Living Alone with Diabetes


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: 69
Latest Activity: Feb 25

Diabetes Forum

Sleep issues

Started by Nell. Last reply by cattiecannslugg Jan 15. 7 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

Greatest fear re living alone?

Started by Nell. Last reply by cattiecannslugg Jan 15. 15 Replies

Let me start with this question.What is the biggest fear or concern that you have about living alone?The answer to this question may lead us to some other topics.My greatest fear is slipping into…Continue

New members

Started by Nell. Last reply by cattiecannslugg Jan 15. 16 Replies

We have gotten several new members during the past few weeks. The latest being Georgina and Jeff, both on the same day.Welcome to all. I am so pleased to see this group grow in numbers.However, there…Continue

Dex Share?

Started by Nell. Last reply by Janny Dec 28, 2014. 6 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

Comment Wall


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Comment by Nell on January 7, 2015 at 12:57pm

Arfiezy, re your email about your bad low. I agree that your db education nurse was trying to get a good history to really understand the potential for possible re-occurrences. The 530 does have the 'stop' feature but just keep in mind that all the cgms, and especially the built-in Medtronic one, is only as good as how accurate it is. Both the Medtronic and the Dex are good but not perfect in accuracy. So, unfortunately, the fingersticks remain with us! And even the glucose meters vary in accuracy. This is not to discourage you as I totally think you need a pump and cgm but just to caution that no equipment is yet perfected. I like the consistency of my Dex and BG readings much of the time but they can be off quite a bit too. I recommend you check out the Medtronic group that has 530 users and get their feedback on their experience to date.
And, I think you will love having a pump! I have used Medtronic from day 1, which for me was 1/2001. I would check out both Medtronic and Animus. If you use 40 or more total units per day, in my opinion, it is better to get the bigger reservoir that Medtronic has (300u) vs the smaller reservoir (180-200u) of the Animus. Over time, insulin doses can creep up in many. I encourage you to check out both groups on this site. Best to you!!

Comment by Nell on December 10, 2014 at 6:46am

Arfiezy, the Dex product info I put in this group was seen as of possible interest to a person living alone. Another way to get our info out to people who can help. If, for example, you could share your glucose readings with a sibling or other relative who checks on you, it would lessen their work by being able to view how you are doing without running over to see if you are in a hypo. Etc.
Anything that affects a person with diabetes can be magnified if you live alone, as you probably know.
As for Dex being a product, yes, it is. There are many Dex and Medtronic cgm users on this forum. No one pushes one product over the other. I happen to be a dex user. Others use and like the Medtronic attached cgm. It is not important to this reply why I choose Dex but I was not pushing the product, just providing info to anyone interested. If it is not for you, then that is absolutely fine, just ignore it.
Wait, going back to your question about Dex on the website as a whole. I guess I do need to go further. Diabetes products are integrated into our hourly lives and most of us have questions and comments about all of them. There are both Dex and Medtronic and other pump and cgm and glucose meter groups on this forum. You can find discussions or groups about whatever product or social topic is of interest to you. If product use is not your thing, then there are plenty of other topics that you may find useful and interesting. It is a chore, currently, but you can click on Groups on the top menu and scan through hundreds of different groups. Or just look at the home page for current comments and topics that are "happening now."

There are plenty of folks on the site who either take only oral meds or who inject insulin and do not pump. There are huge numbers who do not use a cgm. But, of those who do use a cgm, my guess is that on this site, the Dex may have an edge. That is why you see it referenced so often. Most feel it is the most accurate, hence, its popularity.

But, who cares which diabetes maintenance product we use? The only issue for me is how to use mine effectively and to get feedback on problem solving when I need it.

I look forward to any discussions you want to initiate on this forum. And, from my experience of this site, any kinds of genuine questions are welcome. I appreciate your asking rather than just being turned off by what you may be seeing as "product placement." It is not that. The administrators and "regulars" are far more articulate than me but I hope I answered your question somewhat.

Comment by Arfiezy on December 10, 2014 at 6:14am

What is all the appearance of "Dex" product virtually everywhere at this otherwise cool-looking website? What diff does it make at, say, "Living Alone with Diabetes" group (and a variety of other places here at TUDiabetes? (as moderator/creator if you, Neil, feel that this should be posted elsewhere at TUD, pls post it to Admin or the like, and let me know. OTHERWISE, look fwd to learning, sharing ALONE experience(s) here!

Comment by Nell on October 7, 2014 at 9:09am

LADA, I am sorry you had such a bad hypo. I hope that you get your knee checked out, especially if you think you tore some ligaments.
I am surprised that a bottle of OJ (not sure how many ounces) would not bring your BG back up before a seizure occurred. OJ is very sweet and it does not take much of it to work on me. I try to use the small bottles of real grape juice (Welch's) and about 4 to 6 ounces is what it takes for me. I also keep packets of sugar wherever I sit plus at the bedside so that I can grab them if needed. I don't like the chalky glucose tabs.
Can you keep glucose items (tablets, sugar packs, small tubes of cake icing, skittles, boxed juice, whatever) at all your "perching" places?

Comment by LADA 2008 on October 7, 2014 at 8:19am

I had my first severe hypo with seizures last friday morning. I was, fortunately, woken up by my CGM alarm that had stopped basal dosages, checked my BG's and was at 52 (2.9 mmol), drank a bottle of OJ and lied on the floor of the kitchen waiting for the glucose to kick in. Unfortunately, I think I went into seizure. I was conscious, sort of, but couldn't get up and had no control of my limbs. So I just tried to relax and was able to get up about 20 minutes later. I either strained or tore ligaments in my knees.

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


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