Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Lowest Low

I like to think that I have already had my lowest low. The low so low that you never want to be low again. That's how low your lowest low is. In case you didn't catch's pretty low.

When I was diagnosed, my first night in the hospital, I experienced my very first  hypoglycemic episode. My head was spinning. My brain slowed down. My body didn't cooperate. Nearly passing out, my entire body tingled. I did a very dangerous thing that night.

I waited.

Not knowing what was going on or what to do, the whole concept of hypoglycemia as a life-threatening event being completely new to me, I waited. The nurses were doing regular checks each hour and I figured that she would come eventually. Rookie mistake. 

I have quickly learned that hypoglycemia is not something that you wait to treat. The longer you wait, the shittier you feel and more dangerous it becomes. I think this is in part to the "slow down," where my brain slows to the point where stringing together a coherent sentence becomes increasingly difficult as though I am a recovering stroke victim. My only diabetic friend says that she knows she's in trouble when she finds herself staring at the same box of cereal for an uncertain amount of time.

Occasionally, I read blogs written by other diabetics. Some of these bloggers talk about lows so low that other people might need to intervene to help them treat their hypoglycemia. Posts like that make me nervous.  I felt pretty cocky content that I haven't needed help to treat a low. That was until I realized that I was lying to myself.

This realization happened the other night. Jerry and I had been out drinking, which is always tricky at the end of the night since alcohol may initially cause a high blood sugar but drop my levels later on. I'm not sure which happened first, Jerry getting out of bed to use the bathroom or my waking up sweaty and shaking.

When Jerry got back from the bathroom, I asked him to get my tester from the living room. Through bleary, sleepy eyes, I held my shaking finger to the test strip. Before I had even heard the familiar beep of my meter announcing my low, Jerry was standing there with an apple sauce packet in his hands.

Could I have gotten up and retrieved my tester myself? Yes. Did it help that he was there? Certainly.

It definitely doesn't reach the level of not being able to get out of bed and needing someone there to guide my arm to my mouth, but it counts as an intervention, as help.

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