Why the need to share!

I would like to send my deepest and heartfelt appreciation to each and every one of you who have sent in your stories. I hope by sharing them, my audience gains inspiration from the challenges and triumphs experienced by families and children struggling with hypoglycemia, and learn from their mistakes and their successes.

Together, let’s shed more light on hypoglycemia, the forgotten blood sugar disorder, and bring it to the forefront of medicine where it belongs. The following stories will speak for themselves.

Dear Roberta,

My name is Kate and I am a hypoglycemic. I would like to share my story. I am 18 years old, and I was recently diagnosed with the condition about three months ago. Up until then, the doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me. When I was 14, I suffered three concussions (from soccer) and ever since then I’ve had a non-stop headache. They wrote it off as a post concussive syndrome, but little did they know that it was really all from my low blood sugar. I’ve had a non-stop headache since November 2, 1997. I had other symptoms that related to the symptoms of hypoglycemia. The doctors put me on every medication you can think of, ranging from antidepressants to anti-seizure medication. I never saw any change, nothing made the pain stop, only certain things made it worse (stress). Throughout the whole four years I was never depressed though, it was strictly for the use of stopping the headache, which it never did. Hypoglycemia is in my family, but I never knew I had it, until I gave up soda for Lent this year, 2002, and when I had a small little piece of candy, my headache tripled. So then I asked my doctor what was wrong and he had no clue, he said I might have an allergy to sugar, and so I asked him how we find out, and then I proceeded with the five-hour glucose testing. It was a real shock when the tests came back positive for hypoglycemia. If I didn’t stop the soda, I never would have figured it out. The doctors always threw medicine at me and never once thought to check my blood. From that day on I started seeing a nutritionist and my health has dramatically changed. For the first time in four and a half years I actually felt like I had hope and that I knew I was going to get better. I’ve been on an amino acid drink, which has helped me so much, and I’m currently trying to get off my medication. I’ve seen such a difference, that I wish the doctors would have figured it out back then.”

Sincerely,

Kate

Hi Mrs. Ruggiero,

My name is Lauren and I am 15 years old. I live in Michigan. I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia when I was in the 5th grade. Before my diagnosis I would get headaches every day. They would last from the moment I woke up in the morning to the second I would fall asleep. I also experienced severe leg cramps that would wake up me up crying and screaming in the middle of the night. All of this made getting through the fifth grade very difficult.

Early into the school year when I started getting these symptoms I stopped doing my school work, and would put my head down on my desk or sit in the sick room in the office for the entire day. My teacher became very worried and tried to make it the best for me by letting me work in the hallway or office when it was quiet, but I still could not concentrate and get any work done. My teacher informed my parents of how my school days were going and instead of taking me to the doctors my mom did not believe me and would only take me to urgent care centers when I called her from the phone at school and begged her to do something for me.

At most of the centers they would only tell me things like “get more rest” or “don’t watch TV before bed”. At about my 5th trip to urgent center they put me on allergy medicine that I was to take whenever I had a headache. I took this for about 3 months and it had absolutely no effect. It was about my 8th trip to urgent care when finally the doctor decided that I should get the Glucose Tolerance Test, an X-ray of my head, and an EEG. Both the X-ray and the EEG tests came back showing no abnormalities. When I was taking the Glucose Tolerance Test they had to stop the test four hours into it. They walked me down to the emergency room, where I passed out.

Afterwards my doctor scheduled an appointment to talk about the test results. They told me that I had severe Hypoglycemia, that it was low blood sugar, and sent me off with no explanation of why or how.

After going on the internet I read about the importance of a proper diet to control my symptoms…I tried doing my best with avoiding sugars and white flour but my parents were of no help and I found very hard without support. Consequently I started to experience severe fatigue and dizziness. My depression then became so serious that instead of working on a proper diet, I became anorexic. I had a hard time making it through the day and spent many class periods crying in the locker room because I was shaking so badly and could not see clearly.
I started popping 10 to 20 pills when I was feeling depressed. I also had many suicidal thoughts at this point in my life….as I did not know what to do or where to turn for help. It wasn’t until I was in in 9th grade that I decided I needed to do some more research on hypoglycemia, I was older and could understand more. This is when I stumbled across your book. Many of the sites I had visited recommended it as a great book to start with for people with hypoglycemia. I used my Barns and Noble gift card and ordered your book online right away.

I could not describe in words how excited I was the day your book arrived in the mail at my house. I could not wait to hear from someone else with my condition that was willing to put their time and effort into something to help people like me who are confused and left wondering after being diagnosed with hypoglycemia.

I read half of your book in the first day that I had my hands on it. I immediately changed my eating habits and stayed far away from sugars and white flour and started eating good snacks during school and on the bus from one school to the other. I automatically felt much better and experienced my first day in 5 whole long years that I did not have a headache. I did not believe that that day would ever come.

I am writing you to tell you my story, and thank you so much for putting so much time and effort into helping others and helping people help themselves. I am now able to think clearly through my school work and can be confident that I will be able to succeed …finish 9th grade and eventually go on to college.. I would not have confidence in myself to do all of this if I did not read your book or visit the HSF’s website. I now have my life back all because of you.

 

Thank you so much.
Lauren

Dear Roberta:

It was once again so nice to talk to you and share in your wonderful enthusiasm regarding Hypoglycemia. Thank you for sharing Lauren’s letter with me, it hit so close to home when I read it. It made me cry again when I think of the struggles my son Matthew has encountered throughout his 23 years and how he still struggles to this day. Hypoglycemia has torn our family apart.

Matt’s problems started at a very young age. I hold myself responsible for how a lot of this played out. Our home was always filed with goodies. We were the home where all the kids hung out. Had I been educated in Low Blood Sugar problems, Matt’s life and our family life would have been so very different.

When Matt was very young his hands would tremble. I would often wonder if his soup would be still on his spoon by the time it got to his mouth. His pediatrician at the time said it was nothing to be concerned with. I told him we have Diabetes in our family and that was a concern to me. His blood tests showed that everything was normal. How sad I didn’t know then. At the age of 9 Matt suffered a seizure. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital and all kinds of tests were done and everything came back OK . We also were sent down to Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia to see a Pediatric Neurologist who did an MRI. He told us everything was normal and it would probably never happen again. At the same time we saw a Pediatric Endocrinologist   because I insisted that Matt be checked for Diabetes. She didn’t seem very concerned and didn’t think that was the problem but gave us a blood monitor to check Matt’s blood. Matt didn’t want any parts of it. Looking back we can now see what the true problem was: Hypoglycemia. Unfortunately it happened again. Matt again was taken to the hospital with the same results. Low Blood Sugar was never mentioned as a possibility.

Matt’s journey has been nothing short of sad; he barely made it through high school – his concentration was not there. 11th grade was completed with me doing his work. I didn’t want him to fail. His senior year was spent mostly lying on our living room floor because he did not have the energy to move. He was told at an early age that he had adrenal fatigue. I just recently found out that the constant fluctuations in blood sugar not only wear out your pancreas and liver but also your adrenals. How sad is that. So not only do you have the debilitating effects of Hypoglycemia you now have to contend with this! In order for Matt to graduate his teachers came to our house everyday to help him thru so he could graduate with all his friends. It was such a hard, sad time. Matt was also an amazing ice hockey goalie with dreams of playing in college. That also came to an end. Many poor decisions were made; Matt took drugs he said because he had given up hope of ever feeling OK. He said it helped calm his anxiety and depression that he felt on a continual basis.  His self-esteem was virtually non-existent. Because he didn’t do well in school he was made to feel like he would not amount to anything. He always called himself a loser. When you’re a youngster and teenager going through Hypoglycemia but it is not diagnosed until later creates bigger problems and takes a lifetime to regain what is taken away from you.   My son who is now 23 still struggles with everything.

Matt had a Glucose Tolerance Test in 2008 and was finally diagnosed with Hypoglycemia. Our doctor at the time told me to write down his reactions during the test to see what happens. There were significant changes during the test. My doctor told us that even though his results could be in range he could still be feeling symptoms of Hypoglycemia. How true!

Matt also worked with a Nutritionist for awhile and was also tested for food intolerances. He had 52 out of 100. The highest that the nutritionist said she had ever seen. Things kept getting worse.

My husband Joe and I spent every other day in school fighting to help Matt. We brought in special snacks so Matt could eat every few hours only to be told that he could come down to the nurse’s office to eat. I tried to tell her that a lot of times Hypoglycemic’s can’t remember to eat. They need someone to remind them. It went on deaf ears.

I cannot tell you how many doctors and how much money and how many different diagnosis’ Matt has gotten along the way. That was part of the problem on our end trying to figure this all out. There were physiologist /psychiatrist /endocrinologist/gastroenterologist all saying it’s “ all in your head “, you have ADD, just get a job and then came the prescriptions to supposedly help all the above. When Matt was on some of the medications, he talked of suicide. It was a scary time for all of us. We spent 3 months at a clinic called the Fatigue and Fibromylagia Center where Matt received intravenous mixtures of nutritional supplements to help with his fatigue. It did not help and we spent 2 weeks in Texas meeting with a nutritional healer.

Roberta, I spent countless hours searching for answers during all those years until I came across your website.   I felt I finally had hope and felt we finally found an answer to this nightmare we were all living; especially Matt. I think boys have a harder time grasping what is needed to control this demon. Lauren seemed to grasp and understand it at an earlier age.

We have met some amazing people along the way Roberta. You being one of them. Ed Krimmel who you said you met or talked to had tried desperately to try and help Matt. He knew the life Matt would have if he did not change his eating habits. To this day Matt still struggles with balancing his blood sugar.

I will not stop trying to help him understand the importance of proper nutrition. I think it is so important for all children to learn at a very young age the importance of eating properly. There is only good that can come of it; you would see the bullying stop in school, children would show respect to one another and their teachers and their ability to learn would soar. There is nothing but positive energy that can come from educating our youngsters about the importance of good nutrition.

I love my son with all my heart and will do anything humanly possible to make low blood sugar a thing in his past. Matt’s struggles continue to this day. In the past couple years Matt starting his schooling at Trinity School of Natural Health, he became a CNHP at Trinity, Reiki Master, learned Reflexology and Bach. He gained 35 pounds and was like a different person. He was eating properly and his life was looking up. He broke off a unhealthy 2 year relationship and has slowly gone back to his old life style. That is where we are at right now. I am trying desperately to help him again. With the help of his new girlfriend we are hoping to get Matt back to his nutritionist. He has stopped his schooling and the old feelings of desperation are returning to Joe and I.   Matt has always helped everyone in his life but somehow does not feel worthy of helping himself. To this day my son still struggles with low self esteem. He has a wonderful support system; a new girlfriend who really cares about him and a mom and dad who will never give up helping him. Matt’s Life Purpose is to help others; to let them know there are a lot of other young people out there suffering thru this crazy debilitating disease, to give these kids hope and support that they are going to be OK and they are not weird , different or going crazy.

Roberta, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the unselfish dedication you bring to this cause.   You are an ANGEL. God Bless You and the Hypoglycemia Foundation for helping to change so many people’s   lives.

With great respect,

Diane