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Let me first start by stating that I had gestational diabetes while I was pregnant and I successfully managed it with a heart-breakingly strict diet. I remember feeling sick and scatterbrained when low, along with feeling tired, clumbsy etc etc

My daughter (Liz) turned a year old yesterday! Today was her first full day as a 1 year old and she was put n a VERY dangerous situation that I'm not even sure how to react to. I need some help.

My mother-in-law (Jane) is a type 1 diabetic with MS and a laundry list of other "conditions." (I say that with quotations because she is a compulsive liar so I don't know what problems are real other than the diabetes and MS. And before anyone gets mad at me - SHE IS A CONFIRMED AND DIAGNOSED SOCIOPATH! I'm not just being mean)

Jane manages her diabetes with an insulin pump and by eating candy and peanut butter when she is starting to get low, or by just drinking a coke. She sleeps until 1 in the afternoon, gets up and eats 2 or 3 peanut butter crackers and then goes several hours without eating anything else. Around 5 she eats a few pieces of chocolate to hike her sugar back up until dinner which is usually around 9ish. Lately she hasn't been bothering to eat dinner. She used to at least eat a few bites before claiming it was making her sick but now she just claims she doesn't feel good and waits until we have all finished eating before she grabs some popcorn followed by icecream or cake (or whatever sugary goodness she is in the mood for) Point being she doesn't even try to take care of herself anymore. (I've known her for 10 years and frankly I'm not sure how she is even alive anymore) Needless to say her levels are all over the place all day long.

She gets low (40-50) almost every day (usually around dinner time but sometimes she crashes out before she is even out of bed for the day) I've gotten pretty good at telling when she is getting low or at least I thought I had. She starts to act mad, slur her words and talk in circles (repeating herself over and over again) her face stops showing much emotion other than confusion, her posture sometimes changes, she starts tripping over thin air, and she stops talking to herself (she has no inner monologue).

Today when Jane got up around 1:30-2 PM today she came into the living room and checked her blood as she always does and started talking to herself (as she always does) she went into the kitchen for a few minutes and dug around in the pantry for her crackers. She then came back into the living room where Liz and I were playing and kinda just took over with Liz. I thought nothing of it, She wasn't showing any signs of being low and had just came in from eating so I left Liz with her and went to the bathroom. I was gone MAYBE 5 minutes. When I came back into the living room I could hear them at the end of the hall playing with the books so I started picking up the toys and a few more minutes later I went back to check in on them and pull a load of laundry outta the dryer. I put the laundry up and came back to the living room; again I could hear them in the hall- so I sat on the couch and started doing some work on the computer.

It gets quiet. I assumed they went into the bedroom to pay (not unusual) so I keep working but listening as well. It stays quiet for about 10 minutes (starting to get a little unusual, Jane doesn't keep her mouth shut for that long). I am relieved to hear Liz crawling up the hall towards the living room so I start talking to her, asking what she is doing and telling her to come closer to me. I still don't hear Jane though. Liz stopped in the middle of the hall, just out of sight from me. I could hear Liz slapping something on the floor so I got up to see what they were doing...

Words can not even describe what I felt when I came around that corner and saw Liz sitting alone in the hall playing with an open pair of scissors. Swinging them around, grabbing them with her tiny bare hands, slapping them into her lap and onto the floor. How tightly she grabbed them when I tried to get them from her. I have never been so afraid in my life. Luckily Liz did not hurt herself, she has a few small scratches on her legs but there was no blood and by bed time they were mostly vanished.

After I got the scissors away from Liz and knew she wasn't hurt, I put her in her exer-saucer and went to confront Jane. I burst into her room and slammed the scissors on her nightstand; I wanted to hit her. I wanted to scream at her. I wanted to show her exactly what Liz could have done to herself with those scissors.

Jane was low. Jane decided that she was tired and wanted to take a nap so she was climbing into bed. I was so furious that I just left her there. Within 10 minutes she was yelling which is her final stage before crashing so I called her husband to come home and deal with her. I didn't tell him what happened just that Jane was laying in bed screaming and that someone needed to come help her.

After he got home it took an insulin shot and half a glass or orange juice with added sugar to get her back up and functional. She avoided me for the rest of the day, hardly spoke to me. That was probably in her best interest. I don't know how to react to her right now.

I told my husband that from this point forward I will always assume that Jane is low unless proven otherwise. She lied about her numbers today and then lied about eating. I can't trust her any more so I have to physically see her putting food into her mouth and swallowing it to know that she ate something. Going forward I will not allow her alone with Liz, Liz will not be allowed to play in her bedroom or out of sight from me or my husband at any given time.

Tomorrow when she gets up - she will not be allowed to touch Liz until I have seen her glucose level and have seen her eat something. And when she gets mad (because she will get mad no matter how I try to approach her about this) I will explain what happened today. That she faked me out about being low, pretended to eat, and put my daughter in danger. Liz's well being is much more important to me than Jane's feelings.

My question is - Does she remember what goes on while she is low? I know that once she crashes there is no memory because she is unconscious but when she is up and functioning with low blood sugar does she remember whats happened once she recovers?
 

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Memory after a low is a very individual thing. We cannot tell you more from here.

However, I can advise that insulin should NEVER be given to treat a low. The orange juice is fine; glucose tabs are better. Jane should re-test 15 minutes after treatment to make sure she's moving up (but not too fast or high).

After that test, a meal of meat, fish or eggs and, perhaps, green leafy veggies would be good. (Doesn't have to be fancy.) Jane should test again 1 hour after that meal. If her glucose is now too high, that's the time for a corrective dose of insulin.

Your MIL appears to be eating carbs, peanut butter (which is also pretty carby) and not much else. Her control will continue to be poor unless she cuts those carbs out, and eats healthier foods. As you've noted, poorly controlled glucose is not brain-friendly.

As for other issues ... it is extremely challenging (understatement) to care for an infant, soon to be a toddler, and a poorly controlled adult diabetic at the same time. This is true even when no additional behavioral issues are present.

If I may be so bold ... it may be time to consider a change in general arrangements. Hopefully, you and your husband can work together on this.

Depending on your total situation (which I admit I do not know), you may want to look into caregiving forums, an elder/disabled care attorney, and/or a placement agency.

Wishing the best for you and your whole family!
 

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I have been low and I get irritable for sure, so thats common with the diabetes.. I don't know much about MS, but as far as diabetes goes, she is definitely doing the worst possible things to treat it.. it sounds like this person may need a home nurse or maybe assisted living to be honest.. just someone there to ensure she is taking better care of herself.. sorry to hear that you had to go through that scare with your child, if I was in that situation my reaction would have been way worse.. so you handled it well.. best wishes going forward.
 

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I had reactive hypo's when I first joined this rodeo. And can say, for me, I did not lose memory but the experience was devastating. I frequently ended up spending the rest of the day feeling very weak and ill.

If your in-laws use insulin to treat a low ..... oh golly, they really don't understand diabetes. What Shalynne said. Adding insulin to a low is the equivalent of using paper to try to put out a forest fire.

IMO, and this is just me, your MIL is extremely ill. Her reactions are not going to be predictable. She should not be responsible for a child. Not for an hour, not for a minute.

Please accept my sympathies. This is a nightmare.
 

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I am so sorry you are having to deal with this!

As mentioned earlier, memory loss while low varies by individual, and her MS may indeed be playing a role.

Just as my personal experience, when I get low, which is fortunately pretty rare, I have total memory loss. We ALL know that if BG drops to 70 or 60, we need to stop what we're doing and EAT. Unfortunately, life happens... and there are occasional slips of control.

With all due respect, your Mother-in-law doesn't seem to care. That is a scary situation, as going too low can of course cause serious injuries, coma, and even death.

But anyhow, my experiences are if I don't stop and eat, I will end up waking up in bed, usually with high BG, and my husband will tell me that I was low, because I was angry and yelling and impossible to calm down until I crash in the bed. He will then give me orange juice or glucose while I am still awake (fortunately I have never refused,) and then I will fall asleep and wake up high, unknown to me that any of this happened.
 

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I am not a fan of MIL living with family, unless you have no other options.

I must assume that financially, you and MIL have no other choice and that you have already checked all other options. If you have not done this investigation do it now as you do need to get her the heck out. Most states/countries have places and subsidies to help families deal with indigent family members.

That being said it seems like you are enabling her by having the junk food around for her. Simply advise her that you cannot afford nor will you provide unhealthy food for her any longer. If she has the ability and the funds to go get her own junk food, then she can get her own place.

Seems your first obligation is to protect your baby. I would not let her be alone with this MIL! Nothing good will come from that and something bad might happen. Managing this while the MIL is still living with you will be problematic, but you really have no other safe option.

My wife and I have dealt with my mother who had emphysema for over 12 years and now my wife's father who is 100 now, and he has a host of medical problems. In each case we found a place where they could live, where we could still see them and help support them, but we did not want them living with us if another option could be found. They both were/are too proud to knowingly accept anything from us or would want to live in our home. I know sometimes families have no choice. But I have found if you do the research and cut back a bit on your own spending, with help they can live decently in a place where they get support that they need 24/7 if necessary.

Good Luck
 

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Harley, the OP started this thread in Sept. last year and hasn't been back on the board since that day.

Since you have had some experience in hypo-unawareness, it might be an interesting topic of discussion - why don't you start a new thread on this topic and relay what you posted here.
 
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