Friday, 14 January 2011

Living with type 1, and living alone with type 1

I mentioned earlier this week that I had had some bad hypos, including a particularly bad night time hypo. I'm not sure if I've publicly stated before, but as I rent a room in a shared house and don't actually know any of the other  people living here, I consider myself to live alone - as I do not know I could rely on the others in an emergency, nor do I know them well enough to want to place my life in their hands.

Which means I am pretty self reliant when it comes to managing what could become emergency situations overnight. I've taken steps, that I have learnt over the years, to ensure I can help myself if I need to.

- always, always, always keep BG testing kit within arm's reach when sleeping. I sleep with my kit in my bed, yo. That way I know exactly where it is and where I need to reach for to grab it.
- always, always, always keep fast acting carbs within arm's reach. Plenty of them. And a choice of them - I can have a hypo where I become very 'picky' over what I want to eat or drink, so I usually have a choice of glucose tablets, juice or Lucozade.
- I have a plan with my mum, if I got to a point where I could no longer help myself. I would ring her and she would get an ambulance sent to me. When I make my move to London, I will also be giving her the numbers of some friends and family in London so she could get in touch with them.

Now, these might not be rocket science or fancy. They aren't complex or time consuming. These few rules I have set with myself (I never sleep without my kit, glucose or a plan) ensure that I can 'cope' with having a hypo over night.

Why do I have them there? Because the horrible truth is, there are eventualities I can barely even begin to think about when it comes to night-time hypos. There are awful stories that don't take much googling to find, about low blood glucose levels over night, and how they end up. Back at the Friends for Life UK 2010 conference, Jeff Hitchcock spoke about why he let his daughter move in with her boyfriend when she was fairly young. He spoke about him never wanting her to sleep alone, in case something happened. We all know what that 'something' is - dead in bed syndrome.

Age 22, I still ring my mum to tell her about the bad hypos I have. My rule number 4: always, always, always know where your support lies, and utilise it.


Scully said...

I live alone now. In a house. I am often afraid.
I have been thinking about this for awhile. thanks for expressing it.