Friday, March 23, 2012

What it feels like...

Recently, I have been having more hypoglycemic episodes.  There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the episodes, but they are very scary...Last night after a delicious dinner at Darryl's in Greenboro (hubs has meeting in town), I had one...

Hypoglycemia isn't just a part of diabetes.  My hypoglycemia is a result of a lovely, messed up endocrine system.  Due to the imbalances in my endocrine system, I can have a hypoglycemic episode several times a day or once in a blue moon - I never know.  The most telling symptoms of my episodes are dizziness and beaded sweat on my face.  Lovely.  

While I hate dealing with the episodes, I sometimes wonder if others go through the same thing but have no clue what to do.  I saw this post on Whole Living (pasted below).  While this person is living with Type 1 diabetes, my reactions are oddly similar.  Reading her post brought tears to my eyes.  I am not alone in this...  I hope the post will resonate with others that may be dealing with the same thing.

So, how can you "prevent" hypoglycemic episodes:

Eat a well-balanced diet and eat small meals OFTEN.  Yes, it will feel like you are constantly eating, but it is really the best... My eating during the day looks like this:
  • 6:15 a.m. - 1-2 cups of black coffee
  • 8:00 a.m. (Breakfast) - usually a "green monster smoothie" or mini egg frittatas and turkey sausage
  • 10:00/10:15 a.m. (Morning snack) - Chobani greek yogurt, almonds and a piece of fruit, or turkey and cheese "roll ups"
  • 12 noon/12:15 p.m. (Lunch) - Leftovers, a massive salad with grilled chicken or beans, a sandwich thin with peanut butter and soup, etc.
  • 2:00 p.m. (1st afternoon snack) - same as morning snack 
  • 4:30 p.m. (2nd afternoon snack) - string cheese and a piece of fruit, apple with almond butter, etc.
  • 7:00 p.m. (Dinner) 
  • 8:30 p.m. ("Dessert") - if I really want something, I will have some Honey Nut Cheerios or some yogurt

Keep snacks handy.  Because I know that I can usually get my hands on sugar during a hypoglycemic episode, I don't carry sweets (plus they are tempting).  I do keep a small Jif peanut butter and a spoon in a Ziploc bag in my purse.  If I have a blood sugar episode, I will get some sugar to get my sugar back up, but then immediately eat several spoonfuls of peanut butter.  

No sugar on an empty stomach.  I have, unfortunately, had to learn this the hard way...  I have discovered that if I eat any sugary food (or drink) on an empty stomach, my sugar levels go crazy.  I reach a big sugar high, leading my body to push out insulin way to quickly, followed by a terrible crash in my blood sugar.  I now have to make sure I have a good protein-filled meal (or snack) before having sugar.

Listen to your body.  If you are hungry, eat.  Don't wait until it is too late.  This again, is something I have learned the hard way.  There have been times that I have waited way too long to eat and ended up going crazy with anything I could get my hands on in the pantry.  Not a pretty picture - standing in front of the open pantry door, shoving Wheat Thins down my gullet.

What Hypoglycemia Feels Like

Posted by Whole Living Daily
Editor’s Note: Kerri Sparling is our featured guest blogger for March. We love the frank and hopeful way she chronicles her experiences living with type 1 diabetes
I was 48 mg/dl after dinner.
I thought I had over-estimated a bit for dinner and when his words started swimming in the foreground before they slammed into my ears, my hands unzipped the black meter case without thinking.  Grape juice stained my mouth but the moment ended with a sheepish smile and a "I think I over-bolused a little at dinner."
Before bed, I was 107 mg/dl.  Safe.  I curled against Chris, said a silent prayer for the cat to remain off my pillow, and fell asleep.
At 4:07 am, I woke up with the lamp on.
Then I remembered that I had woken up about 20 minutes earlier and turned the lamp on, like I was trying to wake up in stages.  My shirt was melted against me, my face was cold with sweat.  My meter case was open and lying next to me, but I couldn't remember testing.
Siah hopped up on the bed and purred loudly.
Moonlit lows had been leaving me alone lately, letting me cling to the few hours of sleep I was able to catch.  But this one must have been hiding under the bed, knowing full well that my earlier low had sapped my liver of its glucagon storage.  My thoughts were unraveling like a scarf.  Did I test earlier?
Chris stirred next to me.  For some reason, I was determined to let him sleep.  I pressed the "on" button on the meter to recall the last result, my brain stuck in a routine of "test, then treat," even though I knew with every breath that I needed juice now.
Last result was the 107 mg/dl before bed.
Click.  5 ... 4 ... 3 ...
Siah put her little gray nose over the meter screen and pawed at my wrist.
42 mg/dl.
Nodding to myself almost matter-of-factly, I swung my shaking legs over the side of the bed and put my feet on the floor.  I felt like I was made of yarn.  My feet wouldn't plant themselves in place but instead kept staggering, one after the other, throwing me into the wall.  I tried to take a step forward and crumpled to the floor.
My brain is fully functioning.  I know words.  I know sounds.  I know exactly what I need to do and what the number 42 means but my body has betrayed me and won't move as I have asked, as if I were a robot who had been over-oiled.
Crawling back into the bed, I meant to tap Chris on the shoulder but instead my hand took on a force of its own and whacked him solidly in the chest.
"Help me?"
He woke up instantly.
"Sit down."  In a matter of seconds, he was back with a bottle of juice, despite the fact that there were two juice bottles resting on the bedside table.  Autopilot for both of us.
Again with the grape juice.  Wiped my shirt against my forehead.  He held my arm and kept me steady.
Drained the bottle.  Rezippered the meter case.  Routines, routines, robotic routines.
Turned off the lamp.  Collapsed against my pillow and listened to the sound of my labored breathing, aware of the hurricane of juice in my stomach and the tears in my eyes even though I didn't feel sad.  I just felt low.
"It's okay.  You're okay."
And I lay there, at the bottom of the well but slowly coming back up to the surface, like a sad robot.  Wishing I could tell him "I know," but instead these tears fell out and my mouth wouldn't make the words.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for this informative post. I had a boss once who suffered from this-and we always knew where her stash of juice and candy was to help her out if she had an attack.