Monday, June 13, 2011

Low blood glucose strikes again

I woke at quarter to 4 this morning when I heard a loud "thud" coming from my husband's bathroom.  I knew it didn't sound good, as there was no calling out, etc. afterwards.

Got up to go investigate, and hubby was lying on the floor in the fetal position, between the toilet and the tub.  He was also totally bathed in sweat from head to toe, and semi-conscious.  I ran to get his glucose pills, as I couldn't immediately locate the ginger ale.  Miraculously, he was still able to chew and swallow, and he took 2 glucose tablets without the usual argument he gives me over taking them.  Finally found the ginger ale (in plain sight: my brain wasn't awake yet), and got a small glass of that into him.  I then tested his blood glucose level, as he requested the testing equipment, but was in no shape to do it himself.  At this point, his sugar had gone "up" to a whopping 50.  No idea what it was when he keeled over.  By this time, he was able to talk, and was asking for cookies.  I brought more ginger ale first, as I didn't want the fat in the cookies to slow down the glucose absorption.  At some point after the cookies, he was able to get himself to a crawling position with a little help from me, and was finally able to get up and walk himself back to bed.  At that point, his glucose was at 85.

He did thank me several times for helping him, and said he had known he was light-headed, but decided to go to the bathroom first before checking.  Wrong move, but as most of us know, low blood glucose makes you "stupid."  (His words, not mine, but very true.)  When I checked the clock after he went back to bed, I realized all this had happened in less than 20 minutes.  By this time, I was wide awake.  What a "great" way (for both of us) to start the day.  :-(  The one good thing: there was no screaming or raging about anything.  I think some part of him was at least getting that I was trying to help.  Or maybe he was just too out of it to protest?

While getting ready for work, I checked on him a time or two, but he was resting comfortably and breathing normally.  Also, no more cold sweat!  I am still a little concerned, as I'm pretty sure he hit his head on either the bathtub or the floor on his way down.  He is still complaining of a headache, and his hip is paining him.

I know it could have been worse, but things like this scare the crap out of me.  What would have happened had I not checked on him?  Maybe what his endocrinologist calls a rebound blood sugar, where the body compensates after a low and goes sky high?  Or would he ever have woken up?  Sometimes, I think not knowing is the hardest of all.  As spouses, we are always second-guessing ourselves . . . or at least I am.


  1. At what point do "they" issue you a glucose monitor and teach you how to use it? We know that my husband has diabetes but nobody has said anything about going to an endocrinologist, getting overall diabetes education, a glucometer - nothing!!

  2. You need to insist that he be referred to an endocrinologist. The sooner your husband can take a proactive part in his health, the better off he will be. Usually Type 2s start out with oral medication, as at least in the beginning they are still making some insulin. I don't know as much about Type 2s . . . anyone else want to add their 2 cents here?

  3. no info on the Type 2 question
    but I have been through that 4 am episode so many times I can't count
    afterwards, Tom always slept really deeply while I couldn't fall back to sleep for just about the rest of the night -- I just kept checking to be sure that he was still breathing and was ok
    but he just kept sleeping and breathing
    he ALWAYS apologizes - sincerely
    kind of like an alcoholic - it makes me wonder
    its horrible to deal with
    you have my sympathy and compassion
    been there - done that.....

  4. My hubby didn't get a meter until he had had this for 20 years. And by then he saw no need to test. Hope you get a doc who tells him to test now!!

  5. Geez, I feel dumb. DH is not seeing an endocrinologist. Next time I see Doc I'm going to ask him about this.


  6. I will. We are near the #1 diabetes clinic in the nation. H was found to be Type 2 10 years ago and immediate was sent there. You must insist. H had damage done because for several years he refused to go back because he thought everything was fine and he was not "sick". Yah right. H also had a beef with medical records and refused to go. This cost him. When it hit the fan, I insisted he go back to the clinic and made an appointment myself. i dragged him and that is where he was finally diagnosed with the gastroparesis and treated. I has been a battle royal, but worth it. Insist on a endoccrinologist immediately. We also see a teaching nurse as well.

  7. These resources are available to us as well, but I had to dig like a truffle-sniffing pig to find out about them. This should not be necessary.

    Of the two of us, I'm the scrapper when it comes to medical things, so DH WILL see an endocrinologist ASAP. I don't really care if they don't like my attitude. They are getting paid to take care of him. I ought to know; it's MY insurance plan and I pay the premiums. I'm not going to let this one slide.

  8. Truffle-sniffing pig, huh? Funny the way you put it, but sad that you had to work that hard to get what your husband needs. I do NOT understand why some in the medical profession are not more helpful and forthcoming with information! And sometimes, we have to be scrappers to get what we need.

  9. Also, to S, Tom's Wife, and everyone
    S: Don't feel dumb. Sometimes it's hard to know which direction to turn unless someone points you there.

    Tom's Wife: Thank you for relating to this. It always helps.

    Everyone: Thanks for the comments and input, as always!