Low

I didn’t know how I’d got where I found myself. Sitting on the edge of the bed in semi-darkness, the room pitching and rolling around me. I felt detached from body in so far as I couldn’t control it at all, but at the same time I felt completely imprisoned by the uncontrolled and uncoordinated movements I was involuntarily making.

Yet oddly, I didn’t feel scared.

I didn’t feel consciously aware of the fact that this was a low blood sugar. A really bad low blood sugar.

My awareness of the situation seemed to ramp up slowly, like the world coming back in to focus after a long sleep. I became aware of the sounds I was making. They were guttural sort of cries. The fact that they were coming from me took longer to assimilate. All of a sudden it seemed that my face felt sticky and my hair damp and matted. I became aware of Ian beside me trying to help me get Lucozade down my throat. He was asking me questions. I don’t think they were really directed at me, just a stream of consciousness. A verbalisation of the panic of what to do. Use the glucagon? Call an ambulance?

I still felt slightly numb, and detached from the situation. I knew that I hated this. It felt like it would never end. Yet I still wasn’t afraid that it would turn in to anything more. That it would get worse or end in a bad way. I was only existing moment to moment, incapable of true fear.

I knew I was trying to co-operate. I tried to drink, but the jerking of my body sent a spray of Lucozade across the wall. Another flew across the bed, hitting the pillow. More ran down my neck.

Then I was crying, the tears mixing with the sugar and sweat.

Crying always means that I’m coming back. The tears come long before coherent words.

My body seemed to come back in to my control with startling abruptness. The room came back in to focus. I was aware, for the first time, of my heart hammering out a crazy rhythm in my chest, just as it began to slow. I took a more co-ordinated drink of Lucozade.

I noticed the puddles of sugary liquid on the floor and the splatters across the bed. I saw the orange marks starkly contrasted on the cream walls. Marks that will bear testament to this low until we have time to repaint the wall.

I knew that I was coming out of it. And then, there on the road to normality, I finally felt afraid. Afraid for what might have happened. How it might have been different had I been alone. Where I might have gone had I slept on, instead of sitting up in bed and screaming out – the act which startled Ian awake and allowed him to take control.

I remember nothing of that. My memory is blank from the moment I went to sleep. Ian told me later that it had taken him more than ten minutes to get enough glucose in to me to bring me back from whatever place I’d been to. That diabetes had done this to him made my heart hurt.

The clock said 12.43am. I’d been asleep for a little over an hour. The blood glucose meter, when I finally tested said 1.9. I dread to think from what depths it had risen.

This was the worst low blood sugar I’ve had in years. It’s the worst Ian has ever seen. It’s certainly the only time he’s ever contemplated dialling 999.

I’ve spent the last four years in pursuit of the absolute best control of diabetes that I can manage. From trying to conceive Thomas, through pregnancy, then on to breast feeding and then trying to conceive again, I’ve not dared to let the ball drop. In some ways it’s ironic that the worst hypo of all has come after I’ve abandoned trying to be perfect, since it’s well known that tight control raises the risks for severe hypoglycaemia.

But then again, it’s pretty unsurprising. I dropped the ball. I stopped caring. And perhaps the decision to abandon CGM this past fortnight because I’m burned out wasn’t the smartest.

The first thing I did this morning, through post-hypoglycaemic hangover haze, was wash the Lucozade out of my hair. The second was to insert a new CGM sensor.

Diabetes smacked me down last night. Burned out or not, it’s still a beast that I can’t afford to turn my back on. Otherwise this is what it does.

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6 Replies to “Low”

  1. Oh my goodness 🙁 We have yet to experience this. I know we will, at some point, and I pray it doesn’t break me. But then who would she have left? And so it won’t. I get so angry that CGM isn’t readily available and funded for every diabetic, when it would save so much angst, and improve control so much.

  2. Oh gosh, Caro, sending you, Ian, and Thomas so much love and hugs.

    There’s so much written here between the lines that resonates with me. The hurt felt because of our loved ones dealing with this, the fear, the irony of abandoning perfection only to be trampled by an experience like this. Sigh.

    While I hate that you had to go through this, it was a tale beautifully told. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. It is spot-on with many of the lows I’ve experienced, yet somehow much more descriptive. Well done to you for the writing, and to Ian for having been there.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. As a mother of a young man with diabetes, your story truly broke my heart. You should not have to feel that feel that you dropped the ball. You should be able to feel safe no matter what and not worry about the what ifs your husband wasn’t there. You should be able just live your life…if only it were that simple. 🙁
    Hugs to you and your family.

  5. Caro,
    I have been trying to think of something comforting and helpful to say to you. For days now. But there isn’t anything. So all I’m going to say is I am so glad you are ok. You didn’t drop the ball, you are normal and human. Life is so fragile, in so many ways.
    Thinking of the three of you and sending love. x

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