when do you call the paramedics?

By watson4042 Latest Reply 2012-12-09 23:49:22 -0600
Started 2012-10-27 12:37:34 -0500

at what point do you call for emts? my roommate woke me up asking for help as her sugar level was too low. it was 51. now i haven't even been db for i year and i didn't know what to do. she asked for ice cream, then toast and a pepsi. but what scarred me most, is that i didn't know what to do!? shouldn't i know already? it's got me nervous that if it happens again i should know automatically what to do. can anyone please share their experiences with low bs.

19 replies

manapua72 2012-12-09 21:50:07 -0600 Report

Lately it seems that I start to go low a few hours after lunch … I found that applesauce pouches work great for my lows … Each pouch has 15 grams of carbs … 1 or 2 pouches and I'm fine … So I keep them in my locker @ work , they keep for @ least a year , but who am I kidding there's no way I'd have them that long anyways too yummy to pass up …

jayabee52 2012-12-09 23:49:22 -0600 Report

applesauce pouches, that's a good idea! But I'd probably have the same problem as you do. Too tasty!


mystikfairy61 2012-11-11 12:27:45 -0600 Report

I am T2 and before lunch a couple of days ago,I started feeling woozy. Checked my sugar and it was 54. Had some regular mountain dew and ate lunch. It came back up but all afternoon, I felt drained but also seemed to crave sugary stuff. Anyone else had this happen?

ConnieMarie 2012-10-31 11:40:14 -0500 Report

i've found orange juice or regular soda works quickly & then after 15 mins i have peanut butter toast…after 30 mins if it's stable i will eat scrambled eggs…the tabs or gel don't seem to work for me as well as juice or soda…we keep small cans of juice in the cupboard…

Fefe12 2012-10-31 11:28:41 -0500 Report

I so agree. We should all be carrying glucose tabs or gels. One in your purse, one in the car and the house. Extras can go in coat pockets. Take a tab wait 15 minutes and retest. Repeat till you get the right numbers. Thats so much easier that trying to guess the amount of food to eat. I tried orange juice but it went bad all the time and i keep soda out of the house.

IronOre 2012-10-30 22:30:40 -0500 Report

If the person can eat then there is no need to call the medics. So don't panic when it happens again, just let them eat.
The best thing to take for the fastest results is a liquid, like juice (not sugar free).
I agree with what ShellyLargent mentioned below but I want to add something. . . normally for me 15 grams of carbs increases my number by almost 50, so it really doesn't take much to bring a 51 to over 100. Maybe that "50" is less than that when going hypo, but I am not quite sure.
I also agree with Linda Crutch as far as eating some protien . . . but to be frank don't waste too much time trying to figure out how and what to eat - just eat !
Many times a person (like myself) takes (eats or drinks) too much when they go low and in an hour or so may need a couple units of insulin to bring it down.
Call the medics if the diabetic is not doing what you say as far as eating goes (and in that "fighting" mood), have gone unconscience or appear to be going that way, or obviously if they are unresponsive.

watson4042 2012-10-28 18:42:47 -0500 Report

thank you all for the helpful replies. we were taking her sugar count every 15 minutes, but it was going up 5 points, then down again. she said she felt outside of her body and had a tendancy to stare off in the distance, slow to answer my questions. when we got her up to a bs of 66 points is when she laid back down to sleep. but i stayed up for another hour just in case. i feel i should've done better for her.

jayabee52 2012-10-28 23:42:05 -0500 Report

from what you describe, if it were me caring for a loved one, I would call the paramedics. Going to sleep with BG level of 66 points, I'd be afraid she would go low again while sleeping and wouldn't wake up.

I lost my precious wife "Jem" to death in a similar fashion. Wasn't exactly as you describe but it is close enough to bring back memories and regrets and wondering if I did enough or something differently, she'd still be with me.

IronOre 2012-10-30 23:06:27 -0500 Report

So what happened to Jem ?

jayabee52 2012-10-30 23:49:48 -0500 Report

she died from one of her many "medical challenges" (as she laughingly called them). The Dr who signed the death certificate said that it was due to her heart giving out, and secondary cause was her diabetes.

watson4042 2012-10-29 12:38:29 -0500 Report

i'm soo sorry my quesstion brought up sad memories for you. and you're perfectly right..when in doubt call the emts..if this happens again, and i hope not, i will call for assistance.

watson4042 2012-10-28 18:33:47 -0500 Report

i found out i was db last november 3rd, so i don't feel i'm super smart about any of this stuff. both my roomate, and i are t2, she takes insulin and i'm on oral meds. and i felt useless and not very knowledgeble. it scarred me and if it happens again i want to be able to know what to do from the get go.

Ms. DAT 2012-10-28 03:00:35 -0500 Report

Watson whenever in doubt all ways call 911!!

It is a good reminder to keep orange juice available at all times especially since your roommates blood sugar has a tendency to drop below 55 and also encourage roomy to eat a bedtime snack before bed to keep blood sugar above 80 and blood sugar should be checked at bedtime.

It will be good for you to review symptoms of high/low blood sugar and treating hypoglycemia with your roomy. You can keep glucose tablets or hard candy such as peppermint only if roomy can chew to prevent choking.

Truth is that if you are a diabetic as well this continued situation can cause you to have increases in your blood sugar due to stress. I'v experienced increased stress from loved ones who are diabetics who lacked being responsible but I had to speak up and let that person be responsible not only me because I have to take care of me whether T1 or T2. I can give you information but it is up to you as to what you do with it!!!
Every diabetic must be responsible for their own well-being.
However, supporting/accountability to each other is helpful.

Young1s 2012-10-28 00:58:04 -0500 Report

Wow. That is low. I'm T2 so this isn't an issue for me but have been here long enough to know that a lot of T1s will agree with what was said thus far. I have also heard a small squirt of cake frosting will help. And my nutritionist has advised those packets of peanut butter crackers with some oj.

The best medicine is the preventive kind though in my book. If your roommate is on top of her BGs, she should be aware of an impending low ahead of time. But life doesn't always grant us the gift of hindsight, so good for you for wanting to know what to do in the event. I've had a couple of lows below 80 (if I'm remembering correctly) that were scary. My tells at those times were dizziness and shakiness. Both times I was alone and thanked God that I realized it for what it was. Even though I'm T2, it doesn't mean that I can't go low. Just wanted others to know that.

Have a question though, what do you mean when you say you haven't been db for a year? Do you mean you haven't diabetic for a year?

ShellyLargent 2012-10-27 23:28:11 -0500 Report

The rule to remember for treating a low is 15/15. 15g of carbs, wait 15 minutes and retest. Keep repeating this until the glucose level is at a safe number, between 90 and 120. The absolute best thing to treat low sugars is glucose tablets or gels. You can get them at any drug store, pharmacy or grocery store. They are inexpensive but highly effective. And the carb counts is easily controlled. 1 tablet is 4g of carbs and the gel packs are either 15g or 16g. Because they are pure glucose they start working in a matter of a few minutes. I personally use the tablets. I have 2 or 3 of the small tubes in my purse, 2 of the large bottles at home, 1 bottle in each of our cars, and 2 bottles at work in my office. I also keep a supply of bottles at my parents house just in case I need them while visiting. Hope this answered your question.

GabbyPA 2012-10-28 23:53:30 -0500 Report

This is what I would recommend. Shelly is right. the 15/15 rule is something we all should know. And we should know the things that work. Ice cream does not, because it has fat in it. Toast does not because it has fiber in it. The Pepsi does work because it is just carb. A teaspoon of white sugar (not substitute) will work as will hard candy or even glucose tablets or gel.

I like the tablets myself, mostly because it gets so hot in Florida, I don't leave anything semi liquid in my car. But I also like them because they are measured and it is harder to over do it with glucose products. You give a measured amount easier without having to think too much about it.

Linda crutch
Linda crutch 2012-10-27 20:25:54 -0500 Report

I asked diabetic nurse at dr. She said cheese n cracker pkg and NOT a candy bar. Some people do orange juice with extra sugar or a regular soda. A protein and carb works best ( half sandwich) to sustain and not get real high and drop fast. I know this from experience and observance of other diabetics.

IronOre 2012-10-31 22:01:16 -0500 Report

she is right, but i wouldn't turn away a candy if that is the best thing that is available. Many times you just can't be picky.

Nick1962 2012-10-27 13:13:48 -0500 Report

That's going to be different for everyone. I don't feel my lows and have caught myself as low as 40 without any signs. But i think your roommate was on the right track, a small dose of sugar and a few carbs works as long as you don't overdo it. Sugar cubes, toast w/ jelly, small amount of apple or orange juice…you get the picture, will all do it. If you're roommate is slipping in and out of conciousness, obviously only liquid or just plain sugar should be put in her mouth (and yes, call the emt's), but more importantly, she should be watching this herself as well.

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