About Me

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I'm a glass-half-full type of girl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease in 2010 and life-altering allergies in 2013. I believe having a positive attitude is the only way to live with dis-ease. I also believe that life doesn't have to be PERFECT for it to be WONDERFUL. Dis-ease is expensive, so I live a frugal yet healthy lifestyle. This is just my blog; my day-to-day story.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hellooooo paramedics.

Yesterday was a complete crap show.

I woke up, skipped breakfast and ran out the door to take care of a few things. (Mistake #1).

Stressed out about a recent event, I skipped lunch because I didn't feel hungry. (Mistake #2).

Fast forward to around 4pm. Still stressed and not hungry, I decided to just drink some coffee. I was talking to my sister on the phone, when I felt the wave of low blood sugar come over me and I blurted out "I don't feel good." My sister asked me what my blood sugar was and I began digging in my purse, looking for my CGM. Where is he and why isn't he beeping if I'm low? Apparently, he had tried to warn me. He had already vibrated in my purse but I didn't hear him. My CGM said 37 with double down arrows. Then it switched to saying "LOW" with double-down arrows. My bg was too low to register. Uh oh.

I grabbed some oj from the fridge and started chugging. I had a sneaking suspicion it was too late. At that moment, I had one of those low bg reactions where you start weepy crying for no reason. And then I got sweaty. Really, really sweaty. My sister was frantically asking questions, I could hear her, but I couldn't respond. I could envision my answers; I just couldn't spit out the words. Nothing would come out. I sat down on the kitchen floor. At this point, I'm panicked and know I'm in trouble. My sister knows it, too.

My sister calls for help for me.

Within a short amount of time two fire trucks, a police car and an ambulance arrived. Still somewhat alert, I'm having tubes of glucose gel squirted in my mouth. There's a blood pressure cuff on my arm. Someone's holding my hand and poking my fingers every few minutes. I was thinking in my head that I should tell them there's a 15-minute rule for carbs. I hear numbers being blurted out. "40." "42." "51." I'm starting to feel better, whew. A fireman is squatting next to me asking me if I know what day it is. A police officer is digging in my wallet looking for my driver's license.

They stay with me for probably 45 minutes. My blood sugar had reached 95 at this point. The police officer offered to make me a peanut butter sandwich. She is digging through cupboards trying to find carbs I can eat. I politely decline, but am told that they cannot leave (per policy) until they witness me eating carbs, so I grab a bag of rice chips and start chowing down.

After they left, I sat on the couch and just replayed the event over in my head. Did that really happen? I've read about these situations in my diabetes magazines, but I never thought it would happen to me. I am too meticulous, too careful, too type A to ever let something like this happen. I manage my diabetes to a "T," I've got my own flow charts and trending sheets and spreadsheets and addendums to those spreadsheets. I check my bg throughout the day like a maniac. But I got over confident. I forgot one thing- that no matter what situation the day brings, Rules For Diabetes Always Comes First. Like the rule of eating. And managing stress levels. And keeping your CGM in your pocket so you can actually hear it alarming. Diabetes doesn't turn itself off when you have something more important to deal with. It doesn't step down when you need a break from it. It's like the bully at school that's there day after day, just waiting for you around the corner.

After I ruminated about the situation, I took a deep breath, got up from the couch and started a luke warm bubble bath. I grabbed my Us Weekly celebrity smut magazine. I didn't beat myself up for making a mistake that day (...or two...or three). I just said to myself "tomorrow is a new day."

I'm a permanent student of diabetes, and there's a lot to learn.


  1. So glad you're OK and your sister was able to call the paramedics. I had a similar experience back in January, complete with paramedics in my bedroom at 2am (ugh) and you're right, the best and only thing you can do is say "tomorrow is a new day." When I've had a crap d-day, I tell myself "the scoreboard resets to 0-0 at midnight."

  2. Fiona, I read your blog entry about your scary incident. Very scary. It is a blessing that you have such a great person in your life to assist you! You have a great attitude about t1. I think that having a good attitude is a great measure of "control" over this disease. Succumbing regularly to sadness, self-pity, bitterness and withdrawal gives diabetes the power.

  3. Nikki: I'm glad it turned out OK, and that your sister was on the phone and had enough sense to call for help. I've been there myself, as one of those newer versions of "spreadsheet carrying mad-testing diabetics." But yes, these things sometimes happen even when we do everything right. And they are soooo embarrassing. With a sense of bizzare humor, I note that the line of paramedics/fire trucks/police have come visited our house a handful of times -and I'd started to learn them by name at one point. About that time, it was my conclusion that a CGM was needed to get things better managed. Anyhow, like I said: glad it turned out OK in the end.