Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Making the low go

When I have a low blood sugar it can be scary, but most of the time I just get mildly annoyed.

A low slows me down and stops my brain, the most important part of me, from functioning. I can't think straight when I go low, my heart beats too fast like it's too big and restless for my chest, I get the chills, chills so cold that no matter how many blankets I curl up in just won't go.

I can't talk. The words are in my head, but somewhere the language gets lost. Or even worse, my mind goes blank, and I lose everything. No words. Ask me a question "Are you low?" and all you'll get is a dumb stare and maybe a frustrated moan.

I get grumpy. Grumpy as hell! Everything makes me annoyed when I'm low. I'm more likely to swear or lash out, even though I'm a gentle wee soul most of the time. hehe :P

I get tunnel vision, and sometimes my lips get tingly, or the back of my throat goes numb which makes it feel like I can't breathe.

I have collapsed, and blacked out.

I have had seizures so bad that I actually broke a vertebra. A compression fracture.

I've been to A+E.

I know what the inside of an ambulance looks like when you're lying down strapped to the stretcher, wrapped only in a summer sheet, listening to the medics talk on the drive to the hospital.

I know that weird feeling of being wheeled through corridors to x-ray and seeing light after light go over my head.

I know what it's like to hear my husband tell the medics that no, I don't want the glucagon, because I told him that it makes me vomit for 24hours. He's listened to me, and taken note of my wishes, but I'm SO hypo right now I NEED it, but too low to speak, so I end up not getting any glucagon. And when you don't have much of a natural reserve, it makes the ride back up none too pleasant. :(

But most of the time I can deal with a low well before it reaches anything nearing dramatic. Most people won't know I'm unwell, and only those who are really close to me will be able to spot anything wrong.

I carry fruit bars (15g carbs in an easy to chew form) and juice boxes (12g quick-drinkin' goodness). I prefer to have natural fast-acting foods, rather than lollies, to try and save my teeth. It also feels better to eat a banana, or a natural meusili bar, than processed sweeties or drinks. But I have a soft spot for jelly beans, so they are my emergency food of choice to live in the glove box of my car since they last ages and don't melt in the heat.

So yeah, that's all I gotta say about lows for now: They are a pain in the arse, and they can muck up my life, but most of the time it's not going to stop me from doing kung fu (studied for 7 years), or flying a plane (done that twice), or rock carving in the hot sun all day, or working a full time job, or marrying my sweetheart, or thinking of having kids, or playing backyard cricket with-walnuts-instead-of-a-cricket-ball with my 3 adorable step kids, or biking for 10Kms for a picnic by the lake, or driving my car between cities, or travelling overseas to visit my friends and family. It has never stopped me before, and I don't intend to ever, ever let it stop me in the future.

Awesome. Feels great to have written that. Enjoy your Tuesday :)


  1. Dude!!! You broke a vertebra???!!!

    Lows ARE a royal PITA. No doubt about that. But we don't let them rule us.

    I get the 'words can't get out of my mouth' and tingly mouth feelings. If I'm in a mall or grocery store or somewhere like that I find that the artificial lighting tends to blind me. Crazy stuff.

    You summed it up beautifully :)

  2. Wow. All those symptoms and you only get "mildly" annoyed? You are stronger than me. I get, well, um, way more than mildly. ;-)

    Ouch! Broke it?

    I Hate lows with a passion. Always have but they don't stop me.

  3. Yeah, I guess I've just had diabetes for so long that I don't know any different. :P

    Yep, I had bone scans, MRIs, chiropractor, the works. Found out that there is not really much you can do, except keep moving and stretch. And take some pain relief when it gets too bad. It was caused by no error of my own, rather my new doc was trying to be helpful and give me a new, better insulin. Unfortunately I responded abnormally, and the dosage was too high, hence MASSIVE low. But have it sorted now. I think hehe :P