Diabetes is a disease most people would not elect to have, especially if treatment includes injections. It requires a life long commitment to diet, exercise, and medication, along with the support of all family members. If a young child is diagnosed with type one, other family members must know the signs of low blood sugar, how to quickly and safely treat those symptoms, how to check blood sugars, and administer insulin injections. A local support group is also a great idea. Those who have traveled the path can offer insights and valuable suggestions.
For those type ones that can administer self injections of insulin, initially that may be the hardest obstacle to overcome, however it does become a routine more quickly than you might think. Because low blood sugar must be treated promptly, all diabetics should always have access to sugar. Many people will not understand the need for something sweet when blood sugar is plummeting. Imagine when you're shaking uncontrollably and even thinking becomes a major battle, then someone gets in your face to remind you about diabetes and give you the third degree about having something with sugar. Not a great experience.
Education Is Key
Friends and relatives do mean well, however unless they truly understand the highs and lows of blood sugars, they will not immediately get it. If you or a close friend is diabetic, you should always carry Glucose Tablets for emergencies. Most pharmacies carry the tablets and they are often in the diabetic or diet section. They can be purchased over the counter and come in a large container and in smaller plastic tubes. In the summer in Arizona, this is the perfect item to carry that won't melt in the 120 + temperatures. The tube also keeps them from getting crushed and it will easily slip into a purse, backpack, or pocket. A great system is to purchase the large bottle then refill the tubes as needed. It's great to keep them in the car, at work, school, with friends, family, or wherever you spend time away from home.
When I was first diagnosed and suffered many low blood sugar episodes, all of my friends and family learned along with me. Before Glucose Tablets, they each kept soft drinks in their refrigerators or orange juice. The drinks were wrapped in a sign with my name and Emergency Use Only. It was wonderful to have such dedicated friends and family.
One time when I experienced a severe low during a car trip, a friend had to run into a very crowded McDonald's to the front of the line to ask for a Coke. This was before drive throughs. When I was feeling better, he joked that he should have asked for a bag of Big Macs too. Never lose your sense of humor because it will help get you through the more difficult times.
Be sure those you spend time with know the first symptoms of low blood sugar and help you treat it immediately with Glucose Tablets, or something with sugar. Orange juice works the best for me.
Low blood sugar symptoms from the American Diabetes Association:
Shaking or jittery
Cold, clammy, sweating
Numbness or tingling in fingers or lips
Trouble talking, thinking
Remember - You're gonna make it after all.
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