Posted by on Wednesday 17 February 2010

And a note from the wife...

It isn't unusual for Mike to need some sugar first thing in the morning, and it isn't unusual for me to take a few minutes to realise, you see, Mike isn't the sharpest tack in the packet first thing.

We do wonder whether this is why he is low more often than he'd like in the mornings. Apparently glucose levels rise as you wake up, Mike is much less likely to have low blood sugar when he wakes up naturally, but unfortunately won't wake up until 9.30 or 10.00 unless I wake him, so at least 6 out of 7 days, he is woken up earlier than his body would like.

Anyway, where was I, oh yes, not the sharpest tack. We get little more than "Ug." out of Mike before 10am.

Unless he's very low, Mike, of course, deals with his sugar levels himself. To put it into perspective, I only need to intervene maybe 4 or 5 times a year, and on those occasions, usually gentle encouragement to eat or drink enough sugar is all that is needed. Once every 3 or 4 years, there's a slightly scarier moment.

On this occasion, Mike seemed lucid enough to sort himself out, but had a sharp pain in his head and felt nauseous, which made it hard to swallow anything. He couldn't eat breakfast; unheard of. As he's already mentioned, the weirdest thing was his speech. He lost words. Blood sugar up, but head still hurting he went back to bed. Two hours later, blood sugar fine, he still had not found those words. I thought - minor stroke.

As I drove Mike to casualty, I checked our bank balance in my head. I worked out that although we're self employed, we'd be fine to last at least six months if it took that long to recover. I thought, if it is a stroke, I'm sitting next to a time bomb. I thought, how on earth will I tell his Mum. I thought, thank God the kids are away. I thought, Mike don't leave me yet.

The Doctor was able to reassure us that it wasn't a stroke, but he wasn't able to explain why it had happened or tell us how to prevent it happening again. We have never sought support with dealing with Mike's diabetes, and the realisation that after 20 years of diabetes, after 15 years of marriage, we knew more about it than the Doctor, made us feel quite alone.

Where do we go from here?

Well, we're not alone. Thousands of people are in our position, so the best thing to do is speak to them.

I'd like to share some of the hilarious and stressful complications that occur when combining toddlers, no sleep, a diabetic husband and an Asda trolley, for the benefit of anyone about to embark on the adventure of parenthood. Our daughters, now 12 and 10, would like to join in and share their thoughts on 'life when Daddy goes a little doolally'. I can feel a list of wifely do's and don'ts coming on, like 'when you can see he's low, confiscate the hammer'. Maybe that needs a little more explaining. Watch this space.



  1. Thank you! I've just read your blog up to March 2010, and as a Mum a an eight year old diagnosed last Septemeber with Type 1 can identify with many of your comments. It seems to me that Diabetes is a balancing act for life! Although a nurse, I can now honestly say I really had not appreciated how volatile Diabetic blood glucose can be and how often for no apparent reason. It seems impossible to get stability even though Rosie eats sensibily and follows the prinicples of low fat, low sugar etc!!
    I could tear my hair out at times when trying to calculate why her blood sugars have gone so haywire, high or low!
    It's good to realise we're not alone, many thanks again!

  2. i read the blog with interest and both of my sons have type 1 diabetes and both on the pump .
    my youngest son also can a scary hypo like your husband and i was convinced he had a stroke as he was unable to speak or focus or walk and did not speak for 5 hours after the hypo ,
    He is 5 and has been diabetic since he was 2 .
    rosie also may have eractic sugar due to growth spurts ,which is often a subject they do not discuss at clinic
    good luck to everyone and will blog the blogs with interest