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Hypoglycemic Blues.

This past weekend, I was in Omaha (pronounced in my head as “OMAHA!!!!” almost every time), Nebraska for a TCOYD conference, joining in as speaker for the event.

One of the topics in OMAHA!!!! that we talked about was the integration of medical devices, sharing anecdotal stories about life with out diabetes-related robot parts.  Panel moderator Dr. Jeremy Pettus shared a video he made about how using a continuous glucose monitor, illustrating the difference between catching a low when you’re deep in the trenches of it (whoa, 49 mg/dL) versus catching it when it first starts (like 8o mg/dL and dropping).

The ways a CGM has helped improve my quality of life are becoming hard to count:  I feel safer when I drive, when I sleep, when I was pregnant, when I am traveling, when I eat new and strangely-carb’ed up meals … and now I’m more appreciative of how it helps keep me from over-treating those frigging overnight lows.

Thanks, Jeremy, for taking the time to explain this CGM benefit while sporting your pajamas.  Bold move, doctor!

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Alana #

    I love this! That moment when you wake up hazy after low-induced binge eating, surrounded by wrappers. It’s frequently like a scene from a college frat party movie. Amazing job on the video.

    My CGM helped me avoid this for the first year, but lately I’ve been sleeping through the alarms!

    10/14/13; 11:05 am
    • Alana – same here. My husband has started waking me up because the alarms wake HIM up instead of me. I think I’ll have to use Kerri’s method of putting it in a glass or something to make it more obnoxious-sounding.

      10/14/13; 11:17 am
  2. Love it! The binge-eating part when you feel like you MUST EAT EVERYTHING IN THE HOUSE to treat a low is spot on. My only question is his treating the 80-going-down low with what appears to be a soda beside the bed.
    I know, everyone is different, but I prefer to treat potential lows that I catch with something that has a bit more substance, so my sugar will level off and then stay level – soda would spike me up and then spike me right back down.
    Something like maybe just a swig of juice followed by a few cheese or peanut butter on crackers is a much safer option for me. The carbs+ fat+ protein really does the trick and I rarely have the spikes that way.

    10/14/13; 11:16 am
  3. mrs corn #

    Omg that is hilarious! !!! I am not a food grabber. I am a nibbler, so if I wake up with a low I tend to lay there and debate getting up and eating lol not good I know. When I do grab a bite its a 5 minute debate over exactly WHAT I want… its 3 a.m. the last thing I care to do it eat!!!!

    Does anyone else experience tingly to numb feeling in finger tips and tongue during a low? It’s one of my first signs and tends to get worse as my sugar goes lower and hangs with me until it goes back up a good bit. When I was in the hospital after dka they said that this wasn’t a sign of sugar dropping, I guess I am wondering if I am alone in this.

    10/14/13; 11:45 am
    • Ali #

      You are not alone! I get the tingly lips/numb lips as well – but not as commonly as you sound like you do. Can’t recall numb fingers though.

      I also do the procrastination thing – I lay there knowing I’m probably low but not wanting to move to test or eat!

      10/15/13; 12:02 am
    • Suzanne Ward #

      mrs corn.
      I get the lips and tongue tingling and numbness too! When I first wake up low, I will lie there and wonder what’s wrong (I don’t use a CGM). It’s when I realize that I have the numbness that I say *%$&, low BS, then get up and eat the house.

      My docs also say that is not a sign of low blood glucose but I know IT IS!

      10/17/13; 4:27 pm
  4. Charity #

    I have the number fingers and tongue as well! The funny thing is with hypo unawareness I don’t always feel it until I find out I am low – then all of a sudden my mouth and hands are practically buzzing! I was just thinking about this video last night (after seeing it in Omaha) after I treated a low with 5 glucose tabs (my standard treatment) plus a handfull of peanut M&M’s and an ice cream bar! Gee – I wonder why my BS was over 400 later! I wasn’t even sleeping yet!

    10/14/13; 12:38 pm
  5. Lindsay #

    Hilarious and so, so true! Except I don’t sit at a table, I’m usually sitting right in front of the fridge with the door wide open. (It also helps when I’m to the point that I break out in a low blood sugar sweat!)

    10/14/13; 1:12 pm
  6. laura #

    So wonderful reading all these comments and seeing how we all manage these lows differently! Thanks for sharing guys! CGM’s have not been offered to me (maybe a UK thing?) but I can see how beneficial one could be. I have always treated my lows with glucose tabs. Usually two tabs and never more than four. One of the reasons for this is due to the inevitable munchies which always follow, but also as i find it a more measured response. I find it a more controlled way of treating them with more predictable results. As I work very long days I try to minimize the disruption to my sleep by keeping the tabs by my bed so that I dont actually need to get up. Don’t get me wrong, often I will lie awake for ages, sometimes well over an hour (depending on the pace my blood was dropping etc) but I do find that limiting my treatment options helps with the cravings and prevents a soar in sugars too. Watching the video makes me wonder how we function when our nights are disrupted by these hypos. I dont know how I manage it, but I still get up and get to work on time. Perseverence. A typical diabetic trait perhaps . . . just keep going. What else can we do?

    10/15/13; 7:13 am
  7. Dan #

    Hi Kerri,
    Great video. Now, our lives do change and the value of a CGM is being able to
    view the results over time. For Dexcom users get the Dexcom Studio software and use it. The ability does exist to compare certain days against the days that worked verses the days which were a challenge. Oh, btw have any of you have a Dawn Phenomenon or a Somogyi effect. The time may have come to re-evaluate our profile basal rates during our sleep periods. Hope this helps and as always have a great day.

    10/15/13; 9:36 am
  8. ria #

    what, no peanut butter and jelly with a spoon on the table with the rest of carb fest?

    10/15/13; 12:03 pm
  9. pam hanson #

    i love this video, kerri 🙂 i can’t help but laughing …yet i know it’s truth! do they offer acting awards for blog videos? 🙂 maybe there’s a future for dr jeremy !

    10/16/13; 10:00 pm
  10. Angela #

    This is hilarious! Definitely sharing it with my friend who’s hypoglycemic, which by the way was also the excuse she gave when the teacher caught her eating candy in class. She also mentioned about the numb feeling and the tingly sensation,.

    10/23/13; 2:12 pm
  11. Jeremy #

    Before the implementation of a CGM into my diabetes management, my BG/L would yo-yo out of control. These devices are such an integral part of maintaining proper glucose levels, and are certainly a factor to improve quality of living. Thank you.

    12/22/13; 11:09 pm

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