Living Alone with Diabetes

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Living Alone with Diabetes

Individuals with diabetes who live alone face the usual complex self-management challenges that all PWDs face. Living alone, however, brings additional challenges. Only a few are noted here. Some "aloners" (new term?) face personal and medical safety issues with hypo unawareness, acute illnesses (who makes the chicken soup for flu?), and injuries, to name a few. Some may run higher than desired BGs during sleep to avoid a hypo reaction. There are unique challenges with planning, prepping, and eating nutritionally for one as well as possible temptations to be inconsistent with physical activity habits.
Some aloners are more isolated socially than others or may not have anyone nearby to check on them. Very low hypoglycemic reactions can be dangerous if there is no one to help.
Online discussions specific to this group will help to better focus and describe the unique characteristics of solo self management.
The objectives of this group are to: 1) discuss living alone with diabetes, 2) develop awareness of the concerns, fears, and safety problems of solo self management, and 3) develop potential solutions, through group interactions, that may improve personal confidence, safety, and self management activities.

Members: 47
Latest Activity: Sep 5

Diabetes Forum

Sleep issues

Started by Nell. Last reply by Nell Jul 7. 6 Replies

First, Welome to Chadd to this group. You are a solid #40 to join! Hope you contribute your ideas and thoughts.Now, to this sleep thread. Does anyone of you who live alone have trouble sleeping? I do…Continue

Dex Share?

Started by Nell. Last reply by Janny Jul 6. 5 Replies

This news is a bit old but I just ran across it and it looks as if it would be a great feature for those of us who live alone, once it is approved. See…Continue

Alone and self medicating

Started by Neil Jun 16. 0 Replies

I do not live alone but do work alone. Alone in my case means I am the only expat on the site the rest are LN Iraq guys. None of them have any idea what D is or how to treat it. I have talked to two…Continue

Welcome to new members

Started by Nell. Last reply by Bambi Oct 1, 2013. 1 Reply

Welcome to Bambi and any other new members on the group. We haven't been very active lately but maybe it is related to getting started with your summer activities.Please read the posts, including our…Continue

Comment Wall

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Comment by Nell on March 15, 2014 at 8:37pm

Michelle, welcome to this group. Many of us here share your concerns. I strongly advocate for a cgm, especially the Dexcom G4. You will see on this forum that it is more popular than the Medtronic one due to its better accuracy.
My Dex G4 is what helps me to sleep without too much worry at night. Its beep wakes me at my low alert of 80 so I can grab my quick carb by the bed. And it wakes me if I hit 180 which is currently my upper alarm number. I know that would be considered high for some but... Anyway, let us know how the appt goes and if your endo will support the cgm. I hope so. And, yes, it can sure help if you think you made a mistake with insulin. Mine also helps me to know if I forgot to do a meal bolus! It starts shooting up fairly quickly.
Re tonight, I would suggest setting your alarm and checking a couple of times during the night--just to be on the safe side.

Comment by Michelle on March 15, 2014 at 8:05pm
I live alone and it causes me great anxiety. I am thankful that I rent a walk out basement apt and my landlords know I am diabetic on insulin. But, we all work and there may be days when we don't see each other. I fear going low at night. My next appt is Wednesday and I'm going to inquire about a CGSM. I think that will help my anxiety. For example, tonight I feared I took 60 units Apidra instead of Lantus. Been testing every 20 minutes. I think I'm good, aside from the anxiety.
Comment by Nell on February 18, 2014 at 12:18pm

alex, I should look at your profile but will just quickly note a couple of things I have done. My endo wants me to run a bit high during the night (100 to 120). Actually he wanted me to set my CGM warning at 120 but I dropped it back to 90 instead of my usual 80. If you do not have a cgm, then my endo also told me to not eat carbs at bedtime but if I "had" to eat something to focus on proteins.
If there is any way your insurance would allow a cgm (with or without a pump) it would help your sleep. Some say the warning beep is too low for them but there is always the metal saucepan to put it in! You set your low and high limits on the cgm and it beeps when your BG reaches either. So, in the daytime, mine beeps at 80 and I know to eat something.
I am sure that everyone has given you references for carb counting so you can adjust your insulin accordingly. I am in a bit of a hurry now but if you give any extenuating circumstances, we could perhaps help more. Will check back.

Comment by smartalex1972 on February 18, 2014 at 11:43am
I don't live alone but I do sleep alone which is a source of anxiety for me. I worry so much about nocturnal hypos that I don't sleep more than a few hours at a time.
Comment by shoshana27 on September 28, 2013 at 1:41am

i test often to prevent lows due to hypo unawareness & still sometimes miss a low

Comment by Natalie ._c- on August 12, 2013 at 7:20pm

Mine does creep down too. Which is why I go on the BG reading as well as the arrow. The other thing is, if you creep down consistently (which I don't), then a bedtime protein snack is really important, because the protein/fat combination will help keep you level. But I know that some people are so volatile, even that doesn't help.

Comment by Nell on August 12, 2013 at 2:11pm

I keep my low range at 80 also but I am not sure that I trust the arrow on mine. Especially during the night when the alarm wakens me. I take sugar at that level so that I don't get "beeped" again in 15 minutes just as I get back to sleep. Many times the arrow shows level and then it creeps on down! But, each metabolism is different - mine is volatile.

Comment by Natalie ._c- on August 12, 2013 at 11:37am

I have my low range set at 80. Then, when it alerts me that I'm below 80, I know to test. Then, if I'm OK, I watch the arrow -- if it's level, I just continue to watch it, but if it's trending down, then I treat. Better to treat an impending low than to wait for it to actually happen!

Comment by katie on August 12, 2013 at 12:45am

Hi Gaby, I had the same problem and almost died several times. The G4 has saved my life. hypo-unawareness is just awful and I hate it. My cat woke me up once, but I cannot count on her while I'm driving. G4 is the lifesaver. Be sure to set your low range a little higher too. This way when you start to drop you can catch it before you go to low to take care of yourself. Welcome to the Dexcom family.

Comment by JaninaWalker on August 11, 2013 at 9:23pm

Hi Gaby:
Since you can't observe yourself asleep, maybe it isn't only sniffing they are doing but maybe you are thrashing around and sweating which are two other ways a body will react in a low. The cats may indeed have figured a lot out, as they can tell when we are not happy, but maybe they do know from experience that you need waking. It might be that you are not aware that you do all sorts of things when in a low and asleep. I fear the lows I have while asleep because I sleep longer and it goes even lower.

 

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