Thursday, January 10, 2013

I am vulnerable.

Today I had a low that hit me like a tonne of bricks. My CGM didn't catch it. In fact, I had just eaten a relatively carb heavy meal 30 mins prior. My bg before my meal was 6.4 (115) and I ate 50g carbs, gave my 8 unit bolus and carried on.

As I walked back to my office, I felt a wave of nausea. It subsided pretty quickly so I put my things in my office and dashed off to the bathroom before the next person in line went on lunch break. As I was washing my hands I looked in the mirror in the work bathroom and everything just started to feel....fuzzy. Things wouldn't focus right. I turned towards the opposite wall and stood for a few seconds trying to remember where the paper towel was kept. As I pumped for the paper, I got really annoyed at how loud the dispenser is an even gave an audible aughhhhh because I needed more.

So I walked back to my office. Or at least I assume I did because I came around sitting in my chair staring at a meter reading of 2.6 (42). It took me a second to realize that it was low before I emptied 5 glucose tablets into my mouth and methodically started to chew them. As they turned into a paste in my mouth I thought I better double check my sugar, and it rang up 2.0(36) this time. I stuffed two more glucose tabs in my mouth and started chewing on a piece of licorice I found in my desk (yeah, gross and yeah, I must have a huge mouth and a huge dentist bill.)

As I started to feel more stable I pulled my Dexcom reciever out of my bag and it said 99. So I guess it showed I was lower then my lunch sugar but still. It had been 18 days since I inserted my first sensor. 18 days! I pulled it. My first sensor is done if it is reading 60 off, and I will re-start one tonight.

More like 39 amirite?

Farewell sweet sensor. You did good.

So I am now 5.0 (90), and comfortable, albeit a bit hungover from that 7 glucosetablets-twopiecesof licorice-and 50g carb- hour I just had. But it was a swift reminder that even after 23 years living with Diabetes, it can still sneak up on us.

 I was reminded of Scott Johnson's Post here about his experience with passing out. And Scott Brenner's post about how his daughter, Arden, felt low but her CGM read that she was ok. You can read that here

Sometimes Diabetes makes us vulnerable, no matter what the experience level, type of diabetes or situation you are in. We have to watch out for ourselves and each other.

Despite this experience, the Dexcom has been a real savior.

I started to recognize what my lows feel like before they were "lows". I started to be more sensitive to highs, resulting in two blood sugars over 10 in the past 18 days. I have definitely had more lows (work in progress!), but I have slept through the night most nights without a low!

So I am pleased. I am still trying to find sensors that I can afford. I have had a few very generous offers to sell me some sensors, but I can't afford a lot of money to go towards them unfortunately, because as of right now it is a luxury. So again I will say if you have any Dexcom Seven plus sensors that are not being used and would like to sell them for a small price please let me know! If you have expired ones I will even give them a try!


  1. Scary. Glad you're Ok. No idea how you got from the bathroom to your desk chair?

    1. It was scary and felt sort of surreal.

      And yeah, I really don't remember leaving the bathroom or getting into my chair. Weird what the body can do, huh?

  2. Hi - I have a box of expired seven plus sensors. They all expired over 9 months ago, but I was using them just fine until this past November. I'm not using them at all. They just live in my closet. There's yours for shipping cost.

    1. Hi Lizzie! WOW! I would TOTALLY appreciate these. Please email me at: alannaswartz at gmail dot com and I will send you my info. Once you know how much they are to s hip I will email transfer it to you, or paypal (your choice!)

  3. Hi - I have a box of expired 7+ sensors that are just sitting in my closet. I'd be happy to send them to you for the cost of shipping only. I'm in DC. Just send me an email.

    emusar (at)

  4. Ok this post combined with Scotts post and the fact that (and I hesitate to share but also feel a need to) the 26 year old daughter of my husbands employee passed away at night over the weekend due to what they believe was a severe low has me quite devastated. Somehow in the last 6 years of living with D in the house (first with sugarboy then again with sweetstuff) I never allowed myself to think that my kids will still be "vulnerable" after they leave my nest. In my head I convinced myself that if I can just get them safely thorough childhood and the teenage years all will be well. I have since stopped deluding myself and reality of how vulnerable all pwd are has hit me harder than I could have every imagined. I am thankful you caught it and very thankful for CGMs and Diabetes Alert Dogs. Nothing seems failsafe but at least there are some tools that will offer some comfort to me and other parents of cwd as we send our kiddos off into the world. Again I am glad you are safe and that you have your CGM - all pwd and cwd should be offered and encouraged to use CGMs - Come on FDA please approve Dexcom G4 for under 17. Hugs Alanna.

  5. Christina: I know my mother is going to read this, have a moment in her head where she freaks out, and then sends me an email alluding to my post making sure I am ok.

    It is a parents' job to worry. At least part of it. What you can't do is let the worry and fear ruin any other experiences. It's just a fact that these things come with the territory. We just need to be vigilant and keep going.

    Also this may comfort you in that it is only the second time in my dia-life I recall being low enough to feel disoriented. And that is 23 years of diabetes.

    Just make sure your kids understand the importance of vigilant testing and that's all you can do.

    1. Your words are like a hug for my soul. Thanks Alanna.

  6. Glad you made it back to your desk! It is odd how the body can do that...the same second where it forgets to let you know you're dropping. I had a rough low the day before Scott wrote about his passing out, then another this morning while driving into work. The kind where you don't feel right until all of a sudden it hits you 'Shit. Get Food NOW.' I never used to have these sneak up on me- and not thrilled about the change!

  7. Ugh, that's so scary. I think a small part of us needs to believe we are safe and invincible, just to be able to carry on every day with diabetes. And that makes it even worse when the reality sneaks in and makes us feel vulnerable. I'm glad you are okay, and thank you for sharing so we can all remember to be a little more aware of what is going on and how we are feeling. Hugs to you!!