I fell out of bed.

A little bit before 3 o’clock this morning, I fell out of bed.

Hypoglycemia, of course.

I slept through all of the CGM alarms (set to “Attentive”). Maureen was unable to revive me, and she called 911. For the first time ever, I was completely unconscious through the entire episode, until I woke up with 5 Emergency Medical Technicians holding me down after injecting glucose into my IV.

It was, unquestionably, the most severe hypoglycemic event of my life.

Sometimes, I struggle to find words to describe how lonely it can be living with diabetes.

Today, I’ll explain it this way: A little before 3:00 a.m., I experienced a severe hypoglycemic reaction. After being revived by EMTs and spending another 45 minutes or so recovering, I climbed into bed to sleep for a little over an hour. Then I woke up, shaved, took a shower, got dressed, ate breakfast, made my lunch, brushed my teeth, and dragged myself into work, even though my head is pounding and I’m so tired I can barely hold my head up.

I rode on a train with hundreds of other people who had no idea why I sat there with my eyes closed and my head in my hands for twenty minutes.

I’m working in the middle of a city of over 600,000 people who have no awareness of what I experienced last night. Even if they did, most of them would not truly understand what it was like.

And I can’t escape the surreal feeling that right now, I sit at a desk in the middle of 15 colleagues who are blissfully unaware of the fact that a few hours ago, I nearly lost my life.

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  • Kim / Diabetes (@txtngmypancreas)  On April 22, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Wow! I am so glad you’re okay!


  • laosita  On April 22, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Oh geez, scary situation. I’m glad you are okay even though how you got there sucked. Your second description really hit on the alone feeling. I had a bad low last year (not like yours), and was thoroughly scared and at a loss for feeling the next day. There is probably no one else in my office who thought ‘hm. There’s a chance that I wouldn’t have made it through the night last night.’ That feeling hits something way deep down that most people won’t get. Thanks for sharing.


  • seejendance  On April 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Same here – glad to hear. Maybe take an extra long lunch break. Those hypo headaches don’t ever go away either. :/


  • Colleen  On April 22, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Glad to read that you’re doing okay. Not great, but okay. Hope tomorrow is better!


  • Amy - Diabetes x 2  On April 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I’m so sorry this happened and I’m so glad you are OK. Thank you for sharing your experience. While people around you might not understand what you’re feeling, there are people “here” that do. All the best, Amy


  • caligirlsmiles  On April 22, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    That is very frightening and I am happy to hear that you are doing a bit better, not with out some bumps and bruises, but you didn’t let it defeat you.. It’s very hard to describe that sort of feeling and even if you tried, you’re right, not very many people would get it. You’re very strong for continuing on with what you had to do, most might have crumbled and stayed down, never forget that.


  • Scott E  On April 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Wow, Stephen, scary stuff indeed! Personally, I see your story as a wake-up-call to me. Since starting on a pump and doing away with long-acting insulin, this has never happened to me. Add CGM to the mix, and I feel somewhat invincible.

    Your story shocked me back to reality. It CAN happen.

    It surprises me that you went into work today. I tried that one day after a severe low, but by 9:30am I called it quits… I just couldn’t do it.

    Thanks for telling the story; while I’m so sorry you (and Maureen!) had to go through this, you can definitely put a tally-mark next to the “others who have learned and benefited from my own experiences” category. I can’t express how grateful I am.

    So glad you made it through this ordeal OK.


  • Jocelyn Foster  On April 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    I am so grateful that your wife was there to help you and that you are ok (well alive and going to be ok). You just tapped into my greatest fear – living alone with diabetes. Hopefully this evening is uneventful for you and the rest of the week is much, much better!


  • Scott K. Johnson  On April 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Holy smokes, Stephen. I’m so sorry that you had to experience that. Diabetes is such an unfair beast sometimes.

    I’m glad that you are Ok, and I am very thankful for you sharing this experience. It’s not an easy tale to tell.


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