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What is it like to pass out during a hypo

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by donnac1968, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. donnac1968

    donnac1968 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    I have had Type 1 for 29 years and have had hypos. But I have never gone unconscious. This is a huge fear for me and I run my levels too high to avoid going too low just in case.
    I am currently having therapy for my fear and was wondering if anyone could tell me what it is like to go so low that you pass out?
    What do you feel before it happens, and when you come out again?
    I am frightened of something I've never actually experienced!
    Thanks
    Donna
     
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  2. LauraC27

    LauraC27 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have the same fear! (although i have only been diabetic for 1 year)
    I have not passed out.. but my hypo symptoms are pretty strong that i know what i'm feeling and treat it quickly.
    I've not been in a situation where i haven't had sugar to hand yet...
    I worry about this also as i have a 4 year old and i am on my own with him the majority of the time and i worry that if something happened to me he would be alone. But touch wood.. i have reacted to hypo symptoms quickly thus far!
     
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  3. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Hi @donnac1968

    Like you I've been fortunate not to experience a hypo where I've gone unconscious, but being frightened of the unknown is understandable and I'm sure anyone who hasn't experienced a severe hypo will dread the day when it may happen...... that is human nature.

    Sorry can't help with your query but just wanted to reassure you that your not alone with this fear. Take care and hope the therapy helps.
     
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  4. billywhiz2

    billywhiz2 Other · Active Member

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    I have gone unconscious one, did not really know much about it. Once you fine around out it's just like a hypo that you normally have. I have helped on numerous occasions people that have passed out. Most have a fit similar to epilepsy, then groan a lot and within a few minutes before groggy but alert. Just make sure people around you know what to do.
     
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  5. Tanny35

    Tanny35 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have been unconscious twice in 30 years because of hypos. Same as the comment above - u don't actually know that much about it.
    One of mine I kept drifting in and out of conciousness (I was alone in the house) my phone was ringing and I could hear it as I was coming around but couldn't function to work it.
    The other time I knew absolutely nothing until I woke up on my bed with a canula in my arm injecting me with glucose. This was probs the worst for me as I woke up and there was a guy leaning over me and I couldn't work out what had happened. But then when u realise u feel like a normal hypo. The glucagon did make me feel pretty awful for the whole day though!
    It's easy for me to say, but try not to worry about going unconscious through hypo - otherwise it will over take ur life. I feared for a long time being left alone incase it happened again, but then thought I can't sit there worrying every day or I won't live my life to the full! Hope u overcome your fear
     
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  6. Gaz-M

    Gaz-M Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have been in a diabetic 'coma' quite a few times over the years and like has been said sometimes you do not remember anything, others and O presume when not fully out it is kind of like a dream. I remember 1 from around 6 years back when there were crows squarking outside BUT in my head they were aliens from another planet and they were talking to me (strange I know but that was what was happening in my head at the time)

    It is a worry but I have not had a bad hypo where I have needed help for a long time and I personally never think of the what if senario.
     
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  7. dancer

    dancer Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It has happened twice to me, in almost 38 years.

    The first time was in hospital, a couple of days after the birth of my daughter. I remember waking up with a start (about 5 or 6am) and sitting up in bed. The girl in the bed across from me asked if I was OK, I looked at her then fell back onto my pillow. I remember nothing after that till I woke up with a nurse on either side of me, holding me while a doctor tried to attach me to a drip. Another nurse said she was taking baby away to feed her. I tried to say she should only get breast milk, due to possible allergies, but couldn't speak. I remember nothing till I woke up, what seemed like hours later.

    The second time was about 3 years later. I got up, tested my blood (it was 4.6), had my injection then went to get washed. I remember bending over the basin to wash my face, and feeling a bit dizzy. It occurred to me that it could be a hypo but decided it couldn't be as I'd been within target only a few minutes before. I remember walking into the bedroom to get dressed and nothing else. I woke up in hospital, trying to throw up, but thinking it was someone else doing so and making all that noise. When I came to properly, the doctor said I probably injected straight into a blood vessel which was why it affected me so quickly.

    That last one was 25 years ago. It gave me a shock at the time but I soon regained my confidence. Last November I started using a cgm, as my hypo awareness wasn't as good as it used to be. This has given me a lot more confidence now and I wouldn't like to be without it.
     
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  8. himtoo

    himtoo Type 1 · Well-Known Member
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    I have only had 1 daytime proper unconscious experience .....
    woke up and tested a 5.8 -- breakfast and bolus as per normal
    drove in to work ( all this in an hour time slot )
    arrive at work and clock in 08:17am
    that is the last thing i remember .............. next thing is about 10am in an ambulance on way to A&E
    wife beside me ( how the hell did she get there )

    scary it was --- but not had one since ( 2001)
     
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  9. lorraine121362

    lorraine121362 · Newbie

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    What is a hypo I never had one! Is this for people on insulin only?
     
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  10. himtoo

    himtoo Type 1 · Well-Known Member
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    yes -- it is pretty much an insulin based issue -- T2's can get it but it is mainly T1's
     
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  11. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @donnac1968 I think it's really important to take from this thread that it's really pretty rare to pass out hypo. It's a perfectly rational sensible understandable thing to be scared of, but it's not a thing that happens very often, even in people who keep a narrow range of blood sugar levels. I think the mean number of severe hypos in type 1s longer than 15 years is about 1 a year, but a severe hypo doesn't necessarily mean passing out, but requiring assistance from someone else.

    When I went on the DAFNE course there was a room full of something like 90 years of type 1 diabetic experience and only 1 episode of unconcious hypoglycaemia (... until they got to me, I may have brought the total up a little - I've only had severe hypos when at home alone. I haven't been aware of passing out, just of being very disorientated and having lost chunks of time. I have mostly been asleep for the start bit, so only aware of the coming around bit - but I'm a bad example, ignore me!)

    Hypos are always going to be something that all of us worry about. To a certain extent, that's probably a good, sensible thing (very strongly disguised) but if you have some hypo awareness, you test frequently and you react to dropping blood sugar and treat your hypos with fast acting glucose, keeping hypo treatment available all the time you can be pretty confident you will have minimised the risks as much as possible.
     
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  12. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    I have passed out more than a few times and not known about it until I came around, wether it was comatose, I'm not convinced.
    It is really confusing and I think your brain just switches off.
    I can only describe a low like that as unaware and a little disconcerting, with the anxiety of not knowing what happens. Confusing, baffling, and frightening,
    It is definitely like passing out. The light goes out.
    All mine happened in a short space of time, when fluctuating bloods were very high then very low. I don't want to be in that place again!
     
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  13. Shar67

    Shar67 · Guest

    Never passed out due to a hypo but have when I have been vomitting, the vagus nerve stops working (this is the nerve that causes fainting), it is very strange waking up and not knowing how you ended up in a different place from last memory. thankfully I usually fall on bed or sofa.
    First time I thought I'm going to be sick, I must get to bathroom, next I'm waking up on living room floor, panicked trying to work out what was happening, 2nd time I was leaning into a bucket (bucket usually travels room to room with me in case I cannot get to bathroom) woke up with head in bucket. I have woken up lots of times on bathroom,floor I spend a lot of time on my bathroom floor in general as it has the coldest flooring and digestive problems make me sweaty.
    I had lots of brain tests to make sure it wasn't anything else.
     
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  14. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    I will add that I have also found myself in total confusion, not knowing what I'm doing or why I'm there! Total brain reasoning loss.
    Went shopping to the local co-op and the assistant had to try and wake me up like a kick start. I had no idea why I was in the shop or what I was after to buy.
    I came home and had to sleep.
    Another was walking the dog. And I couldn't remember after, which route I had taken or what happened on the walk. That was about ten minutes long and my body went into automatic to bring me home.
    I didn't, at that time have a clue what was going on!!
     
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  15. cz_dave

    cz_dave Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Someone mentioned that already here. CGM could help hou gain more confidence as it would alert you to going low.
     
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  16. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    I have had more than one, due to family issues, stress and worry and some very long active hours. I didn't know anything at the time until I was woken up in an ambulance, the reading was zero, twice, I stayed in hospital overnight, they kept my BS higher, but went home next morning ( my decision) on the bus. It was unfortunate, but it was down to many emotional factors at the time.
    Try not to worry to much about what MAY happen, but try to live your life to the fullest and positively, you will be fine. Take care RRB
     
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  17. rochari

    rochari Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It happened to me a few times many years ago just after I was moved from animal to Human insulin. Almost from when the change took place I lost many of my normal hypo symptoms and those were replaced with tiredness and feeling sleepy but I was slow to notice that. One afternoon I remember reading, could hardly stay awake then absolutely nothing until around 4 hours later when I came around but couldn’t move too well, and unable to get up and get food. Slowly though I did eventually manage to stand and walk very slowly to the kitchen and grab a bag of sugar, (perhaps I came out of it because my liver was still dumping glucose or the insulin had simply passed its duration but I don’t know for sure).

    It probably sounds daft to say this but at the time it wasn’t scary. I was just annoyed that I hadn’t tested when the sleepiness began. Lesson learned!
     
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  18. eddie1968

    eddie1968 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Sweating, shaking, acting drunk and foul mouthed (I was told this). Woke up in A&E with a hand and head injury. Don't remember anything really. The headache after BMs were stabilised was awful and I was tired.

    It can happen in Type 2's on insulin. :)
     
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  19. eddie1968

    eddie1968 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Now I've had a few (lowest was 1.2 mmol/l tested by paramedics) I think the fear of having one is worse than the event itself. To be constantly phobic/anxious is probably more disabling. If it happens it happens...prevention is what you need and keep your eye on the ball. Do not skip meals as you're too busy etc. :)
     
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  20. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    As someone who is 4 years diagnosed, I haven't experienced this, I am sure there are plenty others like me who haven't too. I do feel this is a rare occurrence for a type 1, however as you have asked the question it would alert those who have to respond to the thread. I don't worry about this happening, although it does cross my mind, but I do have very good hypo awareness and can generally catch my hypo before I drop. Having good hypo awareness is your safety net, so as long as you always have quick acting glucose on you then it should help your confidence to know you're prepared ;)
     
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