How To Help Someone When Low Blood Sugar Strikes

This month, I competed in the Pink Ladies Game Day Challenge with three of my sorority sisters for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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We had a BLAST! We played tug-o-war, changed a car tire, relay raced, paddle boarded, and more. It was a team challenge competition and although we didn’t win best costume, it wasn’t because we didn’t try. We were certainly cute.

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I felt amazing. We came to win and it showed.

14796124_10157544458745648_1199683053_o1I felt like a warrior until…

The combination of heat and intense exercise caused my blood sugar to drop. When we completed the paddle board game, the last challenge of the day, I proceeded to find juice. I located a waitress  preparing the breakfast for the participants.

I asked, “Do you have any juice? Orange juice or apple?”

She pointed to the free coconut water available for participants.

“Thanks, but I have diabetes and my blood sugar is dropping, I need some juice.”

She returned my comment with the same information, “We have coconut water.”

I walked away and found someone else.  “Excuse me Miss, I need some juice, where can I find juice. I am willing to pay if need be”

“Did you ask the ladies preparing the breakfast spread?”

“Yes, I did. I even told the woman that I have diabetes and my blood sugar is dropping.”

She looked puzzled. With my anxiety rising, I didn’t have time to figure out why. Maybe she was puzzled that no one helped me or that I just shared with her that I am having a medical crisis. I walked away and quickened my pace. I started searching for something. Anything. My eyes landed on the beautiful display on the table. It was made out of fruit.

With the strength of 1,000 women, I started dismantling the display for a navel orange and prayed to God that I wouldn’t have to scream at someone for telling me that I shouldn’t take an orange. I sat down and started eating the orange.

My sorority sisters came over to me and the most amazing exchanged happened.

P: “We were looking for you, is your blood sugar low?”

Me: nod yes

P: “I can tell by the way you’re eating that orange.”

JB: Seeing that I am almost finished with the orange, “Do you want me to peel another one for you?”

Me: nod yes

P: “Do you want me to get you a coconut water?”

Me: nod no

D: “No she needs simple sugar like the juice from these oranges.”

Me: nod yes.

JB: “Here’s the next one.”

Me: nod yes

This exchange was EVERYTHING!! I am so thankful for how smooth this went that I felt compelled to publicly thank them for this moment.

Furthermore, I want to share three ways that you can be the PERFECT help when someone experiences low blood sugar in your presence.

1-I didn’t have to talk. Talking requires too much energy. The fact that I only needed to nod was awesome. Ask yes or no questions. “Is your blood sugar low?” or “Do you need juice?” Rather than open ended questions like “What’s going on?” or “What would you like me to do”

2-They knew the signs. Seeing me attack that orange like it had stolen my last dime was a clear sign that something wasn’t right and they knew what was going on. This was a blessing because I didn’t have to explain. Know what hypoglycemia looks like (sweats, shaking, etc) LINK TO SIGNS

3- They understood the need for simple sugar. When a person is experiencing low blood sugar, make sure your first thought is juice instead of chocolate. A lot of people think about candy bars, but you should think  juice even sweet tea would be great. Sugar, Sugar, Sugar.

The next time you are out and someone has an episode of low blood sugar, do your best to assist them and help make that moment easier for them. If you are living with someone who has diabetes and you don’t know how to properly assist them, ask them now so that you when a moment of crisis comes, you already know what to do.

20 minutes later, I was back to normal and ready for action.

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By | 2017-08-01T02:59:48+00:00 October 30th, 2016|Assisting Someone with Diabetes|

2 Comments

  1. Rick Philips October 30, 2016 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    How did your team do? I am glad you found someone to help out. I use tabs for my blood sugar control. I suggest maybe a plastic bag with some glucose tabs. I hope you had great fun !!

    • Dr. P October 31, 2016 at 8:08 am - Reply

      Thanks Rick,
      Although we placed 1st in tug-o-war, we didn’t make the top 3 over all. So, we missed the prizes this time around. But, we’re already optimistic about next year.
      I like the suggestion of the plastic bag with glucose tabs. I will have to remember that, especially because I just bought some.

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