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In the United States — maybe elsewhere, too — there is a popular saying: "Do as I say, not as I do" — meaning, "Don't imitate my behavior, obey my instructions."
Tonight, I went for a walk with my husband, who uses insulin. Every day, I educate people on how to treat low blood glucose (hypoglycemia). You know the recommendation: Always carry carbohydrates to treat hypoglycemia. Well we did that, but we left them in the car, which doesn't do much good if you're a mile down the trail and you experience hypoglycemia.
Indeed, we'd walked a mile when I noticed that my husband was breathing a little heavy and looking pale and sweaty. I had to run back to the car, grab the fruit snacks and run back to him. The fruit snacks did the trick and he is just fine, but I sure felt sheepish.
Here's a quick review of the American Diabetes Association's "rule of 15" for treating hypoglycemia.
If your blood glucose is less than 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L):
Some easy-to-carry items that contain 15 grams of carbohydrate are:
And, most of all, do as I say, not as I did! Carry a carbohydrate with you at all times to treat potential hypoglycemia. We certainly experienced a scary situation and learned that lesson the hard way.
Have a great week!
Sara J. Carlson, R.N., C.D.E.
Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E.
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