The Lowest my Blood Sugar Has Ever Dropped

A few nights ago, I experienced one of the scariest low blood sugars I’ve had in a while. Adam and I stopped off to grab some food on our way home from our date night. I took insulin when we were about 10-15 minutes away from the house which is generally the normal amount of time I take insulin before I start eating a meal. (This is the act of pre-bolusing, which allows my insulin to start working in my body ahead of time so that when I begin to eat, I don’t see a big spike post-meal.) After we arrived home and I finished eating the carb-heavy meal, I begin to feel weird.

I manually checked my blood sugar to see that I was 24 mg/dL, the lowest I’ve ever been. (For reference, my healthy blood sugars range from 90-130 mg/dL) At first, I was confused since I didn’t feel that low and decided to check again a few minutes later. I was 34 mg/dL. If you’re a type 1 diabetic, you’re probably used to forcing yourself to eat or drink when you don’t want to in order to raise your blood sugar. This time was even more challenging being so full from the meal I just ate.

panic mode: engaged

I drank all of the orange juice, apple juice, and maple syrup in sight (we ran out of juice and you gotta do what you gotta do). Adam stayed up with me and checked my sugars every 5-10 minutes for over an hour because I would start to drop again randomly.

Dexcom continuous glucose monitor 24 hour graph showing large decrease in blood sugar and large spike in blood sugar a few hours later.

Looking back on the evening, It would have been beneficial to have Adam give me my Baqsimi nasal glucagon, which we had on hand, but for some reason, I felt like I didn’t want to waste it (which is the classic Ariana trait of “save something for an emergency but feel too stubborn to categorize this as an emergency when it happens”. Adam also pulled out the injectable glucagon, just in case. “I never thought I’d ever have to use the glucagon, so having it in my hands ready to go was pretty terrifying.”

Midnight meals are never a good idea

Unfortunately, because I was so scared of dropping again, I didn’t correct prior to going to sleep and woke up at 369 mg/dL in the middle of the night. Which was what I was trying to avoid in the first place by pre-bolusing before the meal! Has anyone EVER had luck with a late meal before going to bed?! They get me every time!

It was a scary night and once again Adam was the most helpful partner, diligently making sure that my low blood sugar was rising and manually testing my blood sugar for me the entire time. I think I just took a little too much insulin a little too early before eating and my meal couldn’t keep up with my numbers.

Now I need to replenish my stash of fast-acting low snacks and remember that this was a one-off event that shouldn’t scare me from taking insulin prior to eating in the future.

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  1. 12.2.21
    Yanira said:

    My 7 year old son is type 1 diabetic. For the most part he has dinner between 5:00pm – 6:30 pm the latest. The later time is usually over the weekend since he’s going to bed later. I’ve definitely learned not to give a late night meal. I feel like no matter how much insulin I give him the sugar stays high throughout the night or he wakes up with a high BS number.

    • 2.11.22

      The same thing happens to me! Especially if my meal is high in carbs (like pizza!)