I Didn’t Think it Would Be That Bad – My Husband and Hypoglycemia


TrishaThe effects of this experience are still rearing their ugly head today, prompting my husband to ask me, “didn’t you think it would be that bad?”  Good question…

I was aware that soon after my husband was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes he had an episode of low blood sugar that resulted in him passing out, seizing and being taken to the hospital.  He had been on vacation with his then-girlfriend and her family when he realized he was going low and started gobbling down gummy bears.  He ended up collapsing in the kitchen and hitting his head off the counter on the way down.  In my head, I pictured the incident but what he hadn’t described was anything else that happened because he isn’t aware of any more.  After coming back from the hospital, he knew that it had been bad from the looks on the faces of people who had seen it happen, but beyond that knew nothing.

Saturday I became gravely aware of what it really looks like and how scary it truly is, but were there factors that made it seem even worse?  I’ve concluded that yes, there were.

  1. I always assumed that there would be some warning.  I never thought that it would occur in his sleep.   I always pictured him as being awake and that I would start to see signs, perhaps preparing me for the worst.  I have seen him going low, having hallucinations, not hearing/understanding me and arguing with me about how much sugar he needs to take in, but this time there was no warning.  It happened only two hours after going to bed.
  2. I never took into consideration that he wouldn’t recognize me.  He thought I was an intruder trying to get him and ended up viewing me as such.  I can’t help him if I can’t get near him.
  3. In the back of my mind I always thought that the glucagon shot would fix things and quickly.  Well…that’s great but if the person is petrified of you and thinks that you are trying to harm them, then trying to get it into them may not only become impossible but also dangerous.  Furthermore, I was unaware that I could actually give the shot during a seizure before he got defensive.
  4. I was alone.  While I had assumed that I would be alone when something like this would happen, it really did make it worse.  There was no one else calm, cool and collected to help out.  The closer you are to a person, the harder it is to watch them be so scared, out of control and lost.

Taking a step back from the situation, I was in many ways fortunate.  Since it happened while he was asleep, he was in bed and therefore not in danger of falling and further hurting himself during the incident.  Secondly, we live a short distance from a hospital, allowing him to get professional help more quickly (although it was slick out from snow and the ambulance did get lost for a short time).  On a personal note, I can rest easier knowing that one of the worst possible scenarios for me has already come and gone, so the next time (praying there never will be) I will feel more in control because of the knowledge I have gained.  Finally, I realize that even if this does happen in the future, he can walk away from it unscathed.

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