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Fri, 19 Sep 2008
I had a health scare - 13:33
I have been a diagnosed Insulin Dependant Diabetic (Type 1) since October 4th 1995. In my case I have 4 or 5 injections of insulin a day and have to monitor my health and sugar levels and my diet and exercise regime to a greater extent than most people.
In the last 13 years I have never had a hypo (not enough sugar/too much insulin) or hyper (too much sugar not enough insulin) that required medical intervention. When I have my sugar levels go low, say overnight, I have always previously woken up with some of the symptoms (sweating, shaking) and have been able to go and get some food.
On Wednesday night this changed, at around 4am I became aware of my surroundings, with my light on, paramedics all around me, a big needle in my right arm and my partner off to one side dressed in work clothes. I had a diabetic hypo that I did not wake up to and was unable to handle myself. I have no memory of any of the goings on (even though I apparently was sort of responding and pointing and sat up for the paramedics and had a needle put in my arm). My partner said I was coughing and she asked if I was alright, I did not respond in a sensible manner and she worked out there was something very wrong with my behaviour and I guess realised I was not aware of myself properly.
Fortunately the paramedics were able to get my sugar level back to normal and I was able to stand up and then go and get some real food to keep the sugar levels up until breakfast time. I was also very fortunate my partner was there and noticed the problem and acted upon it effectively. Yesterday morning I saw my GP, got a referral to see the endocronologist I have always seen, some forms for all the blood tests and other related tests I do at least once a year and I bought myself a new Blood Glucose Meter which is a lot faster to use and requires less blood than my old one.
As for why it happened, and why I did not wake up or respond as I always have previously to my body displaying the symptoms of low blood sugar. It is a combination of things and a mistake I made before bed on Wednesday night. After two tough runs on Tuesday I had been feeling fairly flat and did the medium road bunch ride on Wednesday morning, at the end of what would normally be an easy ride for me I felt absolutely wasted, I felt more run down and unable to ride than I have for many many years. I think I felt worse than I have after 24 hour solo mountain bike races or 2 days of non stop adventure racing.
So I suspect my body was very depleted in its energy stores and needed some time to recover before things functioned normally. I did not head out for a paddle on Wednesday night, however we had dinner as normal and I had baked some yummy chai latte cupcakes. I was feeling bloated and my tummy felt somewhat expanded or sore for most of Wednesday evening, thus although I had a cupcake not long before bed I did not feel like eating more. I should have stopped and done a blood test, however simply skipped my supper, had my night time injection and went to sleep.
The problem there is skipping my supper which is generally a necessary part of my diet to balance the long term insulin I have before bed to last through the night. I do not know why I felt so bloated, maybe it was part of my body reaction to feeling so run down and sore from the exercise strain, maybe it was unrelated. However the combination of my body not being in its normal state and thus probably needing rest and thus not responding as per normal to low blood sugar and forcing me awake so I can get food into myself to counter act a low and the fact I did not eat my supper so I was far more likely to run out of sugar in my body overnight before the insulin ran out combined to make this a problem.
This was definitely quite a nasty experience and also a kick in the pants to make me pay a lot more attention to my diabetes again and work to keep it stable and ensure I stick to my proper eating plan.
Tempting fate - 09:38