Posted by on Monday 15 February 2010

Uncertain beginnings

This weekend was decidedly odd.

The girls were away doing exciting outward bound things and Jane and I had planned a nice weekend's worth of activity - a trip to the cinema, a meal out, that sort of thing. It was going to be great.

On Saturday I ended up in hospital.

It wasn't anything hugely dramatic in the end, but it was pretty scary at the time. I'm no beginner to this Diabetes lark, and I seem to pretty much know what's coming my way most of the time. I'm lucky in that I guess. I'd woken up with slightly low blood sugar on Saturday morning. This sort of blip is usually quickly sorted out with some fast acting carbohydrate (yes I know it's supposed to be Lucozade or glucose tablets but give me a fun-size chocolate bar any time). 10-20g of sugars, leave it a few minutes and all is usually well. But here was the thing... my sugar levels came up fine, but I lost the power of speech. I could write words down - though my thoughts were not particularly clear - but forming a spoken sentence was all but impossible. I have noticed some hypoglycaemic episodes having an effect on the speech centres on the brain. In fact, ask Jane or the girls and they'll tell you just how much nonsense I'll spout at the time, but this was different. For hours afterwards my sugar levels were well up (around 10-15mmol/l) and my brain was still on the fritz. A little after lunch we headed to the hospital. At that stage we had no idea whether this connected with the hypo, or something else entirely.

Thankfully the staff at the hospital in Bristol were excellent. Listened carefully and checked me over to make sure I was fine to go home. But the experience has left us with a desire to note things down, ask questions, consider, and look at the condition that is part of my and my families life.

It's only just striking me as I write this first post that this year I turn 41. I was diagnosed at 21 during the final year of my degree course. From this point on I will have had type 1 Diabetes for longer than I was without it. This is a good time, I think, to have a good long look at things.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Posted on behalf of: mattjones

    Dear Mike et al.,
    I found the link to your blog via the Bristol Diabetes Support Group. I've also have Type 1 for around 20 years, and am getting dangerously close to 40. I (and my fairer half) agree that "having a good look at things" is timely.

    So I wanted to post a comment primarily as a yelp of support - not sure if you feel this blog is proving good for you, but it reads like it might be. More specifically, I can often sense imminent hypos through loss of coherent speech, not that I'm much of an orator at the best of times. We should volunteer for brain scans.

    Please shout in the unlikely event that you want to compare notes. Good luck either way.

    mattjonesster at gmail dot com

  3. Hey, like you, I used to treat hypos with chocolate but I have recently switched to glucose tabs - the problem with chocolate (and the same goes for milkshakes, believe me - i've tried it all over the 22 years I have been diabetic) is that it has fat in it. I don't know if you are aware of the way fat affects the absorption of carbs, but it means it goes in much much slower. Anyhow, i changed about 2 months back, and am finding that it means I get better from the hypo quicker. Maybe this could explain what happened?
    Plus, you can get glucose tabs on prescrip - i don't know about you, but I get through a LOT of hypo remedies....
    Re: other Mike's comment - my other half often says I talk a lot more when I am hypo so there may be some weight to the theory....

  4. Hi Clara

    I've not heard that you can get glucotabs on prescription. Not that I'll take it up though. I really don't like 'em :P

    Yes I've always known that chocolate was not a perfect hypo remedy. Oddly since February I've used chocolate far less often too. Fine for a low level dip, but these days we always have Lucozade in for lower readings, and I keep Fruit Pastilles or Skittles in my pocket (along with a little tin of sugar). They have virtually no fat and survive in a jeans pocket quite well.


  5. Mike I had no idea! Why did you not post in the forum because it would be really interesting to everyone and I'd like to know how common this is.
    I hope and pray you are OK now!

  6. Thanks Patti

    This year has been a big change, thanks to the advice and support I've found on forums and blogs. Frustratingly having had great bg averages for months, I seem to be drifting really high on the run up to annual review. Tch! Typical!