I need help!


(bgm5043) #1

My fiancé has had type 1 diabetes since he was a teenager but recently, he has had multiple episodes where his blood sugar goes below 25. This past week, it has happened twice. This morning, I had to call 911 due to a 10 minute seizure and his blood sugar was 23. I am feeling helpless…

He is very stubborn and won’t go to a specialist. He stated this is just "part of " having diabetes but I feel he is poorly managing his type 1 diabetes and I am constantly worried he is going to die. Last night he stated he ate a hot dog, cheese and bread before bed so I am not sure why we had an episode at 6am this morning. He did agree to make an appointment with his primary care doctor after a fight and me having an anxiety attack

I wish I could just take over his body for him and make this better!!!

Any suggestions?


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #2

Hi bgm5043,

I can relate to what you are feeling - or rather my wife of 50 y3ars could relate, especially being stubborn when “low”. I too was diagnosed in my teens and it wasn’t until after we married that I took care of myself at her insistence; when we married I hadn’t seen a doctor for several years. Enough of that, now I’m fanatical about my health.

If I knew your husband’s insulin routine, methods of management, activity levels and eating habits. Does he take insulin injections, a basal insulin and bolus insulin, or does he use a pump? Do his “lows” usually happen at the same time of day? Keep in mind that some nocturnal activities can use much stored body glucose; I usually get up about 3 AM to check my BG level and snack if needed.

If you can gather some of the information I mentioned above, I’ll try to offer some of my experience to help both of you.

Dennis


(40yeart1d) #3

Hi,

I’m currently 48 years old and was diagnosed with td1 at 8 years old. I had always been in good control until my early 30’s when things became less easy for me. That being said, I don’t know how old your fiancé is, but maybe he is where I was when things began turning.

I echo Dennis’ thoughts, is he on a pump, injections, what kinda exercise activities does he partake in, is he over or underestimating his carb intake? Could there be an issue with his pump if he has one? That happened to me once when there was a recall on my infusion sets and I had 7 below 30 episodes in a month.

Multiple sugar levels below 30 require an immediate visit to the Dr. Could he be over correcting high sugar levels? My doctor always asks me how I feel when I’m low and at what levels do I start feeling low. She said if I’m not feeling the lows until they are below 50, there’s a problem.

Is you have any other questions, let us know.

Kyle


(jpainter45) #4

I have had T1D for over 25 years now. I am 36 now and when I was 22 I was not taking care of myself and I paid dearly for it. Your message touched me and I would like to offer you my real life experience that you could hopefully share with your fiance. Now, I am not trying to put you on the edge of your seat or scare you badly but I am just trying to help with some real life experiences and advice:

When I was 22 I lived alone. I had low blood sugar one day and didn’t recognize it and had a siezure while lying on my back and “aspirated”, I believe that is how it is spelled. When I aspirated it put me into unconsiecnous(sp) and thankfully my parents found me. I was put into a “medically induced coma” for 2 weeks because my heart would not stop racing. I developed an “anoxic brain injury”(due to the vomit I breathed in during my siezure causing lack of O2) where I had to learn to talk, walk, eat, etc. again. The past 14 years have been EXTREMELY rough on me. I got married, had twin girls became empployed and all that a person wants? BUT, everyday I have great difficulties with simple tasks like interacting with co-workers or individuals. I cannot explain why but just let me tell you that taking care of yourself and your bloodsugar is the most important thing your fiance could do.
I say this not for himself but for every individual in his life. I can not put into words the difficulty and heart-ache I have caused my friends and family because I did not take care of my blood sugar. I hope you share this story with your fiance because it took me have a near death experience to wake up and I do not want ANY one else to have to go through what I went through! God Bless you and your fiance and you will be in my prayers.


(bgm5043) #5

Thanks for both of your responses :slight_smile:

To answer some of the questions:

He is 37 years old without a pump. I really want him to get the pump but he thinks it is too much money to spend even though for me, it is better then the constant bills for emergency room visits. His lows happen all over the place, from mid afternoon to 5am. He is horrible about checking his blood sugars and says he can “feel” when he is high or low. His a1c level is 9.4 which is horrible. He has a very active job. He recently began welding again but prior to that he was a correctional officer so he does get a lot of exercise at work. I am wanting us to both get education classes but he won’t go. He also is an epileptic due to a brain injury from a car accident, has degenerative disc disease and has beginning stage of glaucoma. My parents are doctors so it is really frustrating for me when he doesn’t take care of himself like he should to live the best life he can


(MS1124) #6

Hi,

I sympathize with your worry. My son was diagnosed at 11 years old. He is now 26 and living on his own. He experiences many lows. After two bad lows, one which required a hospital visit, he began wearing a continuous glucose monitor which has helped. Maybe you should look into it.


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #7

Yes, frustration! Thanks for the additional information.

After trying to manage his diabetes for two decades he should well know that diabetes is “non-controllable” in that it has a mind of its own; but even though it isn’t controllable, he should do a better job at managing to avoid lows. Yes, a pump is a wonderful tool for management but it doesn’t work wonders without your husband being attentive and responsible.

I agree that an Hb A1c of 9.4 is out of acceptable range which indicates that during a 90 day period his full-day AVERAGE BG would be about 222. My guess for the high BG levels is that he may be over treating his many “lows” causing a spike in his body sugar levels and then taking insulin to bring it down. Probably “stacking” extra insulin in his system thus beginning, or reinitiating, the vicious cycle of low, high, low … .

I no longer feel my lows, or highs, as readily as formerly but I do finger-sticks often - 8 times per day - just to make myself more aware of my actual situation - especially check BG on more active days. I suggest too that he, and you, do not over-treat his lows, but rather used measured amounts of carbs [the smaller granola bars have 17 gm of carb - 7 sugars and the balance intermediate proteins and fats. And they taste good too.]. Follow the 15 - 15 - 15 rule; that is treat immediately with 15 gm of carb, wait 15 minutes and check BG, eat another 15 gm if still low, etc.

I too thought the pump and necessary infusion set supplies was expensive, but with insurance assistance I find it very worthwhile.