Embarrassing lows in public: what is your story?


This happened to me a number of years ago. I was walking around the grocery store and couldn’t make any decisions on what to buy. I pondered every item. I finally got to the cash register and tried to write a check. Complete fail…couldn’t do it. I finally told the lady at the cash register I’ll come back and pay you later. Took my cart and left. How I didn’t get a arrested for shop lifting is beyound me. When I got to the car I opened by gallon of orange juice and chugged it down. I imagine it was quite the site.

Once I got my wits about me, I went back in and paid.

Why I didnt just stop and drink the orange juice in the store is beyond me. I know that is the closest I’ve come to passing out in public.

Never had a Strategy Before with Lows: Today I closed my Eyes

I became slightly disoriented in the grocery store recently. I remembered what I was looking for, but I couldn’t remember how the store was laid out or where to find anything. Then I remember thinking how odd it was that the aisle I was bowed in the middle. I looked over my shoulder and could see the bow was still there. I turned around a looked squarely down the aisle and could see that it was straight. At that time I had never had to rescue in public, and I made it back out to my car and drank orange juice.


I had a tooth extracted recently and with a mouth full of bloody cotton went into the drug store to buy glucose gel and liquid. I was low when I got to the front of the store and saw a couple of people in line ahead of me. At this point sweat is dripping, I’m shaking and clutching a bunch of glucose products. It took all I had to restrain myself from screaming at the people in front of me to stop talking and get out of the way. I turned and took a few steps to walk back to the pharmacy to pay and realized I couldn’t make it that far, turned back to the register, turned around again, realized I was walking around in circles fuming, and finally dumped all the stuff on an empty counter and drank a shot of glucose. I could see people looking at me out of the corner of my eye, and I could feel some of the glucose drip onto my chest from the numb side of my mouth. Afterwards I sat in the car and cried.


You go girl. I’m so sorry for that scary/frustrating/upsetting experience.

Lows always feel so much worse to me in stores than at home. They just feel faster, more bewildering, less contained in stores. Not sure if that is just a Me thing or if it is common with others?


Your store encounter, with the bloody cotton balls, was hilarious, but like from one diabetic to another kind of hilarious. This is exactly what I imagine I look like when I’m crashing and walking in circles. :grin:

I once scared an entire flight crew. This is a true story. I had flown to Boston in the morning to see a doctor and decided I would get my hair done as a special treat to myself as a way to pass the time. I was unfamiliar with the hair place, and it turns out it was not a good idea. I had gone with a color and cut, and the woman had left hair dye all along my scalp line. But not an even amount— just some small lesion looking marks. :roll_eyes:

Later that day, with purple lesions on my forehead, I boarded the plane. I have terrible anxiety over flying. Ridiculous anxiety. So about 30 minutes into the flight, My blood sugar plummets, and I am bone white and dripping sweat. Pouring sweat. And the lesions. And the anxiety… All wild-eyed and tearing through stuff… and shaking. That poor flight attendant. I wanted to make her feel better, but no matter what I said, it just kept getting worse.

I don’t know what they thought was wrong with me, but it was something. They were prepared to land the plane for it. Or just slow down and roll me out. :grin:


I had a major crash once when I was out buying a pair of jeans. My favourite store had closed so I had to walk much further than I’d expected, and I hadn’t reduced my basal or eaten. I was trying to pay but I was shaking and dripping sweat and I could no longer think or speak, so I just stepped away, slumped against the wall and stuffed my mouth with as many glucose tabs as I could cram in there. They foam up a bit if you chew too many at once, and this woman walked by, gave me a worried look, and actually asked me if I had rabies.


Oh man, that’s a rough one. I’ve been at the grocery store and had a low like that- but not after a tooth extraction!!!

The first time I had this happen, I guess I grabbed all the really crappy yucky candy. I have no idea why. When I came back to myself again in the car (after gorging myself on crappy candy), I realized I wasn’t sure I’d paid for anything, and I’d ended up with several large bags of the grossest candy that ever existed!

Since then, I’ve chosen to not try to wait out the check-out line. If it happens, I just eat half the roll of sweethearts (or drink some of the juice), continue shopping, and pay for whatever I opened/ate at the register when I leave. The check-out person doesn’t seem to care as long as it gets paid for. Saying “my blood sugar was low” is a perfectly reasonable excuse.


This is pretty normal for me but I’ve learned in some cases it is also an indication I should check my blood sugar.


Are you a slow learner or a fast learner? Inquiring minds want to know?


About 95% of the time my blood sugar is fine


@Sam, my children have started mimicking my negative assessments of other drivers. I’m guessing that’s not bg related either.


I was at the national cathedral with my wife. My wife was in the store and I was in the lobby leaning against the wall. A police officer came up and ask me if I was ok. I told her my blood sugar was low and asked her if she had any candy. She gave me a roll of sugar candies and waited till l said l was felling better


I was on vacation in Cannon Beach, Oregon. While walking my dog, my blood sugar dropped drastically. My DexCom was going off but I was not believing it because my blood sugar was 120 ten minutes earlier (and my blood sugar was low so my brain was foggy). My knees gave out and I kept thinking that something was wrong with my knees. I sat in the middle of a sidewalk for a while (with bloody knees and torn pants). Finally a woman came up to me and asked me if I was OK. I am sure she thought I was drunk. I mumbled something about my knees working weird. She asked me if I lived in the area or if I was staying at a hotel. I told her I was staying at a hotel and just started walking. Somehow I made it straight back to the hotel and I consumed tons of sugar. I wanted to find that woman and thank her but could not figure where I was. I always wonder what she was thinking.


I feel awful for laughing at these stories. But you all are quite the humorists!

EH and I were in Target the other night, it was the first time in a week I didn’t have a cold and we’d gone for laundry soap and dish soap. As we arrived to the back of the store, EH commented that he was going low, and he was going to the front to find some candy. Except, the cheap person in me piped up and declared that the candy at the front of the store was quite expensive compared to this aisle of snacks that I was standing in – so I texted and told him I would meet him in the front with the fruit ropes I had grabbed. I found him wandering the household items area (not generally his forte/interest!) We paid, quickly and he ate the stuff but on the way out of the store we bumped into one of my former students. We were juggling laundry soap, dish soap and I had stuffed all of the candy into my pockets (I forgot my bag in the car.) I’m pretty positive that I looked completely disheveled and I might have been wearing slippers, and EH was recovering from that low. I’m sure that we looked like quite the pair, as I keep asking him under my breath “do you need some more candy?!?” while my former student was catching me up on department news. I’m guessing she thought I was insane. And EH is usually quite congenial but not when low! Awkward!!! :rofl: Annnnd now I feel like a total jerk for making him stand there while I talked to her. Oooops!

We’ve had the scared flight attendant moment, but just 1/10th as funny as @Nickyghaleb. :slight_smile:


I’m embarrassed to say i can’t think of any lows in public, but several at home or while visiting family. The best i can say is being scolded by family members, telling me to not be eating candy, and they have no clue I’m treating a low bg.


Thank you for laughing with me! I have repeated your story to a few friends and they all start cracking up when I tell the part about the “purple lesion looking marks” on your forehead.


I know it’s not funny, but LOL.




This thread is terrible for me: I am embarrassed to laugh because I am not a T1 myself. But every post I read I start bubbling silently and my shoulders start shaking…

Now my wife is asking what is wrong with me and I have no idea what I am going to tell her.

As for you, @Beacher, I think I might have to use this quote back at you after some (many?) of your posts: " @Beacher, do you have rabies?" :slight_smile:


That’s a new form of Diabetes Embarrassment! Not enough good public low stories!

Fortunately, me neither.

But I have some Doozies if we get into the topic of Inappropriate Things Said to Medical Professionals Coming Out of Anesthesia. If that topic comes up, I’m ready. So ready.