lows it might be a good idea to on top of the CGM, to have someone there with you to go get you sugar and such so you're not putting yourself at risk. Or even a night or two during that week.

I know if I was in that situation I would feel better having someone there. My boyfriend was gone most of the summer so I was alone in our apartment but I don't get many lows so it wasn't so bad...if I were pregnant and dealing with lows though, I probably would have spent the summer at my mom's so I wouldn't have to worry about what COULD happen.

I don't know how your husband feels about this, but it would probably put his mind to rest I would think to know there's someone there in case something happens while he's gone.

In the weeks that I hit the insulin sensitivity (11-13 for me), I had my friends and mom call me everyday (they rotated a schedule) to make sure I was with it.  The plan was that they had to leave work and come check on me if I did not answer the phone or picked up and made no sense.  I passed out once and luckily my husband came home about 2 hours later and found me.  That's when the planning checking-in went into affect.  I'm lucky my parents and friends are willing and able to help in an emergency.  If your lows happen at the same times, you could try this.

Rachelemily...I am currently 20 weeks pregnant and had lows weeks 12-18 and my husband also travels a lot and I have also woken up not feeling low and it was 38 and that really scared me.  I have a CGM and it isn't always correct due to my hormones and my fast changing blood sugars.  When I couldn't have someone come and stay with me I would have my parents and my husband call me all the time and have a plan that if I didn't answer the phone after 3 rings to call the paramedics, but luckily that never happened.  But if ever I started feeling low or if I tested and it was really low I would always call my husband or parents or sister and tell them that I was having a low and to call back and check on me.  Testing A LOT really helped me to feel secure.  I got my insurance to approve more test strips per month and I just had to come to grips with the fact that I couldn't always feel my lows and to just test more often.  Anyway that is what helped me to get through it.  I know how scary it is, but just remember that as long as you always have something to treat your lows with you and your phone then you will have help.  I wish you the best and that stage will be over soon.

Also YAY Porter!!!!!  Congrats!!!  Hopefully we will see you soon at our next meeting?

This might be weird but I am so so so happy to hear/read that I actually had a "normal" pregnancy!!!  I did not know anyone that had type 1 when I was pregnant.  I can't wait to get pregnant again and have Juvenation at my fingertips.  You girls are lucky! :)

Just get your blood sugar up.  clean the kitchen when you are stable later.  Keep glucose gel and tabs everywhere.  Bathroom, bedside table, purse, glove box, pockets, kitchen.  SweetTarts taste better though :)

First trimester my BS was low all the time especially overnight.  Second trimester will be great.  Get ready for 3rd, no carbs before noon worked best for me!

Actually I didn't experience any lows at all during the first trimester. The lows started as soon as I hit my second trimester. I am 17 weeks now and thankfully the lows seem to be going away. I have to be careful at night because that's when I get the lowest, but no scary lows like before. I eat a snack before bed and lower my basal rate and my fasting number in the morning seems to be running fine. Thank God my numbers seem to be doing much better right now! Not looking forward to insulin resistance... Hope that doesn't start!