Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Fear . . . .

fearDo you remember that bad low I wrote about last week?  Although it’s in the past, I find it has left me with an unexpected “side effect”.  Fear.

I’m not used to being afraid of going low.  Well, okay, I supposed I’m always a little bit afraid because lows can be serious and deserve a smidgen of healthy caution.  But for the most part I tend to worry more about highs than lows.  That has all changed.  I find myself getting panicky when my CGM low alarm rings.  I get scared when I feel the familiar fuzzy and shaky feeling.  Worse yet, my Fitbit stats tell me I’m averaging around 3,000 steps a day - no where near my 10,000 a day goal.  And I know my lack of steps is solely due to my fear of going low.

I think the reason this one is different from the rest is because it seemingly came out of nowhere.  In my 35+ years with diabetes there have been very few lows when I can’t remember what happened.  And they’ve occurred either in the middle of the night (when I likely slept through the low symptoms) or when I was already treating but it didn’t work fast enough.  This time was different.  This time, I was fine one minute and definitely not fine the next.

There is, of course, a silver lining.  I’m paying more attention.  I’m wearing my CGM continuously.  I’m testing more and not ignoring my Low Predicted alarms. That break I felt I needed is long gone. I even find I'm rarely swagging boluses, instead actually counting my carbs as precisely as I can in the hopes of avoiding a (now dreaded) over-bolus.

Sure, this sounds good - this reawakened attention to diabetes details.  And it is good, if it didn’t come with a huge dose of fear.  Because I don’t want to - I can’t - let myself live in the shadow of diabetes fear.  I’m hopeful the fear will just fade as that low moves farther and farther into my past.  But if you have any tips for overcoming it faster, I’d sure love to hear them.


  1. I wish I had an answer for you Karen!! The majority of my lows are the "I don't remember a thing" type so I totally understand. As far as fear, I've never felt it (never probably isn't right but I'll go with it anyway). I always assumed someone would help me and I'd be OK. Dumb on my part but it's helped keep me from the shadow of fear all these years.

    For now I'd say concentrate on your own words: "In my 35+ years with diabetes there have been very few lows when I can’t remember what happened." While I can't guarantee it, I'm sure the 'very few' will stay that way. And, you have the tools to help you (which you are using more now and that's good!). If you do start going low, you'll catch it before you get to the "black out" phase.

    I hope your fear lessens soon!!

  2. I wish I had great advice for how to deal with the fear of a bad low. I continually have bad lows occasionally. I know when I exercise that it does seem to allow me to feel lows. This really has helped to avoid seizures. I know exercising can cause lows but I have found that more often I keep up with my exercise the less these bad lows seem to happen for me personally. I know since I do have Hypoglycemia Unawareness I don't feel anything most of the time so working on figuring out signs of lows coming on has been helpful.

    I have spent too much time living in the fear and I decided one day that I was going to just take one day at a time because I will make mistakes and I am human. After that point I do not fear lows but I am working on realizing you can't prevent them all from happening. I do my best to prevent them and I know ignoring CGM alarms does not help but at times it can be tiring to address them so frequently. Big Hugs from Duchess and I.

  3. It stinks that we have so much to deal with, and then fear decides to jump on for good measure. Like Tarra says, maybe one day at a time is what will work for now. Good luck.

  4. I feel your pain. Bad lows are scary, fear-inducing events. I had a lot of lows when I was diagnosed, and it's taken me years to get over that fear. Sounds like you'll be back to your awesome self much, much sooner than that.

  5. Ugh, I just read your post from last week about your scary low. I can understand why you have fear (I've been there!), but know you can overcome it. Taking one day at a time is good advice.

  6. I don't have any tips for overcoming that fear. When I'm dialling up my insulin, I sometimes take a moment to think twice about the dose I am giving myself. Take comfort in the fact that you've learned something from that experience and you're taking steps to move past it. Sometimes the best thing about these experiences is that they are a wake up call.

  7. Yep, Fear of Lows is such a thing in my world. Had a bad driving experience with a low behind the wheel, several years ago, and I couldn't bring myself to get back into the driver's seat for a couple weeks. That ease of driving, or just living, is completely stripped away. I remember staying up all night, just because I was afraid of going Low again (after a string of them), and not wanting to again call the paramedics. Hope the CGM and LGS does bring some peace of mind your way, and helps ease that FOH at least a bit for you.


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