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Target Lows.

“Can you scan these so I can open them now?”

“Sure thing,” as she reached her arm over the conveyor belt to scan the package of Skittles in my sweaty palm.


I ripped open the package clumsily, my phone screaming out the Dexcom urgent low alarm tones.  Jammed a handful of Skittles into my mouth – way too many to be chewed at once – while simultaneously and awkwardly unloading the carriage.

“Do you have a Target red card that you’ll be using  today?”

” … mmmfff …”

My jaw was busy processing a dozen Skittles at a time.  I took a second to hang on (hopefully casually but most likely looking like a drowning man clutching the edge of a raft) and concentrated on chewing.  When I remembered, I would retrieve another item from the cart and place it on the moving track.

The lady behind me switched lanes, properly assuming I was a hot mess.

“Are you okay?”  The cashier was about 20 years old and probably accustomed to a flurry of weirdos coming through her cashier line.

I finally mashed the Skittles into something I could swallow.  “I’m fine.  Sorry – I have diabetes and my blood sugar is really low.  It happens here a lot.  Target makes me low.”  I was rambling and couldn’t stop.  “It always makes me low.”

She nodded slowly, putting my items into a bag as I loaded them onto the conveyor belt, one every fifteen seconds or so.

“I bet.”

She was kind.  I was probably drooling colorful drool.

“You can keep eating those,” she added.

So I shoved the rest of the package into my mouth, a hypoglycemic cow chewing on taste-the-rainbow cud.

BG 56 mg/dL. Eff off, Target. You always make me tank. (But I ❤ you anyway, you sassy store, you.) #diabetes

A post shared by Kerri Sparling (@sixuntilme) on

20 Comments Post a comment
  1. Richard Vaughn #

    I use Skittles or jellybeans, but I have them in a zip-lock bag, in my pocket, all the time. I eat something at home before going out, and have a BG of 100, or more, before getting in my car.
    Please just consider me as a father-like person, giving advice to a daughter-like person. Okay?

    P.S. I never shop at Target. lol

    04/7/17; 10:25 am
  2. Oh yes, been there too many times than I can count. Trying to stand casually at the Target cash register pretending I know whats going on – while I’m actually a sweaty confused mess. Stupid Target…..

    04/7/17; 10:51 am
  3. Susan #

    I always go low at the grocery store. I started carying glucose tabs in a tupperware container so I wouldn’t have to explain that I had brought the food from home.

    04/7/17; 10:51 am
  4. Matthew #

    Yeah, I totally opened a box of juice packs in the aisle at ALDI the other day. Capri-Sun type pouches are still impossible to open properly – the straw went straight out the other side. Sorry ALDI cleaning crew…

    04/7/17; 8:58 pm
  5. Leah M #

    I really wish that Target would put some chairs in front of the check out lanes (rather than behind) so that people like us could take a seat and have low blood sugar in peace, rather than trying to just-get-through-the-line-and-leave. I should just get in the habit of looking at my CGM and treating anything below 80 before entering the store. I can’t tell you how many Sprites and Cokes I have grabbed from the check out line fridge.

    04/7/17; 9:37 pm
  6. I love skittles but I moved on to Elovate. Maybe because of the rainbow mouth. So many people say this about Target. Is it the wide aisles or squeaky wheels on the cart.

    04/7/17; 9:54 pm
  7. Sharon #

    Maybe we are all just spending too much time (and $) at Target 😉

    04/8/17; 1:48 pm
  8. Sharon DW #

    Maybe we are all just spending too much time (and $) at Target 😉

    04/8/17; 1:50 pm
  9. LOL at least the cashier was sweet about it! “You can keep eating those…” as if she could’ve stopped you! My toddler was introduced to fruit snack gummies after a bad low in a Walmart once. They made her so damn happy that she eat 1 pack almost daily…damn you ‘betes!

    04/8/17; 10:39 pm
  10. Dan #

    Hi Keri,
    Mine is a follow-up to Richard V’s first comment. Exercise can be a real challenge when it is not planned. I know, my issue is when I volunteer to help my wife at the grocery store. Now, what can I do to avoid lows? First, a temp basal is posted for a period of time. Half-way trough the shopping the next step could also be a new reduction in the temp basal based upon my Dexcom numbers. My method is glucose tabs which are stored in a medicine plastic container.
    The number of steps can be an indicator to what could be coming. As always have
    a great day.

    04/10/17; 11:55 am
    • She’s had diabetes since she was 6 years old….lows happen — especially when you’re a full-time mom and you can’t plan every event that you engage in throughout the day.

      04/14/17; 3:47 pm
  11. Amanda Stone #

    Target is the worst. Every. Single. Time. I actually passed out in Target once because of a low. That is a long comedic story that I will spare you of. I feel like they are pumping insulin into the air or something. Haha! Glad you were able to get to the skittles in time!

    04/10/17; 12:33 pm
  12. Target people are so nice… considering they’re part of “the machine” that feeds insulin fumes through the vents. Anyhow, I often find myself at the register with an empty Skittles pack and a juice bottle. I think most are more surprised that I’m actually paying for what I’ve already consumed.

    04/11/17; 11:33 am
  13. Martha #

    I’ve put many an empty/half-empty candy wrapper on many a conveyor belt. At least it’s an opportunity to have something other than a glucose tablet, not that I enjoy grocery shopping with tragically low blood sugar. The other day it was half an Almond Joy. Yes, I know, it’s not the best choice…lots of fat…blah, blah, blah. But I enjoyed it and it did do the trick. Eventually.

    04/11/17; 4:35 pm
  14. Emily Scott #

    If going to Target or doing anything else makes you drop low, then eat the Skittles before you shop, etc. Maybe you inwardly dread something about shopping in a vast space filled with stuff? Not kidding, it sounds emotionally based.

    04/14/17; 10:55 pm
  15. Target is the yang of the diabetes universe, balancing out the ying of every PWD in an endo’s office high as a kite from stress (despite fasting for bloodwork). Somehow it all ends up even 🙂

    RichardV – 🙂

    (GingerV – I’m a regular with the individual fruit gummy packs (~18g carb each). Except I have a preference for Welch’s or Target’s generic now, the WalMart brand sticks to my teeth. Such gourmets we are!)

    Anyone have a Unicorn drink from Starbuck’s yet?
    I swear they stole it from us!!

    04/19/17; 4:20 pm
  16. Have you seen this Challenge yet? It starts May 3rd.

    04/21/17; 2:06 am
  17. Thank the Good Lord!!!! I thought it was just me!!!!! Even if my dex says I’m at a good place, I eventually am low by the time I get to check out!!!! I can’t figure it out!!! Glad u had an understanding cashier!!! HUGS!!!!

    04/24/17; 11:20 pm
  18. Target doesn’t always make me go low. But Sam’s! Oh the Sam’s club lows!! I basically have to carb up before walking in the door or I will be chomping down Smarties as I check out.

    09/18/17; 6:59 pm

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