Photo Credit: Julie Meilicke

When I was three to around five years old, I would have horrific night terrors of ghouls, ghosts and monsters. When I would wake up, the monsters didn’t go away! I had what they call hypo-hallucinations. This is when your blood sugar goes so low your brain starts to freak out and you hallucinate (similar to having near death experiences)!

In the middle of the night I would wake up screaming and try to run away from these nightmarish creatures.

My Dad would have to chase and hold me down, so that my Mom could force orange juice (that had loads of sugar in it) down my throat.

When I was first diagnosed with T1D, I would have extremely low blood sugars, like blood sugars of 12 (no joke)! It’s been almost 20 years since I last had a hallucination, and I credit this to my body being mature enough to handle my diabetes.

What didn’t help my situation out was that my parents were fine with having scary movies and television on that I probably shouldn’t have been watching. The R-rated movie “Blade” stands out in my mind.

This is a very scary situation to think about being in, especially, considering that many t1d’s are already terrified of dying in their sleep from a low blood sugar.

Hypo-hallucinations are something that many people including diabetics haven’t heard of until they’ve experienced them for them self.

Personally, I try to avoid going low while I’m asleep by having a snack before I go to sleep (ex. a small packet of Famous Amos Cookies with a spoonful of peanut butter) and never correct a blood sugar below 200 at night, but do what you think is best for you!

I can’t really remember much about my personal experiences with the hallucinations occurring; but I do happen to remember the last time it happened.

I woke up in my bed at our old house and saw a skeleton wave at me. I didn’t scream. I closed my eyes and went under my covers. I kept telling myself, “It’s not real!” because that’s what my Dad always told me to tell myself. I finally got enough courage and ran out of my room.

To this day, I’m still terrified when I wake up in the dark when I’m low.