Lows on the Go

For some reason, it seems to be a common occurrence for us diabetics to go low while shopping. I used to think it was just me, but I’ve read enough blogs now to see that it happens to a lot of us for some unknown reason. I’ve even “heard” some people say that they are convinced Target must shoot insulin through the vents 😉  I know it’s probably considered an activity .. but trust me, I’m not runnning up and down any aisles at the grocery store.

I hate getting lows while I’m at the store for a few different reasons.

The first being the obvious… Feeling disoriented, difficulty concentrating, etc, which leads to usually either not getting everything on my list, or getting things not on my list. This weekend I got a much needed break (I have 4 week old twins at home, and a 5 year old that has been running a fever all weekend) so what do I do with my free time? Head to Wal-Mart. 🙂 (Hey, I’ll take what I can get!) It was a crazy day (see above: twins/fever) so even though it was 2:00 PM, I had not yet eaten lunch. (Don’t judge) I made a sandwich and ate it in the car. My BG was 126 – perfect. I bolused for my turkey sandwich and chips and scarfed it downing my way. About 15 minutes into my shopping I started seeing spots. I was standing at the meat aisle and could not concentrate on what I was looking for. I had brought a list of things I wanted to cook for the week, but could not make sense of the recipes enough to collaborate a list of groceries. Then I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in a couple of years… Recognized her but couldn’t think of her name, or her daughter’s (which is how we knew each other in the first place) … So I tried to keep the conversation brief. She probably formed some opinions after our chat… I’m sure it was obvious something was “off”. 😦 (I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know I’m diabetic.)

Another reason I hate having lows while shopping is that I have this weird thing about not reaching into my purse or pockets in a store. I always feel like someone is going to think I’m stealing something. I know… I’m weird. So when I pull my buggy over into an empty aisle to dig in my purse to pull out my meter and look for the glucose tabs that I’m praying I refilled last time I emptied it (thank goodness this time I had) I always imagine someone watching the security camera, keeping an eye on me. But I did find that empty aisle, checked my BG and it was 60. No clue why it dropped, and especially why so quickly..but it did. And I quickly ate 4 glucose tabs (usually only eat 3 but I needed a quick fix) and waited a couple of minutes for my head to become uncloudy before heading to check out. There were a few things I didn’t get but by that point I just wanted to come home.

Moral of the story: Diabetes can even work itself into affecting a simple trip to the grocery store.


About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 17 years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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7 Responses to Lows on the Go

  1. Laddie says:

    You’re right. Shopping can be the worst. Glad you were OK and especially glad that you had restocked your glucose tabs.

  2. Denise says:

    You are a super mama – T1D and twins. I did twins withOUT the T1D and I found it hard to survive the day… so just know that I am in awe of you. Keep up the great work and take good care of yourself!

  3. Karen says:

    My sweet girl ALWAYS goes low while shopping…and, like you said, it’s not always that she is very active while shopping. We were actually in the mall today and she went low…and a RAPID drop that she felt before the Dexcom alerted. It said 94 with a diagonal arrow down and she was already finding a spot to sit on the floor. So I gave her the applesauce packet and the granola bar I had in my purse…bolused for the granola but not the applesauce… then after all that the Dex alerts 63 and falling. Really? Drops 30 in 5 minutes? And a new problem for me…I had left the lancing device at home. So I gave her the miniAirHead I had.(10carbs) and she was feeling better in afew minutes. And the question I ask myself…WHY do I not do a temp basal when going shopping? I KNOW she does this.

  4. momof2t1s says:

    First sorry your little man wasn’t feeling very well.
    Second- I can’t remember what I need ever and I don’t have D. I also can never remember names and faces of people I’ve met. So at least you have an excuse.
    Third – I was giggling over you being concerned about others thinking you were stealing while you searched for your own supplies. When my kids are shopping with me and they are low – I grab the first basically anything off the shelf and give it to them – cookies, bottle of over priced guava juice, applesauce in the squeeze pouches, gummy bears, granola bar, cinnamon toast crunch cereal, etc. it just depends on what isle we are in. Obviously I pay for it when we check out.

    Thus you should feel better knowing you are a better person – while you are worrying that someone with think you are stealing – someone like me is actually stealing.


  5. I swear, lows when shopping are dangerous. I usually end up buying a bunch of junk food and over-correcting the heck out of that low. Ugh.

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