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Son with type 1 diabetes in trouble, what action should we take
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michdur posted:
I am visiting my son who is a type 1 diabetic. He just had a very scary episode. I need advise asap. My husband and I woke to banging and when he went to investigate he realized it was my 27 year old son banging on the bathroom door. My husband had troouble getting in and when he did he discovered my son flaling his arms not knowing what he was doing. I ran and got O.J. and my husband forced some down him. I wanted to call 911, but he insisted after 1 min that he was o.k. We had him check his sugar and within minutes he was better with a reading of 92. I think he should see a dr today, he won't. He insists that he will call his dr and get in as soon as possible. What should I do?
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mhall6252 responded:
Unfortunately, he's an adult and can make his own decisions. You could offer to make the appointment for him and accompany him so you can take notes.

Is it possible that he knows what caused his low? If so, he may not be nearly as worried about it as you are. I'm not saying it's not worrisome, because it is. But if he's not being forthcoming about the situation that caused the low, it makes it hard for you.

It's not unusual for a diabetic on insulin to experience a low. But it's certainly frightening and not something you want to see repeatedly.
Michelle
Diabetic since 5/2001
Follow my journey at www.mch-breastcancer.blogspot.com
Smile and the world smiles with you.
 
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auriga1 responded:
Ditto what Michelle said. I know it's hard on you as parents, but he is an adult. He also had the presence of mind to know he was in trouble by banding on the door. Glad you know what to do when you see/hear something like that.

His reading is normal at 92. He needs to keep it that way by eating properly. When he goes below 70 he should take some sugar and/or fast acting carbs in.

There is nothing you can do if he doesn't want to. Hopefully he will call his doctor when the office opens so this doesn't happen again. Glad you both were there.
 
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michdur replied to mhall6252's response:
Thanks for the advice. We are back home now and he said he would folow up with his dr. We went to dinner late the eve before, He ate well and had a lg beer. Think he sometimes takes too much insulin. Big question is that if we were not there what would have happened. Do diabetics have these lows and where they do not know what they are doing or how they got there? Then what? Wake up?
 
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michdur replied to auriga1's response:
Thanks for the advise. It is hard to treat him as an adult when he is in trouble. Problem was is he did not bang on the door knowingly, he was just flailing his arms, even after my husband was in there with him. He had no knowledge after the incident of even going in there. He had been having issures after the dr/pharmacy messed up in getting him his long lasting insulin (he repeatedly tried to get it and was without for two weeks) and has been have a difficult time since trying to get things back into control.
We are very glad we were there also...what might have happened if we weren't? Do you usually wake up from these episodes?
 
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auriga1 replied to michdur's response:
I am not a medical practioner so cannot answer your question about waking up from an episode.

I know only from experience that lows are not fun whatsoever. I use two insulins to control my diabetes and have experienced those lows. It could be something like not eating enough carbs and/or being more active than normal. I have been lucky in that there has always been someone around me when I happened to go low. I have never passed out even when my sugar dropped to 26. I couldn't move and had someone fetch me some OJ.

There is no telling what would happen if someone cannot manage to raise their blood sugar within minutes. I don't know anything about your son. If he is by himself, maybe he should invest in something like Life Alert or something similar. I don't know if he "feels" different when his blood sugar starts to drop. I don't feel anything until it's quite low. Everyone is different. Some have symptoms such as excessive perspiration when it's not hot; their hands will start to shake; they will feel like their limbs are like lead and they can't move; rapid heartbeat, etc. When I start to feel very, very hot and break out in a sweat, I take my meter out and test.

Again, as I have never lost consciousness or my reasonable thinking, I cannot say what would have happened if you were not there. Each diabetic is an individual and we all do not experience the same thing. Hopefully, this scared him enough to be ultra cautious and have a serious talk with his doctor.

I can't tell you not to worry, because you will always worry about your child no matter how old they are. I know I do, even though they are both adults. Just feel better that you both were able to help when you could.
 
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michdur replied to auriga1's response:
Thank you for taking the time to share. . My son seems to have the same experience. He gets all sweaty and can't seem to help himself. So scary as he lives alone. Has this happen (lows) often not being aware, esp when he wakes up during the night. I have talked to him about changing Dr. again. He was seeing a reg GP and we said he should see a specialist. He changed to one a couple of months ago and as she didn't take the time to read his records and thought he was type 2 when he is type 1! Hope to get it all str out soon.
I just get so worried about him and want to help him in anyway I can.
 
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An_247750 replied to michdur's response:
I've been a type 1 diabetic for 36 years and know what you're dealing with. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it!), my wife tends to notice my lows before me when they occur. This inattention often comes from having become "used to" those events and losing a bit of sensitivity. If one passes out, they can regain consciousness and be able to handle their situation, but one should never expect that to occur. This is the benefit of tightly monitoring your health when you are alone.
I'm going to make a few suggestions:
Perhaps you can come to an agreement with him that when he feels sweaty or otherwise abnormal he'll agree to test his sugar, no matter what.
If the problem is taking too much insulin before meals, take less (especially when dining out) than he feels he needs and then test an hour after and make adjustments from there. If he carb-counts, he may get good at judging, but it still takes a lot of guesswork and needs to be constantly tested to assure correct carbs to insulin matches.
Coming off of not having his basal insulin for an extended period, he is quite likely having trouble re-regulating his balance between the two. Although it might be an isolated incident, he should never go without one, but rather go to another pharmacy and get what his body requires.
If his lows are during the night, I would suggest that he set the alarm for a week to between 2-4 am (depending on when he eats last at night) and test his numbers then. This way he will get a better idea of how his body trends at what seems to be the incident time. If he remains low, he should cut back on his fast acting insulin one unit at a time until he gets the correct balance; if they are very low he might cut back two.
If his numbers are low at all pre-meal times, he needs to cut back on the basal dosage. Either situation should be cured by doing this.
Get a good doctor. The Joslin Center for Diabetes in Boston is one of the top diabetes research hospitals in the country, and has many affiliates throughout the US; check and see if there is one near him. It pays to be treated by the best in the field. Go to their web site, they also have a bookstore with titles about many topics that are very helpful to regulating his condition.
Lastly, the hardest part, try not to worry.
 
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Anon_838 replied to michdur's response:
GP's have very little training on how to treat Type 1's. I would suggest that he start seeing an Endocrinologist. Also, when searching for an Endo ask if he/she treats Type 1's because some Endo's only have Type 2 patients and their mind set for treating will be towards type 2's.
 
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michdur replied to An_247750's response:
These are some great suggestions. I will pass this on to my son. Not worrying seem impossible but I am trying.Thanks!
 
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michdur replied to Anon_838's response:
Yes, he is seeing a dr. now who seems to deal with type 2, will talk to him about changing docs. Thanks!


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