Screaming in my head No! No! No!

by Elizabeth Snouffer on 06/30/2013

A photo snapped just hours after I don’t remember what.

Travelling from Singapore to Hong Kong to Chicago for the annual American Diabetes Association meeting but my plans were going to get dicey.  Jet-lagged and emotionally zonked after dropping my 12-year-old daughter off for six weeks of camp.  Tired, but mustering every ounce of energy left in my poor sugar-shocked-absorbing system.    I should mention (to any new reader ) that I live with a serious condition called type 1 diabetes and have for nearly 40 years.  I wear an insulin pump (since 1998) and a CGM.  I test my blood sugar 7-10 times a day.  My A1c is usually somewhere between 6.5% and 7.5%.

In other words, I am a relentless diabetic.

BUT THE LAST thing I remember was sitting (still wearing my blazer) sideways on the edge of the bed in my hotel room–my husband already asleep, in blissful snore-dom.   Nearly mid-night, I hurry and delicately tap-tap the last email of the day in order to prepare for busy meetings ahead.   Kicking off my heels, I slip out of my clothes – leaving them in a tidy pile in front of the nightstand too tired to care—and crawl under the covers.   In the pitch black room, the glowing light off the  CGM reads 140 mg/dl.  Good enough, I think, as my head sinks into the pillow and I prepare to dream.  Life is pretty damn good.

When I open my eyes, three paramedics are looking right through me and my husband is kneeling next to the stretcher, urgently repeating the same words – over and over.

“She’s back.  Elizabeth – you’re with us again – yes?  Elizabeth?”

My bottom lip is sore and too swollen for me to use to speak (I had chewed through my bottom lip after I had seized in a hypoglycaemic state for 15 minutes) and I have an IV of sugar attached to my wrist.  I nod my head and look into the sympathetic face of the lead medic.

Thinking   NO! NO! NO!

Which are words I always silently scream when terrifying diabetes episodes happen. (Although I was also worried that I was only in my underwear).  Apparently I told the medics my medications were “Insulin and English Muffins,” even though I haven’t eaten an English muffin in years, living outside of the USA for so long.  Even in my diminishing low-battery brain state – I was thinking about carbohydrates.

They rushed me to the ER for surveillance (once you get an IV you have no choice).  I dozed and enjoyed the oxygen before waking up to my headache which felt like a hangover times ga-zillion.  It was early morning, about 5 am at this point, and I asked Michael – my husband – what I had done.

Tears welled up in his eyes and he held my hand.  He thought I was going to die.  He thought Olivia (our daughter) might never see me again.  He woke up to me wandering around the room sitting on the bed then standing up then feeling on the bed covers looking for something.  He knew I was having a hypo.  He knew because he had seen me a thousand times before, but not this bad.

“You were looking for sugar.”  I could see the irony as I lay there in the ER – I was searching for sugar.  Pitiful.

He continued.  “It got much worse.”  I wouldn’t talk.  I was inconsolable.  He called to room service realising all that was in the room were glucose tabs and we needed juice (really we needed Glucagon).  When he put down the receiver I was having a full—blown seizure and screaming and howling.  Blood flowed on either side of my jaw as I clenched my bottom lip with my teeth.  Michael called 911.  I stopped seizing but was barely conscious.  He talked to me and held my head.  The paramedics arrived and gave me two glasses of juice but my sugar wouldn’t climb to normal (>70-75 mg/dl)  I fought with them as they tried to put an IV of sugar in my arm and 15 minutes later, I  came to.

“Holy shit!”  I said aloud.  “The last time I had a hypo seizure I was 14 years old.”  (I am 48-years-old)

For the rest of the morning that was the only thing I could think. Holy Shit because to admit the truth was far more painful.

The truth?  The truth is I live with an incurable illness that has destroyed any kind of quality of life I might have had since I was diagnosed.  The truth is that I live in a senseless state of constant agitation and adrenaline soaked fear that I will combust in an insulin fit – just like I did earlier this week.  Further painful truths – that I mask it all with a thin veil of apparent control and challenge all my fellow sufferers to do the same.  What choice do we have if we want to SURVIVE?

Have I really become so complacent thinking that I had this thing kicked into shape?  Do I really believe that type 1 diabetes isn’t a threat and that our machines keep us together?

Did I need such a severe reminder?

Yes, I think I did.   I cannot run away from the fact that this disease is unpredictable and terrifying.   None of us can.

(By the way, every single person living with type 1 diabetes or for anyone injecting insulin, go to the cabinet and make sure you have Glucagon that has not expired.  If you don’t have it, stop everything and go buy it right NOW.  Thank you.) 

For more information related to hypoglycaemia and seizures – click here.

Click here for the free Lilly Glucagon app

Click here for information related to glucagon and how to inject the substance during a severe low

 

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael June 30, 2013 at 11:55

For me this was both a harrowing and eye-opening event. Sharing a life with Elizabeth the risk of an episode such as this has always been there, but I was not prepared for what happened and I should have been. If you are prepared, if you have glucagon around and know how to manage this type of an event you are likely to save someone you love. We were very lucky…please stop whatever you are doing today and make sure you have glucagon around and know how to use it.

nancy anderson June 30, 2013 at 16:25

what happens if the glycogen is expired?

Sarah June 30, 2013 at 17:33

Elizabeth, thanks for sharing this event with your readers. Your exerience is an important reminder to everyone who depends on insulin to live. I’ll be getting a fresh glucagon kit tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you are now feeling good and strong. Thinking of you.

John June 30, 2013 at 19:55

Nancy, It could make you sick. If you are in a situation where you have expired Glucogon, it really depends on how long it has been expired and how serious the need is. A few months? If the episode were serious enough I would risk it. However, a year or more? Probably not. You don’t want to make a bad situation worse.

Natalie ._c- June 30, 2013 at 20:03

Glad you were taken care of, Elizabeth — kudos to your wonderful husband. Glucagon is indeed necessary and useful when you have a family member to administer it to you. But some of us live alone, and if we get to the state you were in, we’re SOL. For that reason, I have a CGM, and it does help. What I wonder is, didn’t your CGM go off? Or was it so far off that it thought you were in normal range? I switched brands because the one I had was completely missing severe lows, and I just can’t afford that. I have my low line set at 80, so even if it’s a bit off because of lag time, I still have the opportunity to treat the low. Plus I ALWAYS have treatments with me — you can buy regular soda at almost any hotel, and I carry things like crackers and chips in addition to glucose tabs. Jet lag WILL get you when you’re using a pump, and so it’s better to expect lows than to expect good luck. But anyway, I expect you’re never going to let anything like this happen again — sorry you had to learn your lesson the hard way.

Rich the Diabetic June 30, 2013 at 22:44

I remember how this felt. Had many as a child and young adult. Sorry you had to go through it again. I used to have seizures at least once a year, until I went on the pump. Not a single seizure since. Are you MDI or pump? I think the long acting insulin used to dump all at once in my system causing the super hypo’s that led to seizures while I slept. Glad to hear you’re alright. Stay strong.

Scott K. Johnson July 1, 2013 at 00:51

Oh Elizabeth, I am so sorry that you experienced this. It’s so unfair, isn’t it? We do the best we know how, and yet the closer we stay to normal the higher our chances for something like this.

I’m glad that you are alright, but it still sucks that you guys had to go through so much trauma.

Maddie July 1, 2013 at 00:51

@Nancy, from what I can tell, it doesn’t really make much of a difference if it’s expired or not. And honestly, in an emergency, I feel it’d be better to use an expired one than none at all.

Sydney July 1, 2013 at 01:55

I’ve had diabetes since I was two and a half, nearly sixteen years now. Over time it just doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me and I tend to use poor habits with my management, thank you for this wake up call. Well, off to test my blood sugars. (Oh, and y’all might find this tidbit interesting http://www.bostonmagazine.com/health/blog/2013/06/13/boston-childrens-hospital-found-the-root-cause-of-diabetes/ )

Elizabeth Snouffer July 1, 2013 at 03:14

Hi Maddie, It does matter if the Glucagon (Lilly) or Glucagen (Novo Nordisk) is expired. Expired Glucagon means that the potency is in question. I don’t think it is wise to treat this prescription only life-saving medication as one would a carton of milk or yogurt. This would be a miscalculated risk. Instead take your expired kits and use them as “at home training sessions.” I think this is a great use for these very expensive kits – when I went out and bought one earlier in the week in Chicago – USA – it cost me 215 US dollars (expires in 2015). I know that paramedics and nurses in schools plus more carers in the medical profession use expired kits for this very purpose. Thanks for checking in and stay well. Elizabeth

Elizabeth Snouffer July 1, 2013 at 03:20

Hi Rich, I have used a pump since 1998 and I wear a CGM. Many different issues may have caused this: Bad site and a bubble of lodged insulin that burst through, making me hypo immediately 2. Bad CGM – Medtronic CGM is getting trashed these days and now I am being told to move to Dexcom ASAP by my doctor 3. Underlying complication such as OTHER hormone deficiencies that are putting me at risk. In the days ahead I will know more. Having been on the pump for so many years and with so little data on how feasible it is to use, in terms of how we give skin areas a break and reuse them again – it may be that further research is required. We are now in the age of people living on pumps for 15-20 years and of course, this is new ground. I will be blogging in the days ahead about our findings. Thanks for your comment.

Elizabeth Snouffer July 1, 2013 at 03:22

Expired glucagon is not as potent. Please don’t use an expired kit. It is such a shame and morally reprehensible that the drug companies OVERCHARGE for this medication making people consider not storing it or worse – using an expired kit. Thanks for your comment.

Elizabeth Snouffer July 1, 2013 at 03:37

Hi Nancy – it is not as potent. Glucagon is a hormone that makes the liver produce glucose. Please don’t use expired kits – they will not work. It is important to keep in mind that Glucagon is effective in treating hypoglycemia only if sufficient liver glycogen is present. Because glucagon is of little or no help in states of starvation, adrenal insufficiency, or chronic hypoglycemia, hypoglycemia in these conditions should be treated with glucose. This information is directly from the medical insert in the kit pack. Please see this link for a pretty good demonstration of administering glucagon: http://www.myhumalogchild.com/pages/treating-severe-low-blood-sugar-in-children-with-glucagon-injection.aspx Click on the right hand side of the main page where it says “tutorial” How sad (shameful) that for ALL the money raised by so many advocacy orgs that I couldn’t find one decent well-made, easy-to-understand video for severe hypos and administering the glucagon injection. Lilly has the only source that I feel is adequate.

Elizabeth Snouffer July 1, 2013 at 04:03

Thanks for checking in Sydney…I know, it’s easy to feel like it is not a big deal especially because it is a rare condition and misunderstood. It’s easy for us to hide out, until we are faced with severe circumstances. I am glad this has inspired you to test. Are you in college now? Hope you are doing well and please – come visit me here anytime. Elizabeth

Elizabeth Snouffer July 1, 2013 at 04:04

Scott! I was especially sorry not to have met you in person. Perhaps next year. Take care – Elizabeth

Faith July 1, 2013 at 12:38

I haven’t had a bad episode where I didn’t know who I was or where I was and needed intervention quickly in 30 years. Type 1 for 32 years and pumping for 13 here.
My first thought after reading this was ‘wow, I am so glad things like that don’t happen to me.’ AND then I remembered what I wrote in the first line. You are right, I have a pump, wear a CGM and go from day to day just doing what I do to survive. BUT I hadn’t thought about the intensity of a bad bad low in a long time. Come to think about it it happened when I was pg in 1996 too but my husband kept giving me orange juice at this TGIF in KC MO and after 30 minutes or so I came too and asked what was going on. I have passed out but never had a seizure.
I am glad you are okay after this event. Thanks for the wakeup call. I have a drs appt with my endo soon and I will ask for a new script for glucagon which I haven’t had in the house in about 10 years.
I do run away from the fact of how terrifying this disease can be and I probably will again. I just get lost in my day to day surviving management of the disease most of the time.

RISA July 1, 2013 at 14:25

OMG Elizabeth I am so glad you are ok!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story….. I am going to get glucagon NOW!!! I haven’t had in the house in a long time.. ALways expires (thankfully)!! Feel good… Stay well!! LOVE ya!!!!!

Jeanette Collier July 1, 2013 at 14:37

Elizabeth,
Someone forwarded this to me and when I saw your name I nearly fell over. I am so sorry you went through this. Thank You for sharing your experience because it might save a life. Regardless of how well Type 1 is managed, it does have a mind of it’s own. I will always remember your advice to carry glucagon even as my 12 year old son grows into an adult. Your story will serve as the reason I give him to never take his Type 1 management for granted. Be well my friend, Jeanette Collier

Laurie July 1, 2013 at 20:14

My daughter has persevered through 18 years of Type 1 diabetes. When she was younger we had to use a glucagon kit to treat a severe low. However, about a year later, she was at a friend’s house and had a seizure and when 911 was called, the fireman started an IV with a sugar solution. The difference between her reactions were polar opposites. The glucagon gave her a headache that lasted about 2 days and she vomited several times after the injection. The fireman’s sugar IV had her up, no headache, and eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich within 15 minutes. After she had two children, she experienced a severe low, 911 brought the fireman again and she had the same reaction. Very shortly was up and apologizing for making them have to show up.
Type 1 is tricky and so scary at times (and keeps a mom constantly worried).

Don M July 1, 2013 at 23:17

Ditto on many of the comments. My thoughts:

1. Glucagon headaches a probably because glucagon makes your liver “dump glucose” as if you had just run a marathon and “bonked.” It’s going to exhaust you and give you a headache whether or not it’s expired. That’s what happens when you “liver dump” like that.

2. Even a bad CGM is better than no CGM. There’s always a chance that it will alert you to a low. It’s up to you to test frequently regardless and verify any CGM alarms with a “real” test.

3. How did the author get this low in the first place? Was there a problem with carb counting somewhere? That’s the only thing I can think of.

4. Having sugar on you is an absolute MUST. I find that have a dozen rolls of smarties fit into an old Ketostix bottle quite handsomely and don’t grind down into a powder or otherwise disintegrate.

5. Your A1C is a tad high… which makes me wonder if you’re letting yourself run high because of the fear of being low. That’s not necessarily a good thing, though there are some circumstances, such as letting your sugar elevate before exercise, that might not be so bad. I am concerned that your sugars might also be a bit volatile (up and down) since you had such a severe low but also a high-ish A1C. Not sure if you’re insulin resistant but that could be part of the issue. It’s tough to work on a stopwatch if you all you have is a hammer and chisel.

Just some thoughts. You have my sympathy. Don M., Type 1 for 40 years and endurance athlete.

Elizabeth Snouffer July 1, 2013 at 23:42

Hi Don, I just wanted to point out 2 things 1. You are perfectly entitled to your opinion 2. There is an awful lot of judgment in your comment above.
-I never had glucagon injected so that is not the reason for the massive headache – my headache is due to the duress of the seizure or perhaps a clot. I may have sustained an injury, and unfortunately opened a back-door to subsequent seizures. Unfortunately I have entered into a sphere that has more to do with neurology and less to do with diabetology.
-My a1c last time I checked in April was just under 7% which is not even close to being a “tad high” It is better than average and perfectly acceptable. Funny you should mention the “running high” debacle which is absolutely the opposite of my management strategy.
I am going to a Singaporean hospital tomorrow for a range of tests including adrenal, kidney and brain scan. Critical deconstruction can be of use in so many scientific arenas, except today it just doesn’t feel useful. The upcoming tests will confirm or inform any educated guess. Take care.

Molly McElwee-Malloy, RN, CDE July 2, 2013 at 12:14

Having had a similar experience in 2011 tears came to my eyes as I read your story. I haven’t slept through the night since my seizure – I set at least two alarms to check BGs and if I’ve had a hypo that day I set even more. I wear a pump and a CGMs. I test like it’s my religion and my A1c is hovering around 6.2%. I am so sorry this happened to you and I understand the vigilance and the need to be on top of it all. With this disease you are constantly fighting to have the upper hand and sometimes you just get a smack down anyway. Even when you’re on top of your game.
The headache will ease, it took me about 10 days to feel normal again. I bit my tongue and had trouble talking for about 4 – 5 days. I feel your pain and I wish I could wipe it away.
Thank you for your bravery in sharing this story.

Alecia July 2, 2013 at 12:50

Wow Elizabeth! Good job on sharing this story and I am terribly sorry you and your husband had to endure this. I haven’t had a situation like this since 7th grade (and am now 40 yrs old, yikes) but how quickly the mind can travel right back to 7th grade, waking up in the hospital, puking everywhere and crying. I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes reading this because your story is one of my greatest fears… except this happening WITHOUT someone being there. I will continue to kiss my Dexcom goodnight on the pillow right next to my head and keep working to fund research to fight this damn disease. Thank you for the reminder, and again, I’m sorry you had to go through this.

kimberly July 2, 2013 at 14:08

My daughter is 4 and type 1 also. We only use MDI, but have been waiting for Medtronic to get back to use on prices for a CGM. This article assured me that we need one. We have Glucagon on hand, but we have thankfully not had to use it yet. I have one expired vial that I plan to practice with tonight to “brush up”. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us how tricky this disease can be. I wish you and your family the best, and hope that you recover quickly. As for anyone else, if you have an iPhone the Apple store has a free Lily app that instructs you on how to use Glucagon in an emergency. It is very helpful.

Scott E July 2, 2013 at 16:48

I’m so sorry you had to go through this, but thanks for the stark reminder. It’s been over 20 years since I’ve had glucagon, and I haven’t had any severe (i.e. leading to hospitalization/unconsciousness) hypos since I started using a pump seven years ago. I figured that without using long-acting insulin, I’d be safe. The CGM would just reinforce that safety net (same manufacturer as yours, by the way. I wonder – did you use Sofsensor or Enlite? I’ve got high hopes for the new one when it becomes available, and wonder if I really should).

Now, I see how wrong I was. I’ve got six Glucagon kits at home — all of them expired in 2012, and my wife has grown tired of asking me – without my response – to teach her how to use it. Now’s the time.

Christina @momof2t1s July 2, 2013 at 17:25

Wow Elizabeth. Im sorry. Im a mom to two cwd and diabetes is knocking yet again with my third child (failed last GTT).
My worst fears are right here ^^^^ in your words.
Thank goodness you had Michael.
Thank goodness the paramedics got to you quickly.
there have been many times I’ve left the house without glucagon. sometimes in the middle of a pool outing I get hit with a “oh shit – no glucogon” moment and I check sugars and give snacks just to be safe.
There was onetime I was sending my daughter off with another parent accross the bay (san Fran) for a number of hours and suggested she meet with me to learn about the glucagon. She was not receptive. It was ugly.
Glucagon is something we’ve never needed yet I feel better knowing we have them. As far as the expired ones – I keep them. I put them in various rooms of the house. I mean if I need it – it is there and I think even expired glucagon is better than no glucagon. The non-expired ones are in the bedside doors of my kids rooms and in my purse.
I hope I never need them. I hope they never need them.
I am a strong believer in CGMs. We don’t have them. Insurance won’t play nice. hopefully when FDA approves the Dex4 for under 18 we can get them.
The kids test drove the G4s before they were available (part of FDA study). What amazing devices. We can only hope FDA hurries up and insurance plays nicely.
I think your A1C is beautiful.
So thankful you could share this. It is so helpful to all of us in the D-know. It is an important reminder for everyone to have glucagon and someone around that knows how to use it.
Hugs.

Colleen July 2, 2013 at 20:22

When I started pumping, the CDE insisted that I have a glucagon. My newest endo has prescribed and renewed three each year. One for home, one for my purse and one for my office.
Thankfully, we haven’t used them – except for a practice session every now and then with the expired ones.
I’m glad you wrote this!

Elizabeth Snouffer July 2, 2013 at 20:42

No one has ever told me my A1c is beautiful – I think I am going to cry. Thank you Christina. You are one of the many moms I consider to be crusaders – please keep in touch with me. Elizabeth

Elizabeth Snouffer July 2, 2013 at 20:45

Hi Alecia,
It’s true. We remember the events of our type 1 childhood as if they were yesterday – but modern technology has tricked us into thinking the risks are all gone. They aren’t. In some ways – with the advent of extremely tight control – they are more severe. Thank you for your support – it is so nice to hear from you. Elizabeth

Elizabeth Snouffer July 2, 2013 at 20:51

Molly – it sounds like we were on parallel tracks. I am sorry for you, too! Funny enough today is exactly the 10th day after and I feel much stronger thanks to the support of people around me – even doctors who are now stipulating that I must have a brain scan – which is where I am off to today. I don’t consider myself brave at all – but growing up with type 1 and surviving it means facing your fears everyday. I can tell you know exactly what I mean. Thank you so much. Elizabeth xo

Elizabeth Snouffer July 2, 2013 at 20:55

Hi Scott
Isn’t it funny how the ones that love us most are there asking us to “help them–help us” and we think – “not necessary” For me, the greatest lesson I learned had nothing to do with diabetes or being better at this or that. What I really learned is giving people the chance to support and assist me is not a weakness – but a strength. Thanks so much for checking in…Elizabeth

sara July 2, 2013 at 23:08

Ive been type 1 diabetic for about 10 yrs now i have 3 children and with my 2nd child is when i had about 7 low blood sugar attacks my very first one was after i had my first child i dont remember anything that happened my husband said all i did was yell for my son. I totaled my car during a low blood sugar attack i ran into a pole. My last low blood sugar attack was the day after my last surgery to finish my total hysterectomy i laid down for a nap while my older children were in school and my baby was napping with my husband and i wake up soaked from sweat in horrible pain and with 4 paramedics around me and 1 cop i couldn’t talk but i could hear everything they were saying my husband said he checked my sugar and it was 12 e video taped me so i can c wat i look like during one cause i wanted to c all i did was scream for my mom and rock back and forth and cry for my mom. Which is weird cause im not close to my mother. since then i havnt had any horrible lows but there r days that i do causey body is still trying to recover from my 3 surgeries and hormones r crazy menopause and diabetes sucks

Lydia Tuno July 3, 2013 at 00:21

Thank you for posting. I am a wife of a type 1 and always worry. I wake up feeling for a breath. I watch as he gardens and worry when he asks for water. I worry when he is not next to me in bed at 2am. He was just hungry. I worry we did not bring the glucagon pen for the weekend while traveling… will they have OJ in the wet bar? Wishing there were more support groups to educate the spouses of Type 1 Diabetics.

Bernadette July 3, 2013 at 13:02

I am from South Africa. I have been a Diabetic for 17 years and have had a pump and CGM for almost 2 years. This story scared me because it sound all too familiar. Did check – my Glucagon is still fine – thank you for sharing your story – you made me feel part of a group of people – as a Diabetic I always felt alone – I appreciate.

Courtney July 3, 2013 at 14:47

Thank you for sharing. My daughter was diagnosed almost 9 months ago. She was 5 years old. She’s been pumping 3 weeks, on Dexcom G4 for 7 months. This is one of my worse fears. She is starting to feel lows, but not always. We carry the glucagon everywhere, but I am afraid if we ever need to use it, we will panic. We also carry cake gel with us. I’ve been told that sometimes this is just as good to use.
I think your A1C is great! I’m sorry you, and your husband, had to go through this. I hope everything turns out well for you. Take care!

Black Llama July 4, 2013 at 01:08

I developed type 1 later in life. I was dx’d at the age of 30. I tried my first run with the Omni pod pump and Dexcom about 6 months ago. My paranoia over lows wouldn’t let me do it. I love the CGMS (though I still test around 20 times daily) but I could not get used to the pump. I had so many bad lows during the period I was wearing it that I was in a constant state of fear. Glad to hear your okay though, lows like that are always scary.

Elizabeth Snouffer July 5, 2013 at 22:38

Hi Bernadette, You are a part of a group of people all over the world who have managed to survive a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and continually sustain life despite a very difficult condition. So nice to hear from you in S. Africa and keep in touch – Elizabeth

Kathy November 19, 2013 at 16:24

I know I am quite late in responding to this blog, but I just found your site today. I started crying when I read your story, Elizabeth, as it hit way to close to home for me. When I was about your age, I had my first seizure (I had been Type 1 for 37 years at that point). At the time, my spouse and I were sleeping in separate rooms because because of mynight sweats and marital challenges. I was taking a break from pumping (I’ve been on a pump since 1982), and had been on injections for about 3 months. I started to seize in the middle of the night after having exercised too much the day before. Spouse heard me and, wouldn’t you know it, we had no glucagon in the house. With my eyes rolling back in my head, he managed to get two sips of OJ down my throat – enough to stop the seizure and get me to drink. Soaked in sweat, he helped me into the shower, and made me crawl in bed with him to ensure I would be safe for the rest of the night. I went back on the pump in the morning.

I had a lot of hypos (and one other seizure, not nearly so severe) during the menopausal years; the erratic shifting of hormones wreaks havoc on our blood sugar control. I’m happy to say, though, that things really stabilize once we make it through to the end of the transition. I wish you the very best as you continue to use all the tools we now have available to keep things running as smoothly as possible. You are as fortunate to have your Michael as I am to have my Roger – I’d be dead without him. Type 1 45 years, pumping for 31, now w/Enlite CGM. :)

Elizabeth Snouffer November 25, 2013 at 22:10

Dear Kathy
Thank you so much for your note and it sounds as though we hit the same trouble at the same age. This experience has definitely impacted my feelings about living with diabetes, the fragility of my life, my level of cautiousness (very much increased) plus I have had to work hard on not allowing the experience to make me overly fearful about hypos. My husband has ditto feelings about that, too – but we have made huge strides. What’s most perplexing about this whole event is that the medical professionals (my doctor excluded) and the general public have NO IDEA that this is not a unique situation. This is life with type 1 diabetes when you are trying to achieve tight control in order to stave off complications. Such a double-edged sword. I love hearing from you – so thank you for sharing your experience, too. One last question, I am AMAZED that you have been on the pump since 1982. I would really like to have a kind of photo essay of you through the years with each “new” stage of pumping. The pump in 1982 was huge! Today is is about 80% smaller. Is that something we could work on? Best regards, Elizabeth

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