April 10, 2010

Last night was the worst kind of emergency in my house.

My hubby had a low blood sugar incident.  We haven’t had one like that in a while and it scared me more than it ever has. 

My hubby is a Type 1 diabetic.  It usually isn’t that big of a deal.  It prevents me from baking as much as I like but generally that is about it.  He’s been diabetic since he was 10.  He generally keeps his sugar level at a pretty even keel.  He takes insulin shots 3 times a day and checks his blood sugar levels regularly.  He leads a pretty normal life.

Occasionally his blood sugar will dip and I’ll tell him to check his blood.  I know that the blood sugar is dropping because he can’t concentrate while he’s talking or he’ll repeat himself or he’ll slur his words.  If you didn’t know it you would think he was drunk.  He can sometimes be argumentative too.

That did not happen last night.  It was much worse.

It’s worse because he is sleeping and I can’t tell that his sugar is dropping.

The first time this happened where his sugar dropped so dangerously was after we were married for a few years.  We had just moved into the house we now are in and it was Thanksgiving.  We literally had moved in on  a Saturday and Thursday we had a house full of our family.  We had spent the week unpacking, cleaning and preparing a feast.  By the time our families started to arrive, his sugar was dropping.  Once it gets to a certain point it drops fast.  To point of a seizure.  He can’t control his arms, his legs, he can’t talk, he can’t blink.  If you’ve seen Steel Magnolias it isn’t even close.

Like I said I didn’t know what to do.  I panicked.  I tried to give him some orange juice, but he couldn’t drink.  I thought his dad would be able to tell me what to do but he didn’t.  I had to call 9-1-1.  The wait for the paramedics was the longest of my life.  They came and gave him a shot.  We hurriedly had a subdued dinner. 

Since then his sugar has dropped a few times.  Always at night.  Usually while he is sleeping. 

Yesterday he had a busy day.  He cut the grass, after which he generally has a can of Coke.  He worked in the garage.  He worked in the laundry room prepping it for today so that we can paint it.  Busy day, but not so busy that I would worry.

I woke up at 1 a.m. to him jerking his arm.  I knew we were in trouble.  Even though it’s been a few years since this has happened, my mind just takes over and knows what to do. 

Are you low?

I think so.

I ran down stairs to get two cans of Coke and some jelly beans.  By the time I came back up stairs, and let me tell you when I say I was gone for less than a minute, he had already started convulsing.

Some how though he is always able to chew during these seizures.  I’m not saying that what I do is right or wrong, I’m just saying this is what I do.  I usually give him fruit snacks two at a time until the seizure stops.  He chews them.  I don’t know how, he just does.  I didn’t have fruit snacks.  I haven’t had fruit snacks in a long time.  Meeshie has kinda grown out of them.  I had jelly beans.  I gave him those.  A few at a time until he would be able to drink a Coke.  During the episode, time kinda slows down for me. 

As I gave him the jelly beans I started to notice that he couldn’t swallow them.  What was I supposed to do now?  I had to stick my fingers in his mouth and remove the beans.  I started to panic.  My mind started to race.  What do I have in the house that he could swallow?  The only thing that came to mind was marshmallows but they seemed worse than the jelly beans.

Can you swallow?

Can you swallow?

I can see him trying to talk to me.  His eyes wide. 

I ran down stairs again to grab the marshmallows.  I was thinking of ways to get them small enough that they may just dissolve in his mouth.  When I got back up to our room he was trying to sit up.  The sugar from the beans must have gotten into his system enough to help him drink that Coke.  He drank both Cokes and a little while later fell back asleep.  In the morning he felt like he was run over by a truck.

I on the other hand couldn’t fall back asleep.  Maybe it was the trauma.  Probably.  I just thank God for helping me through last night.


  1. […] I had a voice mail from my husband. I tried his cell and the house. No luck. I kept trying and still no answer. By this time we are heading over to get something to eat and I was debating on whether I should just go home. What if something happened to him? What if he’s experienced low blood sugar and was in an accident. What if he’s at home, on the floor, convulsing?  For those of you that are wondering why I was freaking out, see this post. […]

  2. Holy Mother Mary!! I don’t know how you do it. Really. Your both amazing. I have Type II and I’ve had a few low blood sugars but nothing like this. I get a little disoriented and shaky. I’m so glad this turned out well for you. Thank God.

    • Linda-
      Thank you. I’m become really good at reading his cues. I really believe a disease like diabetes is a two person job, at the very least.
      I hope that you are able to control your sugars, God bless.

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