Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Thing That Goes "Ugghh" in the Night

In the diabetes world, there is nothing scarier than a low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
in the middle of the night.  For the past 19 years, I've been lucky enough to feel my lows before they get out of control and luckier still to have the symptoms wake me up at night. These symptoms usually include feeling shaky, nervous, weak, and ridiculously sweaty (as if I don't sweat enough as it is...)

Last night was different. Maybe it was that I exercised for the first time in a long time that afternoon (using my brand spanking new Step Up Dance Revolution Work Out DVD, I might add), or maybe it was the fact that I woke up at 2am to use the bathroom, and blind bolused  (taking insulin without testing your blood sugar...bad, bad move) while I was half asleep because I thought I was feeling symptoms of high blood sugar...but I crashed.  Bad.  At 3am, I sat straight up in bed, dripping in sweat, my heart pounding, feeling as though every cell of my body was vibrating.  All I could do was let out an exasperated moan.  I guess it was loud enough to wake David from his bear-like hibernation (a miracle in itself), because he sat up too, asking what was wrong.  All I could say was "really low," beads of sweat dripping down my face.  He got up immediately and ran to get my some juice.  When he returned with the 64 ounce glass (bless his heart), he helped me test my blood.  I was expecting something like 50.... 

It was 30.  3-0.  Not the "30, flirty and thriving," kind.  The "Is this the type of diabetic situation that ends in a hospital visit" kind. A normal person's blood sugar sits between 90-115...and I was 30. 

At that point, my hands were shaking so bad that I spilled my juice down the front of me, so I switched to glucose tabs...(Side note: How can scientists create an artificial pancreas, but still can't produce glucose tabs that don't taste like I'm swallowing a stick of chalk that's been dipped in orange extract?)  Scenes from Steel Magnolias were coming to mind.  The scenes that used to make me feel so lucky that I wasn't the type of diabetic that always needed to have Glucagon (sort of like an Epi-pen for when your blood sugar is so low that it causes you to pass out) always at the ready or knew the ER nurses on a first name basis.  It never once crossed my mind that something like that would or could ever happen to me. I've never had to go to the hospital for my diabetes, and I've never had to use Glucogon. Ever. Last night, I realized that I'm not immune. That incredibly scary situations can happen to me and they may happen again.

Soon enough, I started to feel somewhat normal again, just as the inevitable "Hypo-hangover" set it.  I looked over at David, and said, "That could have been really, really bad." I sank into a heavy, damp sleep.  

Can I just say, that my husband is one of the most selfless and compassionate people I've ever met?  Even if he isn't saying anything, his eyes always tell me exactly what he's thinking.  "I want to take this from you." "I hate that you have to feel this way" "Thank you, God, for protecting her."  It's a humbling feeling, getting to spend the rest of your life with someone like that.  

I'm okay now.  Although I'm having a hard time concentrating on anything today.  I just keep thinking, "What if I didn't wake up when I did?"  Where would I be right now? Maybe those questions are melodramatic, but that's what's been going on in my head today.  

That...and pure, unadulterated gratitude.

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