You’re home alone for the weekend. Parents have gone on a getaway, kids are with grandma, and your sig other is away with friends. Normally this would be time to celebrate! You can finally practice those weird yoga moves, or binge watch The Good Place on Netflix. Or maybe you just want to sing to 90’s pop music while organizing your pinterest boards. Whatever it is that you want to do, you can do it in peace & privacy!
But wait. You have diabetes and dealing with a low alone can be some scary business. So what do you do?
Dealing with a Low Alone
I find that the key tip to dealing with a low alone is to be prepared. Being prepared lessens my “OMG I’M LOW” panic because I have a back-up plan.
Here is how I prepare for dealing with a low alone:
1. Make a Phone List of People You Can Call
Whether you write it down on a piece of paper and stick it on your fridge or make a place for it on your phone, making a list of people and their phone numbers does wonders for a Low Panic.
On my list are people who live both near and not-so-near to me. The people who are near are good for obvious reasons; they can come over in an instant and help me out or just chill with me until I’m feeling better and the panic is gone. The people who are not-so-near can be just as helpful.
My Mom is one of the people on my not-so-near list and typically the first person I call after Justin. She stays on the phone with me until I start to feel better. God forbid if anything happens she could hang up the phone with me, call 911 on my behalf, and send them over to my house.
On a android phone it’s easy to put contact shortcuts on your phone. But now that I switched to the iPhone, it’s a bit harder to do, so I just make them favorites.
2. Have a HEAVY DUTY Supply of Glucose on Hand
If you think you have too much, then that’s perfect! That’s the right amount. I typically will have 2 cartons of OJ in my fridge, a bottle of maple syrup, jar of honey, and 4 jumbo bottles of glucose tablets in my house at all times. Is it excessive? Yes. But will I have enough to survive even the lowest of lows? Yes. And THAT my friends is what gives me the most peace of mind.
3. Alone for Long Periods of Time? Have Someone Text or Check In
I’m not usually home alone for long periods of time, but in the cases that I am, I will pick a friend or family member to stay in close contact with for that length of time.
4. Make a Plan, Even if it’s Just Mentally
Will you call someone, walk to the neighbors house? Whatever it is, walk through that plan in your head like a fire drill.
5. Reach for the Fast Acting Stuff
I don’t know about you all, but when I’m low and alone I panic. That’s why I skip the food or anything that will take time to digest and reach right for the fast acting stuff like glucose tablets, maple syrup, honey, or orange juice.
6. Don’t Try Anything New That Could Make You Drop
When I’m alone and know people won’t be around for even 3 hours I typically will hold off on trying anything drastically new when it comes to my insulin regimen…whether that be a drastically new basal program, an aggressive I:C ratio, and I most certainly hold off on my Tips to lower a stubborn blood sugar number until I know someone will be home soon or I know how much it will drop me (from LOTS of past experiences).
However, when I was living alone, it was a totally different story. During this time, whenever I needed to try something new, yes even drastically new, I was most likely alone and had to do it. So I would call up my Mom or a friend and tell them what I was going to do. They made sure to have their phone on them for the next however-many hours in case I needed them. Or sometimes they would come over and I would do the new change while we were hanging out.
Being Prepared Will Save You Some Serious Anxiety
Having a plan (and a good stockpile of glucose) will save you some major stress when it comes to dealing with a low alone. And just like with anything else, the more you practice it (being prepared), the less scary a low when you’re alone will be.
Wondering how I deal with a low in public? Check out my article on dealing with a low in public here.
Question of the Day
How do you handle a low alone? Is there anything you do the same or differently?