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Exercising My Right to Loiter.

The Dexcom said 177 mg/dl and dropping, but after a full 60 minutes of cardio, I expected the graph to show a lower trend. 

"Whatever," I said, a little confused because my pre-workout blood sugar was 143 mg/dl.  Felt foggy, but I was a little dehydrated so I figured I needed to get home and relax.  Ignoring the cotton-ball haze I felt encased by, I grabbed my keys and gym back from the locker room and walked out into the parking lot.  After trying to get into someone else's black Honda Civic (forgetting, in my fog, that we replaced my old car for the Mom Car), I put the key in my car's ignition and sat there for a few seconds.

And then a few seconds more.

It wasn't until I was out there for about two full minutes that I thought "Hey, might want to double-check that Dexcom reading" with my meter.  The receiver was now showing some double-down arrows.  And my glucose meter confirmed with a bright, shiny 35 mg/dl.

"Oh, you suck," I said directly to my diabetes.  And like a fast, hot breeze, all the symptoms of the low hit in full force, as though seeing the number made it actually real.

Now that the weather is warmer, glucose tabs are all I keep on tap in my car for lows, but since I felt like a pile of crumbs, I thought it would be safer to go back into the gym and let someone kHi!  I'm Victor the Velociraptor.  And I have "low face."now I was having some trouble.  Because if I passed out, for the first time, in my car, it would take a long time for someone to find me.

On autopilot, I went back into the gym.  The guy at the counter was checking in some new members, but he looked twice at me as I grabbed a bottle of orange juice from the cooler and leaned heavily on the counter, downing the majority of the bottle in a few sips.  

"You okay?" he asked.

"Not really.  I'm having a very low blood sugar moment right now and I didn't want to sit in my car alone, in case there was a problem."  I tried to smile, but I was so jerky and unsteady that I resembled a hungry velociraptor more than a woman.  All teeth, stretched smile, and my eyes were trying to find something that was roughly 1,000 yards away.

"Okay.  We'll wait until you're up again."  He finished signing in the new members and I tried to convince myself I was at a bar instead of the gym.  ("How you doin'?  Sure, you can buy me a ... a bottle of juice.")

For about fifteen minutes, the gym guy chatted with me about how diabetes - both type 1 and type 2 - has infiltrated his family.  Grandmothers on both sides, aunts, cousins, his sister, his father and his mom ... the list of affected family went on for the duration of my low blood sugar.  So many members of his family were dealing with some version of this disease.  He knew exactly how diabetes could ruin your day.  And he could see how it was ruining mine.

"I am sorry for taking up so much of your time.  I feel much better now.  Thanks for keeping an eye on me, and I h" I said sheepishly, back up to 98 mg/dl and feeling more human and less dinosaur-y.

"Any time.  You were exercising your right to loiter," he said.  "It's a good way to cool down after a workout, right?"

"Sometimes it's the only exercise I get these days."

Comments

That was very smart (and non-stubborn) of you to go back into the gym. I wonder if (and hope) I would have done the same.

I also had a similar situation, but I had a hard time communicating to passer byers to please help me. If it was not for husband showing up at the gym, I don't know what would of happen.

I was going to a college interview once after about two hours of sleep for the entire night, so I stopped to grab a double-shot latte on the way. Not realizing how the nerves and the coffee were going to affect my blood sugar, I didn't test after the interview.

I got on the subway (the wrong one, I might add, because I'm not a city kid), and started to go back to school.

After a few stops on the train, I realized that I needed to switch to a different one, so I got out and walked across the platform. As I leaned out over the tracks to look for the oncomming train, a voice in my head told me that if I didn't back off, I'd faint into the train tracks.

I should've tested, but I was embarrassed, so I took a healthy step back and left it alone.

I got off one stop early, but I couldn't find the restaraunt I wanted to go to for lunch. So I walked 11 blocks and two avenues back to school with a wicked low blood sugar.

I was to stubborn to stop at a candy stand along the way (I was too low to understand just HOW low I was), and I told the irritating voice in my head to leave me alone, that I wasn't going to faint, that I didn't need food because I'd get it when I got back to school.

After my blood sugar had come up (thanks to a cup of regular Coke), I realized just what could've happened. At the time, I didn't wear a medical alert bracelet, and if I'd fainted in the middle of Manhattan, no one would've known what to do with me. That's pretty scary.

Kerri, I'm amazed that even with a 35, you had the clarity to go back inside! Hopefully someday my low blood sugar counterpart will learn to be less stubborn...

I keep Gu packs in my car, purse etc. I love them because they keep well, have 25 grams per pack and are easy to get into. I have had trouble with juice boxes when really low. I buy Gu or other sports gel.Also, one group I was in with really smart IDDM said to put glucose under the seat, and also in low drawers in the house.Good move I think, in case the stupid LBS drops to a very low place.
Tracy
Pumper 13 years IDDM since 79.

I am so thankful for this guy and his goodwill! And appreciate his wordplay, too! He makes the movie theater people of yore look even worse, and I didn't think that was possible!

That reminds me of a time, years ago, before blood glucose meters had even been invented (maybe 1980) when I walked out to my car in the driveway and couldn't figure out how to open the door! My sister-in-law happened to drive to the house just at that instant, and realized I was in trouble. She brought me inside and got me juice.
I'm also glad to know that the DexCom also cannot possibily ALWAYS catch every low, especially following exercise. I use a MiniMed CGM, and the only time its lag time can be annoying is immediately following a hard workout. Otherwise I get results amazingly close to those on my meter.

I'm glad I'm not the only person who walks around at 35 without passing out! I was beginning to think I was a total freak... :-)

More concerning is the fact that I no longer feel any symptoms in the 40s and 50s.

Today I put in my order for a Dexcom system and I have high hopes for it to be more accurate and less painful than my previous Medtronic system.

I hate reading that Dexcom missed a severe low for you. Did it ever catch up?

I agree with previous posters...I wonder if I would've gone back inside myself. Sadly, I doubt I would've, thinking I could handle it and get everything under control myself. I'm a tad stubborn that way. What freaks me out is when I have a low of 35 that leaves me shaking, sweating, incoherent and utterly zombie-like....then a day later, I have another that I can talk through, think through and actually treat without the need for tears and frustration. WHY does a 35 just days apart feel so different???

Sounds like this is the first time you've experienced this with the Dex. I was having trouble with this for a while, I called it the "phantom exericse high," and then I finally called Dexcom, and they think I was probably calibrating wrong. Somehow I missed the instruction that you're *not* supposed to enter a reading if it's not asking for one and it's not ~20% off, so I was just putting in numbers from my meter right and left. Anyway, cutting back on calibration has seemed to help me get better accuracy during exercise...I was even able to avoid a low on a run this weekend when I saw a 92 with the down arrow. No idea if you're better at calibrating than me, but just in case, maybe this is helpful info ;)

Girl-I am right there with you! I prayed (very hard) on Saturday after a 3 mile treck with the stroller around the park that God willing I would make it back to the car just to get a coke. Of course that was after eating everything in the diaper bag! ha. I even thought about asking someone on a bike to take my keys and bring me back a coke! That would have put them into shock. LOL-after 21yrs with the dang thing-you would think we would learn our lessons.

UGH...thank goodness you got out of your car and went somewhere "public". Sounds like a rough low Kerri.

I hear ya....been there done that too many times. I love that you talk directly to your diabetes, telling it that it sucks. :)

sorry this is really off topic... but did you see this article?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/30/diabetes-85-years_n_868780.html

I'm so glad you went inside. I would think that isn't so easy for everybody -- esp. those who are more private about d. But, you never know -- and I'm glad that you took the precaution. I hope my little boy grows up to be as smart as you!

My daughter gets pretty low before she "feels low". A 35 sounds about right. I love the idea of keeping the glucose tabs low and under the car seat. What an awesome idea. I was thinking about making something that sat up in the air vents in the centre so she wouldn't have to take her eyes off the road. B

Wow.

I'm so happy to hear that you went back.

I hope my daughter would have done the same thing...

You know, like, 20 years from now :)

Ugh, been there a few too many times. I hate lows, but I really hate lows when I'm alone and there's no one around to help. Now that it's summer, I am far more prone to lows and this is a good reminder to make sure my car is well-stocked with heat-resistant low treatments. Gu gels are awesome, although they do tend to give me really bad rebound highs if I'm not careful.

Right there with you! I had a nice 20 at the gym the other day. I felt my legs getting heavy at the end of my workout but thought I was just tired until I got up to walk. Thankfully one of my friends was next to me that could go to my purse for my glucose drink. But scary it is! I with others don't know if I would've gone back in. I have the thought of 'will they believe me?' thoughts sometimes. My gym is in a hospital so I would hope they wouldn't question me LOL

Wow, what an amazing story! Not only did it confirm the feelings I have when I go low, but the beginning reminded me of something that happened to me. My sister, Mom, and I made a cake several months ago for my Mom to bring into her work (co-worker's birthday). We saved a couple of pieces (one for each of the four of us) and sent the cake with Mom to work. Well, that night I went to have my piece and my pre-cake test was 125 mg/dl. I had the cake, that I was distracted and I forgot to bolus. Long story short, 2 hours later before bed I realized I forgot to bolus and checked my sugar, waiting for the high. The meter read 126 mg/dl. That was the best piece of cake ever!! At least I now know I'm not the only one who feels like a foggy animal when I go low. :)

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