For many diabetics the hypo (hypoglycaemia) is a pretty scary and altogether awful experience. Some hypos can be easily managed whereas others can be totally debilitating and (embarrassingly) require aid from others. Fortunately, I've never experienced a hypo that I couldn't treat myself but I know a few people who have.

Luckily, my diabetes was caught relatively early, thanks to my mother who had been diagnosed prior to me and spotted the early signs. My mothers early catch meant that I was able to learn about my own body (I feel like I sound like a teenaged girl going through puberty at this point but I digress, although I could delve into my own experiences of puberty which would simply involve the sprouting of hair on just one side of my face and the dropping of my voice/testicles, but i'll leave the details for another time) and how it reacts to low blood sugar and high blood sugar. Through this early 'trial period' and the relatively low frequency of hypos I learnt how to spot and treat at the earliest possible stage. This may not sound helpful, but more than anything, what helps me spot a hypo is a totally unique feeling that's almost impossible to describe however this can be followed by confusion, hunger and commonly the last red flag for me is dizziness. This helps me spot a hypo in its early stages but for many some symptoms that include shakiness, difficulty concentrating and confusion (to name but a few) can be numbed by a high frequency of hypos or by just ignoring some signs (as I and many others have done) and they can fall deeper into the even more dangerous stages of hypoglycaemia.

A friend of mine had once gotten to a stage where she fell so deep into a hypo that she was unable to treat herself. This friend was my mom by the way. So my mother had been shopping at at local supermarket and had finished her shop, had left and was walking to her car when she felt so dizzy, confused and trembly she had to stop and almost collapsed if it weren't for a concerned passerby, who steadied her and guided her to a bench. Explaining that she was diabetic and was most likely experiencing a hypo (or more likely just said the word diabetes), my mom told the aid that she didn't have any sugary items with her (despite literally leaving a supermarket seconds earlier, which perplexed my slightly, and made me question my own mothers story). The passer-by leapt to the rescue by entering the adjacent supermarket and buying a chocolate bar and a coke (the saviour of many a student's essay deadline night) and then left (not really but that would be pretty funny). Roughly 10 minutes after drinking and eating, my mother had recovered and thanked the kind stranger, then went on with her day.

Why don't I fake this all the time!! I seriously think I should be doing this all the time to get some free food or something and I should at least try it to see if it works or see if I'm a good enough actor to convey a person with a disease that I actually have. Yah, at this point I am worried that much like the many 5.3 rated movies listed on imdb that are loosely based on 'the boy who cried wolf', I will inevitably be eating my own words when I in fact do suffer from a hypo and am left to fall into a coma by an angry mob (not sure if i'd be able to generate a scenario with a mob) whom i've scammed for bacon and other various non-hypo helping products.

So that's hypos… Awful or awesome? Well, almost certainly the former but I can dream can't I!?

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Comment by shoshana27 on March 6, 2014 at 4:28pm

i always carry glucose tabs with me & food

Comment by Dinesh on March 6, 2014 at 4:32pm

Me too! I think she was recently diagnosed. Amateur mistake.

Comment by Terrie on March 6, 2014 at 11:35pm

Well, I've had some pretty awful ones, so I've been told. As far as the awesome ones, those must be the ones that I giggled through while my Hubby grabbed a juice box for me.

That was very nice of the "stranger angel" who helped your Mom out, for sure. I hear they come in handy sometimes. Good for her!

It wouldn't be good to fake a hypo cuz there would come the time when someone would call the Paramedics with the "gluco gun." They'd be mighty surprised if they checked your blood sugar and found it was 9.1 before they gave you the shot. There'd be some chasing going on, me thinks. :)

Good blog! Thanks!

Comment by Dinesh on March 7, 2014 at 2:51am

Haha very true, I don't think I'll be trying this tactic. It was just a random thought I had when my mom told me that story. She was quite lucky that the stranger helped her out, I can imagine some people just walking past.
Hypos are weird, I might look up why hypos affect mood so much. I remember my doctor saying that it may have something to do with survival, so the brain diverts any glucose to the important parts of the brain rather than the parts responsible for emotion.
I'll try and post about it soon.
Thanks for your comment Terrie!

Comment by rick (aka: #blankieboy) on March 7, 2014 at 6:18am

Well I have had some pretty awful lows. I know that because when you wake up naked with the room destroyed and 5 EMT's giving you something in your arm you sort of get the idea. Or when you board a plane for Florida and wake up on a stretcher in Charlotte, with something in your arm, you get the sense that maybe, just maybe things did not go well.

I could be really upset with your post about faking a low for free stuff, but I will hold most of my words. What I will say is this if someone fakes one and that causes even one person to not assist a diabetic in serious need then that death or injury is on them.

You are a young man, and I suggest you enjoy every single day of being young. But do not be too smug. Many of us who have had the disease for years can no longer recognize lows before they happen. When that occurs they really can come out of the blue and thank goodness for people like the person who helped your mom. Just as I thank the pilot and flight attendant who, for whatever reason, saw me clutching a piece of paper so hard she could not get it out of my hands, while sweating like a guilty man at an interrogation and convinced the pilot to divert the flight.

Fake a low to get movie popcorn or a coke or a candy bar? I make a point, that if some one gives me something while low, I return as soon as I can and pay them back. For instance I sent a check for $200 to somewhat offset the cost of getting me off that plane and on a new one without a re-booking fee. Did they want it or expect it? Of course not. But at least I helped pay for my mistake and maybe somewhere down the road, one of those flight attendants will help you because I was responsible.

Fake a low never, awesome lows never.


Comment by Dinesh on March 7, 2014 at 6:45am

I apologise if I offended you rick, I really didn't seriously mean I was considering faking a hypo. Having experienced a coma myself from diabetes I was only trying to glean the lighter side and just explored this nebulous thought I had when I heard this story.
I've had my share of hypos as well (and expect many more in the future) and certainly didn't want to sound smug about noticing a hypo. I think my mom also repaid the stranger after getting her details.
You've obviously had a tough time with your diabetes and I apologise if this offended you, however I had no intention of 'faking' a hypo and quite honestly didn't think this would be taken so seriously.

Apologies and Regards

Comment by rick (aka: #blankieboy) on March 7, 2014 at 9:41am

Actually you did not offend me at all. I wanted to point out the terrible seriousness of lows and any concept that a diabetic might be faking , is well abhorrent to me. I will say I may have crossed the line into snarkiness and frankly I honestly thought of deleting it.

I suppose it just caught me in a wrong time and place. I cant tell you the number of times over 39 years someone has dug me out of a low blood sugar crisis. Nor the amount of time I or someone else dug my mom out. If you wish I can withdraw my comment or we can keep that one and this one and I will try to reform int he future.

I hope you accept my friend request so if I ever (I never will so your safe) get to go to England, you we can meet at the London Hard Rock and sip some suds. while I admire the temple of Hard Rock. Cheeri-o (is that even a thing Brits say these days ?)

Comment by Dinesh on March 7, 2014 at 4:29pm

You shouldn't delete your previous comment as you have every right to express how you feel and I'm sure many will agree with you, and I understand where you're coming from. As a diabetic and prospective scientist I understand the seriousness of hypos and don't actually condone the faking of any condition (I probably should have put a disclaimer at the end or start).Of course I'll accept your friend request, you seem like a very friendly guy with some interesting stories from what I can read.
England is always open and I'd be happy grab a drink with you if you ever decide to come to England. It can be quite nice sometimes! I'm glad you commented and i'm sure we'll have more interesting conversations in the future.
Haha, I suppose some happy go lucky brits say that. Catch you later!

Comment by Chip on March 7, 2014 at 9:56pm

Was recently diagnosed (October), so I'm still getting used to the whole routine -checking blood sugar, taking the insulin etc... Finding that sometimes the same blood sugar + the same insulin + the same meal doesn't always equal the same resulting bs. Fortunate to have a wife who is also a diabetic, so I have someone around who knows what's going on. It sounds like everyone's experience of the hypos is different. At this point, the hypos are "interesting". I've always been sort of weird about medical stuff - I like to watch injections, I'll watch the dermatologist carve stuff off my arms - stuff like that. So the experience is more fascinating than anything else. The first low I had was a day or two after I started on the insulin. I was feeling horrible anyway (I'd gotten so used to being in the 500s, normal levels felt awful) and I just knew something was way off. I would describe it as a very anxious feeling, I feel it creeping up on me, its an odd sensation.

Comment by shoshana27 on March 8, 2014 at 5:59am

yes it is.i used to have many different symptoms when low but after 77+ years with T1 i have hypo unawareness .
welcome to tudiabetes
why don't you join our chat room
it is great
you'll make friends & we all help each other.


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