Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How LOW can you go?

Yesterday was a terrible day of Low Blood Sugars both at school and at home.

The first text message came in around 11 o'clock but this low came with a special circumstance attached to it. We live about 20 miles from J's school and I was on the floor playing with E when Hope started alerting to a low blood sugar. I thought to myself I wonder if J is dropping low but quickly pushed it out of my head thinking that was impossible for her to detect, until Hope came over and practically sat on me to alert yet again. Miraculously not even 1 minute later a text from the school!!!! Call it intuition or coincidence she clearly knew something wasn't right. This low wasn't a severe low, 89 with a falling alert on the CGM, I told her to give him a 1/2 of a juice box and wait to see what would happen. It seemed to do the trick and all was fine.

Second text message came in around 1:50pm an hour after getting insulin for his lunch (Hope wasn't with me this time). J was 54 with double arrows down on his CGM (that means he is dropping 3+ points per minute) Thankfully the TA is amazing and had already given him the other 1/2 of the juice box before texting, so I told her to go ahead and also give him a package of fruit snacks just to be safe because I wasn't confident that the 7g of carbs for the juice would be enough. She did and that seemed to be the perfect amount of carbs to bring him safely back up into range.

Around 7:30 pm last night we had another scary low. It started out with the CGM where I noticed that he was starting to drop near the low 100's so I decided to go ahead and give him 12g of carbs to be on the safe side and prevent a low.....well 10 minutes later the CGM goes off again 46!!! I panicked and grabbed his meter to check his BG praying the whole time that the CGM was just off and he wasn't that low. Nope 45! Cue the panic attack. I ran down stairs and grabbed a juice box and ran it back up to him, I told him to drink it all as fast as he could (His juice is 15g of carbs per box)! You are supposed to wait 10-15 before you re-check a BG to give the sugar time to kick in, so during that excruciating wait the CGM goes off again! This time there is no number it just says LOW......NOT GOOD, that means his BG is below 40. We started to see him fading, glazed eyes, saying he was hungry, weak, pale. I ran down stairs again to grab a tube of glucose gel just in case we had to treat again. It had only been 5 minutes since his last check but we decided to go ahead and check to see what was happening. 65! Whew, the sugar was working.....waited another 5 minutes......95! Thank God!
Of course later last night we had the classic rebound high from over treating the low. I had to fight that stubborn high until 2am :(

I am so thankful that we have the CGM and Hope to keep a close eye on our boy and be two extra layers of protection. If we didn't have those safety nets yesterday who knows what would have happened at school or home and I honestly can't even go to that place. This is the part of Type 1 Diabetes that never gets easier or better. These are situations that we find ourselves in on a regular basis! However in those moments of panic I always wonder.......

Am I the only one who over treats in a panic and shovels sugar down my child's throat?
How low do you let yourself or child go before you hit that panic?
Do you wait the 10-15 minutes before re-checking?
What are the best or your favorite low treatments?


  1. What a scary day with all those lows!!! Your alert dog is amazing -- I'm curious to learn more! Looking back to when my middle school son was in early elementary school, I wonder how we managed without the CGM. Such an amazing tool. We always tended to wait 10 minutes not 15 and if he was very symptomatic -- Yes! More sugar! My son loves fruit but always disliked juice ever so we gave Sprite for significant lows. I hate that rebound action that you mention when the sugars go high later! Good luck managing those lows.

  2. Karen-
    I know since getting the CGM, I don't know how we survived without it either! It is such an amazing tool to have I wish every T1D had one. Yes, our D.A.D is amazing and I will try to post more about her success stories as I know this is a fairly new thing to the D-World. Thank you for your kind words and I hope that you continue to enjoy my blog!

  3. Hi Alicia,

    Thank you for connecting with me over Instagram. I'm glad to hear that the CGM has given you a small bit of peace of mind (as we all know there's never really peace of mind being a d-parent).

    I'm really excited to get to try out the CGM starting Monday. I think it will be such a neat experiment for me.

    I've browsed through your blog and like you, I have a very type A personality. I've found that being this way along with living with t1d has proved to be very difficult. I document everything I eat, I never miss a shot and am really diligent about checking my bg's all day long. However, as you well know, sometimes there's nothing you can do. Sometimes things just don't work and no matter what you ate or did, your numbers do some kind of unexplained roller coaster. You sometimes have zero control, and that's a hard thing to swallow as someone with a type A personality.

    I was diagnosed later in life, at 29. I am always fascinated in reading about how d-parents deal with raising a child and acting as a pancreas. Thank you on behalf of everyone out there for sharing your story. I'm sure you are helping out many in being open about your experiences. All the best!


    Thank you so much for your kind words. Sharing our story is a coping mechanism for me and also a way for J to be able to look back at his journey and maybe see it from our perspective as parents. I admire all T1's and love hearing your stories and how you manage life. We can all learn from each other because this life is all trial and error. I hope that you love your CGM as much as I love J's and I would love for you to keep me updated on your journey! Thank you again!