T1D Living

Rules To Handling a diabetic low in public

I just wanted to go grocery shopping… Famous post-low words. My public lows are usually the culprit of a sneaky low. You know, one of those lows that you don’t feel right away, no progression of symptoms… just BAM! It hits you. All of a sudden your breathing is shallow, you have that hollow feeling all over your body, and you’re super shaky. You don’t even have to check your BG because you know you’re in the 50’s at best. Not to mention, checking your BG would take a whole 30 seconds which is 30 seconds longer than you want to feel this way for. So you just throw a bunch of chalky glucose tablets down the hatch and wait it out.

Over the course of 9 years I have learned the best ways and the worst ways to handle a diabetic low in public. In my experience, the best way to handle a low in public is to be prepared so that when the time comes you won’t have to do much other than sit your behind down (which is Rule #3) and treat that low.

Rule #1 ALWAYS carry sugar…ALWAYS!

Unless I am hanging out in the yard or running to the mailbox, I NEVER leave the house without sugar. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to myself, Oh I’m just running down the street, I’ll be fine. Or I’ll only be gone for an hour, what could possible happen in an hour with no insulin on board?

But you know how that story plays out.. girl thinks she’ll be fine, girl gets low, girl is not fine, girl panics, girl cries, girl gets help from a stranger, girl feels embarrassed, girl feels better, girl goes on her way.

Most of that scenario could be avoided if you just had some sugar back up! And what if it wasn’t for that nice stranger that helped you. We don’t even want to go there… so I repeat…ALWAYS carry sugar with you.

…and always carry more than you think you’ll need.


Rule #2 Put Sugar in Every Possible Place

I have sugar stashed in my car doors, center console, and glove box. I have a stash at work, in my purse, and in my omnipod bag. At home I have an even bigger stash in my diabetes supply corner and my night stand. I have sugar EVERYWHERE. This comes in hand when you’re out running errands, experience a low, and realize you only have 3 smooshed jelly beans at the bottom of your purse, gross. But thankfully, if you have a big container of glucose tablets in your car you

a.) won’t have  to eat said jelly beans and

b.) will have enough sugar to bring you out of that low.


Rule #3 Find a seat and plop your behind down

Few things are worse than trying to treat a low while in motion. Try to find a seat where you can sit down and chill. Even if that means going into a dressing room, or sitting on the side of a curb (granted there are no cars whizzing by). Bonus points if you can find a quite place outside – something about nature is so calming, isn’t it? Even if it’s just a single tree in a parking lot. Find it and sit under it.


A Low in Public

As much as being low in public sucks just realize that there are literally people all around you that can help. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help if you get scared or nervous. You’d be surprised how friendly people can be.




Rules To Handling a diabetic low in public

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Leave A Comment

  1. Matt Schmidt April 12, 2017 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    3 simple, but extremely important rules to follow. Not leaving home without some form of sugar is a must!

    • T1D Living April 13, 2017 at 11:31 am - Reply

      Yes! Simple is key when you’re dealing with a low 🙂

  2. […] Wondering how I deal with a low in public? Check out my article on dealing with a low in public here. […]

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