One Monday per month, I’ll take a trip down memory lane and reflect on how much my diabetes thoughts, feelings, and experiences have unfolded over the years. Today, I remember…
…the lowest low blood sugar that I ever experienced. So low, in fact, that I never actually found out how low it reached. Scary stuff.
Admittedly, my memory’s a little fuzzy when it comes to recollecting what exactly happened, but here’s what I remember: It was my sophomore or junior year of high school. I woke up in the morning and checked my blood sugar – or so I thought. In reality, I think I imagined checking my blood sugar, or perhaps I went through the motions of doing it without actually getting a reading.
Regardless, I made my way down the stairs and into the kitchen, where I encountered my mother. I told her that I wanted “special cake”.
I remember her looking at me with worried eyes and asking me what I was saying. All I can recall is that I asked for special cake two or three more times before getting totally frustrated with her. How could she not understand my request for Special K cereal?
That’s right, in my stupor, I thought I was saying that I wanted Special K cereal for breakfast. But I didn’t realize that my low blood sugar was causing me to slur so badly that my words weren’t coming out clearly.
I vaguely remember my mom’s panicked reaction as she figured out that I must be experiencing a low. I think she asked me what my blood sugar was, and when I couldn’t tell her because I didn’t remember, she knew it was time to force some orange juice down my throat. I was conscious for that, but it’s like it was erased from my memory – I have no recollection of drinking the juice or what the moments after that were like.
I wound up going to school late that morning, only to have to go home less than halfway through the day. My low “hangover” was so bad that I felt nauseous in my classes and couldn’t concentrate on the lessons.
Obviously, I fully recovered from the incident. Even though my memory is shoddy at best when it comes to remembering the whole experience, the mere fragments that I can recall are enough to make me scared to ever go through something like that again. It’s a reminder that diabetes can be terrifying, but living with it is a reality that I have no choice but to accept – fears and all.
One thought on “Memory Monday: My Lowest Low Blood Sugar”
It is hard to explain to a non-diabetic person what it is like when you are having a hypoglycemic reaction. One of the most asked questions is can’t you feel it? Well yes and no. If it comes on slow yes but if you are sleeping or it comes on fast no you don’t always feel it. Sadly when I was on the pump the first time I got to meet our local EMTs 5 times in one week due to low sugars. I tried to give it up then but since I had been “trained” on it the first 3 weeks, that last week put me past the 30 day return point. lol At one point it was so low they couldn’t get a reading because the machine they used only went down to 18. The things I’ve done while low have left me with a mortifying fear of going low. When people have tried to help, I have become very, very combative, At 12 I’ve thrown a nurse across our living room and woke one day with 8 firefighters holding me down to get an IV started. Not my best days. These days I spend shortening my life by riding it high to stop gathering any more of these stories.