I’ve been stupidly busy over the past month or so, meaning I’ve missed out on a few of the live tweetchats. No fear, I’ve answered most of the questions that have been asked! The first tweetchat that I’m catching up with, was the one hosted by Sue Gregson – covering the topic of hypos…
Question 1 – Do you get warnings or does someone else notice before you?
I suffer from hypo unawareness. I say suffer, because it is one big pain in the butt! Right from diagnosis in 2011, 90%, I don’t feel when I am low. There are times when I can be sitting at home, watching tv, and I am low. On one occasion, I checked my sugar levels, as I was due to inject my Levemir. Taking into consideration that I felt fine, I was 2.2.
As a result, I check my levels around 6 or 7 times a day. I check before driving, and during long journeys. I check before every meal, before and after exercise. Without checking, there is a 90% chance that I wouldn’t know if I were low. Luckily, I’ve never needed assistance for a hypo, and I’ve never passed out. From this respect, I am very lucky. At the same time, this makes me even more careful. I don’t want to be caught out.
Question 2 – Have you been moved on to a pump because of hypos and did it help?
At the moment, I am on MDI. I have spoken to the pump consultant at my clinic, who thinks I could benefit from having a pump. However, I think it would be more useful to me, to have a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). It would be nice to have some warning of low sugar levels!
Question 3 – Why do you think some people get warnings and some don’t?
Running constantly low, could obviously contribute to lack of warning for a hypo. I ran 6 weeks without a hypo, and the first time I had a hypo, I had two in one day, and felt neither. I wish I knew why I don’t get any warnings when I am low.
Question 4 – When do you think the worst time is for hypos?
I hate the thought of having a hypo during the night. I live at home with my parents, in my own bedroom. Most nights, I am on my own. As far as I know, no one comes in my room to check on me, unless I am unwell. Therefore, if I did pass out because of a hypo, no one would find me until they realised I was late for work…
Question 5 – What’s the worst feeling for you when hypo?
As I have already said, I don’t often feel when I am low. To be honest, any feeling during a hypo, would be better than none.
The bits that don’t fit in with the questions…
I think I need to reiterate one thing about my hypo unawareness. Because I know 90% of the time, I don’t know if I am low, I am especially careful when it comes to driving. Everyday, I check my levels, 40 minutes before driving. This gives me time to get my sugar levels up, if they are too low to drive. As a rule of thumb, I don’t like to drive if I am below 7. On the other hand, I don’t like to drive if I am in the teens.
Last Christmas, my sister bought me the best present ever. A lunch box. In this lunch box, was a bag of jelly babies, a bottle of lucozade, a carton of orange juice, dextrose tablets and some cream crackers. This meant that wherever I am, if I get stuck in traffic, or break down on the motorway, I will have supplies to treat a hypo. I keep this lunch box filled to the brim, and replace anything that goes past its use by date. I keep the dextrose tablets right in front of me.
I rarely go on long journeys. Last weekend, was one of those rare occasions, where I knew I had a 2 hour journey (to visit Vicki). Before I set off, my levels were at an acceptable 8.7. I stopped off at a service station, after an hour’s drive. I checked again. 7.8. Doing well. An hour later, I was 6.8. I’d survived my journey!
I don’t take any risks when it comes to driving. I know how much my mum worries, my dad worries, and Paul worries. The least I can do is look after myself.