Well folks, I had quite the episode of low blood sugar yesterday. This might be a bit long, but I'm hoping that by telling you what happened to me, it might stick with you if you have an episode like I did, and even when you are a bit foggy, you'll react differently than I did.
Guess I was getting a bit cocky with things, as my levels have been pretty stable for a few months. At noon I had a sandwich from a local fast food place (Tim Hortons) it was turkey on whole wheat with veggies...and then I got busy at work and forget to check levels later in the afternoon, and didn't have a mid afternoon snack.
Went to Costco and about 15 minutes in realized my vision was really wonky. I have new progressive glasses, so was putting the problem down to those and the big overhead lights. The vision problem was getting worse & worse, couldn't see the left hand side of prices or print, and the brain was having trouble processing what the eyes were seeing. It took me another 10 or 15 minutes to clue in it might be blood sugar. Fortunately I carry a testing set in my purse. Found a quiet spot to test - was at 4.8 (86.4) - for me that's low, anything under a 5 and I start to feel funky.
It took me awhile to get my brain wrapped around the fact that I had to do something, I had apples in my cart so opened the bag and started eating one.
One of the fellows that gives out samples of things spoke to me as I walked by and asked if I was ok...dumb me...what do I say "just fine thanks"...why is that? If I had said, no actually, I'm diabetic and my blood sugar is low, he likely would have found me a place to sit and get things back level. I had several opportunities to ask for help and didn't.
Got to the checkout counter and couldn't think what I was supposed to do. I knew I had to give the cashier my Costco card...did I think that I was supposed to put the groceries on the belt for her? Nope. The cart in front of me was to close to mine and she needed to get between them to move that one of the way...did I think to back up mine? Nope, until she asked me. She was getting in a real snit, thinking I was just being a rude customer. At that point her attitude got through my fog. Did I tell her forcebly I was diabetic? Nope. Just quietly said "I'm having a low blood sugar moment and that's why I'm eating the apple, and I'm a little foggy".(She ignored that) I wear a medic alert bracelet, it never occured to me to turn my wrist over so she could see it. I had another couple of opportunities to ask for help, someone tried to sell me a ticket for something on the way out of Costco and the person at the door that checks the receipts. I didn't do either, and didn't think to use my cell phone to call anyone.
Got to the car, by then the apple was kicking in and the brain worked a bit. Knew I couldn't just drive off yet - so had 4 of the individual servings of cheese to try and get things balanced. After sitting there about 15 minutes I was feeling well enough to drive. Went through a drive through and got a large coffee with cream. Thought I was just fine...so I carried on to the grocery store that's on the way home to pick up the smaller things that Costco doesn't have. Started to feel weird in there again, vision was getting fuzzy on the edges. Bought a package of mixed nuts, and munched on those and sipped my coffee for the drive home, about 25 mins.
My son wasn't home when I got in, so I slepped all the bags & packages up the stairs and into the house. Then started feeling really off, hot/cold, sweaty on the brow line, upset stomach and cold hands/feet. Was going into shock, which I do really easily. If I get hurt, or even getting blood drawn, this darn body of mine goes into shock, so I do realize the symptoms. Phoned my Mom...dumb, she's 4 hours away, but has really high first aid levels. She talked to me for about 45 minutes, got me to put on the kettle make a pot of tea, get a blanket, go sit on the sofa with my feet up, asked what I'd eaten, had I tested, where was my blood pressure at? I have a blood pressure machine here, so went and tested - was on the higher end of normal for me but not to bad. Son came home about then and stuck pretty close, we watched a couple of episodes of a show on dvd and had a quiet evening.
Just about bed time I had a major carb craving, I could have happily scarfed a whole bag of chips or sleeve of crackers down. Fortunately I didn't - but I'm thinking that insane craving must have been part of the whole episode.
So what did I learn (and hopefully you can take something from this)...ask for help! Don't get to complacent with the eating just because you are getting good numbers. Have a plan in place that you think about from time to time..."if I get in trouble with the diabetes..this is who I'll call, or who I can ask for help. Or this is what I'll do" Perhaps even having a card in your wallet/pocket or purse that you can give someone. I think it's like having an emergency plan, if you think about it, then if something happens you are more likely to react properly.
I'm lucky...I didn't crash my car, pass out in the store, or at home when I was alone for that hour.
Possibly part of why I got hit so hard yesterday is that I've been losing weight and my blood sugar levels must be readjusting all the time. I thought the weight was coming off at the reasonable rate, but the body may have other thoughts on that too.