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Looking Back: Lunchtime Lows.

I've been at the SXSW Interactive conference for the last few days, and between time zone changes and daylight savings time changes, I'm looking back at an old post from April of 2008 while I adjust to the ch-ch-changes.

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I'm standing at the counter at the bank and I hear my cell phone buzzing.  Then I hear the Dexcom wailing out its BEEEEEEEP.  My pump starts to buzz from inside my bra (wearing a dress today).  Every bit of technology I have is exploding all at once and I'm just trying to make a damn deposit.

"Miss, I just need your account number."

"Account number, sure.  I can get that for you."  BEEEEEEEEP again.  Why is it beeping again?  It should only beep once when I'm high.  My goodness, I'm awfully warm, despite standing underneath the bank air conditioning unit.

I stick my hand into my bag and forage about.  My fingertips feel like they're trapped in cotton balls and I can't quite get a good handle on my wallet.  Instead, I grab the Dex, which is BEEEEEPing again, and press a button.

Oh shit, LOW.  Below 40 mg/dl.  I press the down button and see "39 mg/dl" next to the blood sugar graph, which now looks like the Cliffs of Insanity from The Princess Bride.

"Here is my license.  Can you pull my account numbers by looking up my name, please?  I'm diabetic and having a little low blood sugar at the moment and I need to drink this juice."  I hand the teller my license and raise up the bottle of juice with my other hand, like one of the Price is Right models.

"No problem.  I'll get your account numbers.  Do you want to have a seat?"

"No, no thanks."  I drain the bottle between words.  "I'm good.  I just need to focus a bit and let my blood sugar come up."

He typed some numbers in on his keyboard and passed my receipt through the bank printer.  "This isn't some elaborate plan to rob the bank, is it?"

I laughed.  Just drinking the juice alleviated the low-panic enough for me to act like a normal (slightly sweaty) person.  "I'm not robbing the bank.  But I may take one of those free lollipops, if that's okay."

He hands me my receipt, along with three purple lollipops.  "Here you go.  Why don't you wait a few minutes over there," he gestures towards the bank reception area, "for your blood sugar to come up?  I don't want you to drive yet."

SUM lollipops from the bank."Okay.  Thanks for your help."

And I teeter carefully on my heels (far too high for such a low blood sugar) over to one of the plush, blue chairs.  Sinking into the chair and waiting for the juice to do its thing, I unwrapped one of the lollipops.  My feet didn't quite reach the floor, as I was sitting so far back in the chair.  But I was starting to feel better.

People came in and out of the bank over the next ten minutes while I rested, looking over and most likely wondering what that grown woman was doing there, face flushed, swinging her feet, and sucking happily on a lollipop.


I remember this post and still grin at the image of you sucking on a lollipop swinging your feet.

Unrelated, I live in Austin and am mere minutes from SXSW shenanigans. All I know about diabetes, I know from your blog, but would love to meet you for a cuppa if you're in the mood for it. Either way, have a great time!

This was hilarious - I had a similar moment at Target once. I was walking through the aisle, and my CGM beeped. I was out of my glucose tabs (oops) so my son and I headed for the register. I still felt "fine" and was hoping to cut it off at the pass. I started putting the groceries on the checkout belt and before I knew what hit me I was sweating PROFUSELY ... and couldn't concentrate. I reached behind me and grabbed a candy bar, opened it (saving the wrapper so I could pay for it) and the lady behind me was giving me the strangest look - probably wondering why in the world was I so sweaty and couldn't I wait till I got to the car to finish my candy bar? lol

How funny and true,
(it helps to be gifted with a sense of humor with this type 1)
how many of us probably have similar stories, hey, good topic, "Funniest stories about lows in public places"
winner gets..... a years supply of glucose tabs?????????

Word we should have an Austin meet-up. And I've had those days too, although I always feel like a fool asking for candy.


you are very silly-like mother like daughter (kerry and birdy)

hehehe I actually pictured you doing that, before I even read the final paragraph :)

Silly lows can really come at inconvenient times (for me, refueling the car!). It was nice to read that the teller was friendly and understanding :)

I recently discovered your blog and so glad that I did. There is so much to read and I have just started with few posts and can already relate to most of them like any other Type 1 would. I wish I never had lows. Mine come only during the nights, around wee hours which is worst since that is when I am deep in sleep. However my body/brain still somehow manages to wake me up and every time I avoid the dreaded blackout which I had once, long time ago.

I recently switched to insulin therapy (less than a week ago) after being on injections for over 6 years. I'm struggling right now to adjust to this new device. So far I find Insulin Therapy more complex at least for me in terms of preparation and supply management that I have to do. I'm a travel junkie and travel a lot (a lot), 4-6 months on the road/air (biking / hiking / motorcycling / camping), including international travels to various parts of the world. In some parts of the world if I would run out of my insulin injections I can find ways to get insulin, but pump related supplies would be hard to find in Asian countries. All this is making me nervous about using this device in the long run. It seems to be that it would disrupting my life more than I would like to. I'm already thinking of returning the pump back with in 30 days.

I'm intrigued how many Type1's not only use the pump but also the the DEX CGM, which you do too. That's incredible! It must be quite an effort to prepare/plan for travels with all these devices. In my case in addition to these devices I would also carry the usual gadgetry that geeks like me like to carry (Macbook, iPhone, iPad, chargers, extra batteries, Nikon etc.). I have to make a decision soon and reading experiences of others is very helpful.

I hope you enjoy rest of the SXSW and may be can share some of your experiences on your blog. I'm in the software industry and would love to attend it, may be next year.

Thanks for the wonderful blog.

Great post, there is nothing wrong with a grown woman enjoying a lolly pop while waiting for your blood sugar to level off.

I've had some weird looks from lows before too. Too funny. If any one asked, I would have replied, "No, I'm good... just reliving my childhood for a sec before returning to the adult world."

Thanks for the laugh! I had a Dexcom squealing low during a job interview today. All of my office knows I'm a type I and one of the interviewers scrambled to get me some Coke. We took a 10 minute break and resumed. I rocked that interview!

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