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Hypo Effery.


My purse start vibrating in a panic.

79 mg/dL and two arrows down – how the hell did that happen?  I just dropped my daughter off at preschool.  My blood sugar was 139 mg/dL before leaving the house with a steady, easterly arrow.

I pulled the car over and put on my hazard lights so I could bust out my glucose meter.  (Oh hell yes I treat low blood sugars purely based on a Dexcom reading from a trusted sensor, but this sensor is on Day 14 and due to be changed this afternoon, so my trust was getting rusty.  Trusty?  Rustworthy.  Bah.)  Meter said 68 mg/dL.

The symptoms, which weren’t strong when I pulled over, were starting to edge in.  Shaky hands and blurred vision (almost wrote “blurred bison,” which sounds like a band name) paved the way for clammy skin, which let the fog of hypoglycemia settle into my brain.

Fine then.  I reached into the glove compartment for the ubiquitous jar of glucose tabs.  Chomp, chomp on four of them only to realize they aren’t Glucolift but instead the generic chalkified glucose tabs from CVS and became grossed out.  The low symptoms were intensifying as I sat on the side of the road, so being picky about my glucose sources wasn’t an option.  Chomp, chomp on another tab, wishing I could somehow keep a soft-serve ice cream machine in the glove compartment instead.

Moments pass.  I’m still buckled into my car, eating snacks, watching cars whiz by.  The Dexcom finally shows an upward climbing arrow.  My hairline feels less clammy.  The shape of the steering wheel and the radio control knobs come back into sharp focus.  Better.

“Did you check your GPS?” my mom asks me whenever we’re about to get into the car together.

“Mom, it’s a CGM.  And yes, I did check it,” I reply, usually laughing because no matter how many times I tell her it’s a “CGM,” she still calls it a “GPS.”

But as I think about what may have happened if the low symptoms hit in full while I was driving instead of after I had pulled over, GPS might me just as accurate, giving me the location, in context, of what the hell my blood sugars are doing.


15 Comments Post a comment
  1. Michelle #

    Glad to hear you are ok. It is scary especially when it comes all of suddent and because of the crash in new jersey. A diabetic emergency they called.

    06/12/14; 10:17 am
  2. Crazy how fast that hit. I’m glad that you are alright.

    06/12/14; 10:50 am
  3. A soft serve machine for glove compartments… someone should get on that.

    Glad you are okay!

    06/12/14; 11:10 am
  4. Now, if they could just combine the two…

    “Dexcom announced its latest collaboration with TomTom today, to provide accurate glucose readings and real-time directions to your destination. The name of the combined effort will be DexTomTomCom.”

    Okay, I’ll just stop now. Glad it turned out okay in the end.

    06/12/14; 11:51 am
  5. Very glad you’re okay and were able to pull over off the road before you dropped any further. I think your mom has a good idea, CGM + GPS, because when I’m low I do get confused about my location.

    06/12/14; 8:49 pm
  6. I had a hypo driving at night across Nova Scotia. Scary. Glad you are okay.

    06/12/14; 9:47 pm
  7. I’ve definitely used the CGM and GPS description before. I think your mom is on to something there for sure!

    06/13/14; 1:40 am
  8. Ana Borthwick #

    That’s what I call my CGM! Especially when trying to explain what it does: it’s like a GPS, it tells me where I am and where I’m going…

    06/13/14; 5:10 am
  9. June S. #

    Where would we be without our CGMS?! I only wonder about the hazard lights. Indeed it was an emergency. Had a cop pulled over to ask what was wrong, might you have gotten in trouble if you had told the truth? Might they have disciplined you for driving with a low BG? Those are my worries, though of course you did nothing wrong, in that your blood glucose was in a very safe range before you took off in the car. I recall once, back in my pre-pump days, when I realized I had forgotten to take my pre-meal injection of Regular insulin. I pulled over and put on my hazard lights, pulled out a map, and injected beneath it. When a cop pulled over to ask if I were O.K. I said “Yes, sir. I just needed to check my map, but I’ve now figured out how to get where I’m headed!” His response was “O.K. Just checking and, by the way, I like the “Sir!” (Good manners are helpful in every situation!)

    06/13/14; 9:06 am
  10. Kerri – so glad you’re OK & all was well after this. My own son with Type 1 is only eight right now, but we’re already thinking ahead to certain issues, and driving is one of them.

    A question, if you don’t mind answering – did you have any problems getting a license due to Type 1? Not sure if there are any laws, if they vary state to state, etc. We’re still a few years away from this, but it passes in a flash…

    Stay well, Kerri!

    06/14/14; 10:59 am
  11. karend1 #

    I call my car a Leep Jiberty when I am going low 😉

    06/16/14; 8:26 pm
  12. Munmun Nishi #

    Hi, Kerri.
    CGM is the best for Diabetes patient.I also like this post.Amazing writing, This is great suggestion.Reading this site has ben a enjoyable experience.I am going to want a bit of time to think over the points.
    Thanks a lot for sharing this Article.I await your next post.
    Munmun Nishi 🙂

    06/18/14; 9:45 pm
  13. Yikes, glad you were OK and smart to pull over!

    06/20/14; 2:26 pm
  14. AbbyB #

    … can I be the one who comments on “Upper Wacker Dr”? Anything good going on there?

    06/20/14; 3:43 pm
  15. Dave #

    Glad you were ok. I also keep glucose tabs in the car. One would,think they would all taste the same but some of them are really nasty. I wonder which brand the majority prefer or if it is just personal taste.

    07/28/14; 7:56 pm

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