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Wanted: A Type 1 Adult

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by KatieJane'smom, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. KatieJane'smom

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    to desribe in detail what a low feels like and specifically how it affects your cognitive thinking - your reasoning, your decision-making abilities, your concentration, your ability to read & write. The same things for how it feels to be high.

    I'm just hoping that someone else can describe this better than I can (non-D) and then I can pass it on to my dd's school in hopes of making them understand why she may need a couple of academic accomodations when her blood sugar is out of range.

    I've tried, in vain, to get them to understand but I just must not be articulating it well. The just keep coming back with "Well, all she has to do is TELL us that she's having a problem" I can't them to understand that there are many times she is incapable of telling them she's having a problem because she doesn't realize it or just can't reason well enough to tell them what's wrong.

    Any Type 1's out there willing to share your experience?
     
  2. Brynn

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    Kristi,
    You KNOW I am always here to help you!:cwds:
     
  3. KRenee

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    Hey, I'm actually Krenee's 13yr old, but I'm told I'm good at talking so here it goes.

    When I'm mildy low (61-70) I feel slighty spastic and may have trouble with simple questions like "what is X times 1 over 2?" My reasoning ability at this level is still good and I can usually take care of it myself. I get a tingling feeling in my fingers and toes which helps me realize I need sugar. People don't typically notice when I'm mildy low.

    When I'm moderately low (51-60) my reasoning becomes slightly impaired. If I realize that I am low, and my meter confirms it, I might not handle the situation correctly. I may raise my hand in class and ask if I can call my mother but not remember to say why and be denied permission. The reason I call my mother at this level of low is to make sure I handle the situation right. My mother will probably tell me to take 2 or 3 sugar tabs and retest in 20 minutes. Although this seems simple, a hypoglycemic diabetic might not think to take 3 sugar tabs instead of just one. The feeling I get at this level of low is an overall tingling in my body and it feels as if I have no blood in my veins. I have difficulty walking and become clumsy. When I am this low, people who know me well start to notice a change in my behavior.

    Extreme low (20-50) At this level it is obvious to me that I am low but my cognitive ability is such that I do not say anything or if I do it is something strange like "may I go to the bathroom?" (to take my number, but I don't say that) If I wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom I probably wouldn't say anything else until class ended or I passed out. I am extremely clumsy at this stage and will be barely able to walk and hold things. The feeling I have is the same as what I get in a moderate low only worse. It will take me about 20 minutes to recover from a low like this. Almost anyone can tell if I have reached an extreme low. The best thing to do in a situation like this is to encourage the hypoglycemic to have liquid carbs like soda (but not diet soda) or lemonade.

    I hope this helps. It's fine with me if you want to print it out and show it to the teacher.

    Becky
     
  4. Seans Mom

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    Wow, this is excellent Becky. Not the symptoms but the way in which you so clearly describe them. Sean is hypo unaware so he can't explain it to me, the closest he's gotten is to tell me he's hungry or starving and demand food NOW or a couple times when he was falling fast he told me he was dizzy but that was only a couple times and his cgms has shown him falling that fast many times.
    I know everyone is different but this is a very articulate way to show non diabetic adults a view of how it feels in a way anyone should be able to comprehend.
    Excellent job and Thank You. :)
     
  5. Mom2rh

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    Thanks Becky! Well written and a great description.
     
  6. Mom211

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    Wonderful explanation, Becky!

    I've tried to get my 5yo to explain how she feels during a low and she usually just says she "feels funny". After reading this hopefully I'll be able to help her better aritculate how she feels.

    Thank you !
     
  7. hypercarmona

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    I've been hypo unaware for a while, but I remember what the symtoms were for the 20s and 30s I had when I was pregnant in 2002. Some of them I remember from experience, many of them were described to me after the fact. :eek:

    Like Becky, I would have trouble answering questions; I felt lost or distracted (like if I were suddenly unable to remember where I was or what I was doing); my lips and face would feel numb; I would have lots of trouble seeing, it felt as if my eyes were permanently crossed or if I were trying to see underwater; I would have trouble checking my BG (my grandmother told me once that it looked as if I couldn't decide on what finger to check, and I kept "examining" them.) I've also been told that it looked as if I had a stroke, because I couldn't seem to focus, grasp things or speak clearly. DH says I'd give him "weird looks", as if I were struggling to see him.

    BGs less than 200 usually don't give me any problems day to day. When I'm moderately high (+/- 250), I start to experience blurred vision and mild thirst. BGs greater than 300 would send me to the bathroom every 10 minutes to pee and I would have trouble seeing to drive (I wear glasses for nearsightedness anyway, and it makes that so much worse). I would likely feel nauseous and exhausted, and I would be VERY irritable. It would be hard for me to walk very far, because highs like that usually give me leg cramps.

    When I was in high school, I had this sheet that was given to me by the doc that diagnosed me that had these little ugly faces with each symptom of a high and low. That always worked really well at getting the point across, even to those who couldn't care less, because it was simple and easy to read. I'm pretty sure it's in the attic, I need to see if I can find it.
     
  8. s0ccerfreak

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    i have that same sheet. I can scan it and upload it sometime tonight. I will think about how to explain my lows and will come back later when I have the words :cwds:
     
  9. clb1968

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    I will give some thought to this too and give you how they effect me and my ability to think and do anything.

    I have been reading your posts on all the issues with the school and I can feel your frustration and anger with all the c*rap they are putting out.
     
  10. iluvmhp

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    These are very informative replies. Thank you for taking the time to post.
     
  11. HarleyGuy

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    A younger version of Me...;)

    Magnificent...:cwds:




     
  12. s0ccerfreak

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    Here are the best words I could put to how I feel when low and how it affects me.

    Mild low (60-70): I can usually function fine at these levels. I get this "hungry" feeling, but it is different from the "is it dinner yet?" kind of hungry. I tend to get tired- I will want to lie down and take a nap in the middle of the day. My mouth and tongue will sometimes tingle. I sometimes feel shaky.


    Moderate low (50-60): I have the same symptoms here as the mild lows, but I have more problems concentrating and communicating at this point. I start to get confused and spacey. I don't really think about what I'm saying or doing. Reading and writing take much thought. I have a hard time comprehending what I'm reading. If I write something, I have to go over it multiple times to see if it makes sense.


    Severe low (49 and under): This is when the real problems start. I have trouble with simple tasks. When I realize I need to test I often have a hard time just setting up the meter. My thought process is basically nonexistent. I might test see that I'm say 43 and I will just sit there and do nothing for 5 minutes. Then I will think- oh I should probably eat something. I can barely form a sentence and have trouble thinking of words I use every day. What I do say makes little to no sense at all. I completely zone out on everything that is going on around me. I do not comprehend anything or take in any information so don't try to tell me anything at this point. Reading and writing are impossible at this bg level. I just stare into space and try to keep my eyes open.

    At this point I feel dizzy and very tired. I sometimes get a tingling feeling in my mouth and tongue. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to pass out- weak, dizzy, eye's rolling back, and legs wobbling. My limbs feel like they weigh a million pounds which makes walking difficult. I feel like everything is spinning and I tend to stager as I walk. I feel like I am separated from everything going on- I?m in my own little world.

    Here is the sheet with the lil dudes illustrating low symptoms and what to do
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  13. 2type1s

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    Zoe (8) says: 60-70, my legs shake, body shakes
    40-50: my head gets really light-headed, dizzy, feels like I'm going to faint, can't really walk.
    20-30: My entire body shakes, weird twitches in my eyes, can't see, can't do anything, must eat.

    Morgan (14): 60-70 sometimes a little shaky, can't concentrate until sugar starts to rise.

    40-50: hard to think straight, shaky, hands start to sweat, dizzy.

    20-30: need help, very dizzy, tingly, can't keep eyes open, very sweaty, feel like passing out, have difficulty talking or walking.

    As a mom, I can say they are both pale when low, pink when high. When they are high, they are mean as snakes.
     
  14. Brensdad

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    For me, I always feel the pounding heartbeat first, and then everything is just kind of "fuzzy." I don't really best know how to describe it other than it stinks. I'm rarely silly, never violent, 99.99% of the time I am completely aware of what's happening.

    Highs just suck. Like living in a jar of honey.
     
  15. yeswe'rebothD

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    lows for me come on like trying to think about something I know I've forgotten... if I'm fixing dinner I'll feel like I left something out of a dish. Or I snap at someone for something that definitely didn't deserve a snap.

    I think the best way I could describe it is that feeling you get when you catch your kid from falling and cracking their head on the coffee table or whatever-- the adrenaline rush that happens in the miliseconds following, except spread over about 10-30 minutes. Fast heart beat, sweating, feel cold and like your extremities are dissolving...

    Nick, LOVE the jar of honey analysis!
     
  16. yeswe'rebothD

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    Oh yeah, and don't ever try touching me when I'm low. That's the only thing that triggers combativeness for me. I know I need help and want someone there with me, but if you touch me I'm likely to, at best, shove you off, and at worse, slap you. I've never actually hit anyone that I know of, but the desire is often there.
     
  17. twolittleladybugs

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    Great explanations! Emily's gotten pretty clear about how she feels as she's gotten older, but it's interesting hearing others describe it. I just wanted to say that we got lucky, if you call it that, and caught Emily doing school work when low a few times. The difference between that work and remainder of the assignment finished after she was back in range is always very striking. It's the most effective way we've found to get people to truly understand how much low blood sugars affect her thinking. I think one of the things was a pattern assignment in Kindergarten. Unknown to us, the nurse had told the teacher to send her school work to do while she was waiting for her blood sugar to come up. After seeing that paper come home, I knew immediately what had happened and after showing the nurse, she apologized and stopped doing that. We had it come up again last year when the nurse wanted Emily to bring a book to read instead of coloring like she usually does while waiting. Emily quickly vetoed that, saying there was no way she could read a book while she was low. She actually just did a practice spelling test with my husband earlier this week and after looking at it, he figured out she was low. She missed most of the words, even "spelling!" The after test was pretty much perfect (same as it was the day before). I'm sending it to her teachers on Monday so they can have a reminder of how important good blood sugars are to school work.

    Good luck! I'm so sorry you guys are going through this.

    Kelly

    Emily 7--dx@2 1/2, mult food allergies
    Kaitlyn 3
     
  18. KatieJane'smom

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    Wow! These are fantastic answers - very clear and detailed. A million thank yous to everone who responded!!! I really, really appreciate it So very much.

    I plan on copying parts of your responses to give to the school. How in the world they are still stating that diabetes foes not affect learning at times is beyond me! I will not use anyone' name but just the symptoms described. If you have any objection to your info being used then please let me know

    I love my CWD family SO much and I'm so grateful for your support!
     
  19. TerpSteph

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    Thanks to all of you for your responses. It is really enlightening. Matt recognizes his lows and usually catches them in the 60's, so we haven't seen too many strange behaviors. Once he was 52 and he ran away from us after he read the meter. I followed him, gave him juice and he was fine in 5 minutes.

    Kristi - I'm so sorry you're having so much trouble with your daughter's school. Matt's HS was so easy to work with. We took a copy of the Pink Panther book and showed them the sypmptoms of both a hypo and hyper situation and they agreed to a 504 right away. I wish you luck getting your daughter the protection she deserves!
     
  20. emm142

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    OH, I thought this was just me!

    I get way more sensitive to sensory input of any kind when I'm low. Loud music, confusion, touch, heat, cold... Everything is multiplied by 1000 when I'm low, and I have been known to push people away if they touch me. :eek:

    To me, lows feel kind of like MASSIVE stage fright, combined with confusion.
     

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