Hypoglycemia - Low My first time

By MEGriff1950 Latest Reply 2011-09-22 16:20:59 -0500
Started 2011-09-16 17:17:09 -0500

I was diagnosed with type 2 by a nurse practitioner. She thought she was wonderful. She was gun ho to get my blood sugars to the level she wanted but without explaining much. She gave me a new med similar to glyburide but I can't remember the name after all these years. She neglected to educate me on hypoglycemia. This was on a Wednesday. On Thursday I left work early and headed to Spokane (60 miles away) to have dinner with my boyfriend then attend a concert. I dutifully took my meds with my dinner including this new one. Dinner was more then I could eat so took a people bag and left it in my car when we headed to the concert. The concert was great I was having a blast then guess what? I got shaky, light headed, everything started swirling, I was sick. Now this was only the second concert I ever attended and there was still an hour left. Though many of the original members of the band had died I had to walk out of a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. We barely made it back to the car I was really weak and could not figure out what was wrong with me. Tim thought I was nuts when I reached for what was left of my dinner and ate it. Within about 30 minutes I was feeling better. I have no idea what my BG was at the time. I did not know to check those, I hadn't been told about lows. When I talked to the nurse about it she shrugged her shoulders and still did not talk to me about hypoglycemia.
God must have been watching out for me. When I do not feel well food is the last thing on my mind and when I am that sick there is no way I would eat anything.
How many have had similar experiences with the don't tell and get out the door type of treatment?

Tags: awareness

30 replies

Uncle Lew
Uncle Lew 2011-09-22 16:20:59 -0500 Report

I do not advocate violence but that nurse practitioner needs a kick in the rear. I would seriously consider filing a complaint against her if she is that indifferent. She may not like you but the diabetics she educates in the future will love you.
I took a series of classes last year and hypoglycemia was very briefly mentioned. These educators do not understand the fear and panic we all experience until we learn to recognize and treat hypoglycemia. In my case I don’t feel hypoglycemic until my readings are in the mid to low 50s. It comes on full blast, in an instant I am sweating, shaking, becoming dizzy and my vision becomes blurry. I know now the symptoms and treat it immediately.
The problem is that non-diabetics are teaching us with only book learning. What needs to be done if a person wants to be a CDE they should have to experience an episode of hypoglycemia as part of qualifying. It would be simple to hook up a continuous blood sugar monitor to the potential CDE and inject them with insulin. They would then personally understand the possible utter confusion, panic, fear, terror of hypoglycemia.
A little advice from a diabetic of 17 years-
1. If your finances/insurance allows it see an endocrinologist, they are the
authority on diabetes.
2. Always carry your meter with you. It is the most important tool you have
to control your diabetes.
3. Carry glucose tabs. (I use sugar 4 packets because you don’t have to
chew them. Chocolate bars are not good because the fat in the bar doses not let it digest fast enough to help you).
4. Have some drinks like Sips(they are about 15g of carbs which is ideal) or
regular Coke or any sugar sweetened soda.
5. Remember the 15 MINUTE RULE.
a. If you feel hypoglycemic test.
b. If you are hypoglycemic immediately consume 15g of carbs.
c. Check your blood glucose level 15 minutes later.
d. If it is still low consume another 15g of carbs.
e. Re-check your blood glucose level 15 minutes later.
f. If it is the normal range eat something with proteins and carbs (½ turkey or tuna sandwich, peanut butter crackers…)
g. Re-check your blood glucose level 15 minutes later.
h. If it is still low consume another 15g of carbs and call 911.

God speed

jnerdee 2011-09-22 09:04:16 -0500 Report

The doc just added Glyburide to my metformin. I usually wake up with high numbers over night so the Glyburide is supposed to address that. I'm having trouble with a drop in BS during the night now. I try and eat a snack before bedtime, but this morning something woke me and after I staggered to the bathroom, I checked my bs and it was 59! At 2 o'clock in the morning I'm stuffing carbs to get my number back up. I waited 30 minutes just to get it back up to 89. At 111 I went back to bed and at 4 am it was 250. I feel terrible today. I know I overcompensated, but it scared me so bad, I've never had it so low. It was sureal and oddly calm instead of the shaking. I thought i had just gone so low, I couldn't even think.

MEGriff1950 2011-09-22 12:02:15 -0500 Report

jnerdee, Contact your doctor immediately. They will most likely adjust your medication. You are causing more harm by consumming more carbs to compensate. Do you have a meal plan designed for you by a dietician? Call the doctor immediately please, if you cannot talk to them you should be able to talk to their nurse.
God bless,

jnerdee 2011-09-22 14:29:59 -0500 Report

Thanks so much for your advice. I am supposed to be getting a class. I have been on the road and can't get in until next month. I will call my Doc's nurse and go from there. Thank you. I know it is too low.

grandmaducky 2011-09-21 17:16:34 -0500 Report

yes i was kicked out the cde stop talking to me when i told her that i could not eat 60 carbs a meal i know this from having been to a metabolic doctor 10 years before talking to cde and i hate that we are told to test 2 time a day and insurance only cover 50 test strips a month i think we should be able to test 3 time a day which means 6 test strips a day not just 2 strips a day but i have done alright for myself

MEGriff1950 2011-09-21 17:38:28 -0500 Report

What do they expect us to do ignore our lows. Go hypoglycemic, let it drop more because we has used our 2 test strips then die. Maybe that is the insurance companies way of saving money if we die they do not have to pay their share of our costs. Dang I can't get down the 45 carbs they want me to eat. I get about 30 carbs a meal.
Since diabetics do not all fit in the same box that the lab rats do we just need to get over it.

Type1Lou 2011-09-21 17:36:51 -0500 Report

I've fought this battle with my RX insurer and got them to cover more testing by having my doctor write the scrip saying I test seven times a day. (Right now, I'm actually testing 8 to 10 times a day to gather the data for more precise insulin pump settings but expect that to go back to 6 or 7 times a day.) I, too cannot eat 60 grams of carb/meal. Right now, I try to keep it at no more than 120/day with 30g for breakfast and 45 g each for lunch and dinner. Luv your pumpkin!

grandmaducky 2011-09-21 17:41:24 -0500 Report

thanks my doctor told me to just test two to three time a week since my # were good so for now i get i buy walmart test strips out of pocket to test when i want to :) grandkids did pumpkin

MEGriff1950 2011-09-21 18:11:31 -0500 Report

Awesome Grandma ducky. I am working to get to that point too. Only 6 metformin and 2 glyburide a day to go. I was on 40 units of insulin, 6 metformin and 4 glyburide a day. :) Hearing sucess stories such as yours is encouragement for me to keep working at it.

MrsCDogg 2011-09-18 17:33:04 -0500 Report

I've honestly never had anyone talk to me about lows. It seems they are so focused on the highs that they don't even know that lows exist. I have found out on my own just how bad the lows can be tho. I have been on insulin since October of 2010 and my first really bad low was in January. One day I was taking the trash out and my vision started to turn dark and fuzzy. I made it into the house and checked my sugar and low and behold it was 38!! I should have called in that day but called and told them that I was going to be running late because of the low. I was telling one of my co-workers about it and he asked what normal was and I told him between 70 and 120 he laughed and said…"Boy you are a beast!!" lol

MEGriff1950 2011-09-18 18:18:28 -0500 Report

Heaven sakes alive Mrs C Dogg, I am so glad that you lived to tell about it. For some who get that low it is too late. For me I try to keep juice handy to bring my sugars back up. Since that is the only time we are "supposed" to drink juice. I so hate hearing the many here that were given meds, a meter and kicked out the door to fend for themselves.
Stay with us you will learn a lot,

Teresa Rose
Teresa Rose 2011-09-17 15:36:36 -0500 Report

I get the same type of treatment every time that I go to the doctor. I go to a volunteer clinic and am trying to get on some assistance with the state before this diabetes kills me.

MEGriff1950 2011-09-18 18:19:37 -0500 Report

Teresa, I wish you the best of luck. This breaks my heart, so many are in your boat hoping to keep afloat.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-09-17 14:03:42 -0500 Report

I will tell you this. I have received more education and information on DC than I have from any doctor or diabetic educator that I have had.

Jeanette Terry
Jeanette TerryPA 2011-09-21 15:11:10 -0500 Report

I agree Jim. What better way to find out how to deal with the day to day stuff than to talk to someone that has been through it.

MEGriff1950 2011-09-22 11:58:14 -0500 Report

That all goes back to the get a meter, here are drugs not get out of the door. They do not tell you there are support forums online. You just follow orders.

tabby9146 2011-09-17 09:12:16 -0500 Report

that's too bad the doctor did not explain about lows. So glad you were okay!!

MEGriff1950 2011-09-17 12:10:14 -0500 Report

Not dr but nurse practiconer…she had many flaws. I would make a Drs appointment with a certin dr but when I was shown to the exam room she would walk in. The last time that happened I walked out demanded my co pay back. Went home and calle my insurance company. They asked how many times I had been to the DR not the nurse. We talked about this for some time. Evidently that office was billing the insurance for drs prices and sending people to a nurse. Within a year the insurance sued the drs office and won back over $100,000 in over charges plus they had to send letters of apology to each and every patient who was affected. My insurance was through my employer Washington State University. Because of this that office lost many faculty and staff patients.

Type1Lou 2011-09-17 14:07:13 -0500 Report

Wow! Great results in trying to keep medical charges accurate! Congratulations on the outcome.

MEGriff1950 2011-09-17 14:11:02 -0500 Report

Thank you Lou, what helps in a University setting word travels faster then the internet. If we do not stick up for ourselves not only will we get walked on but the problem continues for others. I am a fighter my nature, being a Libra helps. Yes I was pleased that the doctors office had to pay for trying to cheat patients and the insurance company.

Type1Lou 2011-09-17 18:41:57 -0500 Report

Sometimes, I think my photo should be that of a pit bull. I've dashed off a letter to David Snow, Medco's CEO, about this latest problem and sent a copy to the retirement benefits administrator for the insurance we get through my husband's retirement (which includes Medco). I understand the need for cost containment but not at the expense of damaging someone's health. It was good to hear that your action caused an abuser of the system to pay. If I could only figure out how to get Medco to do the right thing.

MEGriff1950 2011-09-17 18:55:08 -0500 Report

Lou I wish you the best of luck. We need our meds to stay alive and live healthier so that we do not get the complications that are associated with diabetes. I have to go without meds often and too long because they were cost prohibitive. Stick to your guns and fight them. Maybe our efforts will help someone else too.

Abby888 2011-09-16 19:52:36 -0500 Report

Wow that is scary…I know my doctor didn't really explain "lows" to me either because I was having such high blood sugars at the time…that all changed the day I became hypoglycemic with a reading of 57. I was shaking like a leaf. Thankfully I recognized the signs after being an EMT for two years and took 3 glucose tabs which brought it back up. I really need to be put on a sliding scale of insulin. Having lows is awful. Worse than hyperglycemia in my opinion. When were you diagnosed? You are a wealth of information. So glad I found this website. Its so helpful to talk to people that understand the boat we are all sailing in :)

MEGriff1950 2011-09-16 20:19:50 -0500 Report

Thank you Abby, I was diagnosed in 03 told in 06 by a dr I was not diabetic then in fall of 06 I was told by another dr that I am diabetic. I feel bad but I challenged him. It was not until I attended a diabetics education class that I really learned anything. That was on July 7th this year.
Congrats on EMT, I was a First Responder. After I moved to another town the fire department started EMT training. When I was at that concert my first responder training went out the window, I guess it was too close to home and I was panicing.
A few weeks ago I woke at 4 am sweating and starving. Tried to go back to sleep and thought oh dear (not that word) I need to check my blood sugar. It was 43. Shortly after that I went off of insulin.

Abby888 2011-09-16 20:24:20 -0500 Report

I think every diabetic, if they are able to, should attend diabetes education. I am on Medicaid (not able to work) and thankfully its a covered benefit. I have learned so much from my educator.

MEGriff1950 2011-09-17 00:13:03 -0500 Report

I agree with that and mention it here a lot. I see signs quite often this is diabetes awareness week, help support the ADA and others. Please give people classes that do not cost an arm and leg. Living in rural America has a lot of advantages but as far as medical care such as these classes and support groups it really sucks. Medicare paid $600.00 for my class which was just under 7 hours long. If I want to attend their monthly hour meeting I can drive 35 miles one way.

Carol2x 2011-09-17 22:27:51 -0500 Report

When I was first diagnosed Diabetic over 7 years ago, I was sent to the 48 hour Management Class at the Joslin Center. They taught me alot. I work in the Nursing fiield and they still taught me alot. All seems to change when you are the one that was diagnosed as the diabetic-it really hits home.
Plus, I see every day in the hospital the results of patients that do not take care of themselves once diagnosed. It affects all the organs of your body. There is not anywhere on your body that is not affected one way or another by diabetes. It is a real eye opener and a great incentive for keeping oneself in line with control.

MEGriff1950 2011-09-18 18:23:51 -0500 Report

Carol you are so right. The key is understanding and without it many end up with severe medical conditions. I hope you are sharing this site casually of course with the patients.