“Severe hypoglycemia is an extremely scary experience”
Anders was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was fifteen months old. Now twenty-two, he must manage the constant challenges of the disease. His father, Finn, recalled when Anders experienced severe hypoglycemia, and acknowledged the constant fear of it happening again.
Since he was seven years old, Anders has had an insulin pump to improve management of insulin injections. It accompanies constant monitoring of blood glucose levels to maintain glycemic control and good health Anders must continually adapt to ever-changing insulin needs dictated by his blood glucose levels, food intake, exercise, sickness, and prior insulin injections.
“It is really difficult. After twenty years of living with type 1 diabetes, managing blood glucose levels is still a lot of guessing.”
When his blood glucose levels crashed unexpectedly, Anders experienced severe hypoglycemia. Onset of severe hypoglycemia was unpredictable despite diligent management of blood glucose levels by Anders and his parents.
“I don’t need anyone’s pity, but I need to explain the fear that is involved.”
Finn described what it was like when Anders, as a small child, had a severe hypoglycemic event.
“My son started shaking. Then out comes this uncontrolled primal screaming, in a different voice that I could not recognize as his. My wife and I could not get into contact with him. We really believed he was going to die.”
Finn recalls having a glucagon rescue kit, but never using it. “In this panic, it was not possible to remember what to do or to read the instructions,” said Finn. “The emergency kit required a complicated preparation process. Instead, we would dab honey in Anders’s mouth, try to get him to drink juice, and call emergency medical service.”
“These were the most terrible moments of my life. After one time, I never wanted it to happen again.”
Unfortunately, Anders has experienced severe hypoglycemia multiple times. It remains one of the most feared challenges of living with his type 1 diabetes.
A rescue option to feel safer
Today, Anders is a university student and lives on his own. Having a ready-to-use rescue treatment is appealing to both Anders and Finn.
“Diabetes affects me all the time, and I have to think about it no matter what I do.”
“Even with continuous glucose monitoring and an insulin pump, it is important to have rescue with you all the time. A rescue pen could be a great aid, in all occasions. It would certainly make us feel safer.”