It was as sudden as lightning, when it streaks across the sky just before the rain begins to fall, signs of a storm that that refuses to go unseen or unheard.
“It” being the sweat that began to bead on my forehead, then trickle down fast and furious as I grew more and more aware of a low blood sugar episode.
One moment, I was sitting cool, calm, and collected. I was alert and engaged in the conversation happening around me. And then boom, the sweat started and my concentration on my surroundings ended. Voices grew more distant as I honed in on my outward appearance. Panic struck – could others see how sweaty I was getting? Were they noticing my incessant fidgeting, a coping technique I have when my blood sugar drops and I get paranoid about maintaining an air of everything being just fine? My foot, already jiggling up and down as part of my fidget routine, seemed to pick up the pace as I began to get a grip on the reality that I needed to do something about this low before I further deteroriated.
The door to the room opens. I dart out, walking briskly down the hallway to where my low blood sugar supplies sat waiting for me. I gobble down a pack of fruit snacks as quickly as possible, and then force myself to sit. The sweat’s gotten worse and I worry about it being visible on my clothing. Seconds melt into minutes, somehow, though I pay them little attention as all I can think about is having this low blood sugar episode end, please please please, as soon as possible. I desperately want to escape to a restroom for privacy (and to mop the sweat off my body), but I’m immobilized by the low and also slightly nervous that it’s major enough that I might need help from someone in the vicinity so it’s a terrible idea to isolate myself from others. I push that thought out of my mind – I just need to give the fruit snacks some more time to work, that’s all. Keep it together, you’ve got this, stop freaking out so mu-…
…and just as suddenly as it had struck, the sweat dissipates. My shaky hands steady themselves. I regain an awareness of my environment. I exhale, relief flooding throughout my body as I realize that I’m recovering from the low.
Sudden as lightning, both in how it had struck and then how it had disappeared, leaving hardly any trace that it’d been there at all.