I have a lot to talk about this week. But first, I need to get this thing out of my head from yesterday. It’s about a low. One of those nasty, thrashing around, call 911 hypoglycemic events that we all hate to think about. Or talk about. I’m fine, no real harm done, and the EMS people were only at the house for about five minutes because I’m always better by the time they get there anyway, though the thing I hate most about those times (which have been very infrequent) is that they have to be there at all instead of being out helping someone who really needs to be helped.
The thing about the situation yesterday is that it could have been avoided. There are two ways that I could have avoided such a low. And I have a real point to make at the end, I mean it.
The first: I should lay the groundwork here by saying it was around five o’clock, it was already a full day, with a warm afternoon which included my first outdoor bike ride of the year and catching up on cleaning the kitchen within an inch of its life, cleaning the bathroom within an inch of its life, and doing the laundry. I had just come up from the basement after switching over the laundry for the third time, and Maureen said “Whoa, slow down, come sit down, you look pale”. I could feel myself getting low downstairs, and I took an extra couple of minutes (7? 8? 10? Who knows?) to finish everything down there before going back upstairs. You can see where this is going, yes? So I knew I was low when I came up. But I sat down anyway without getting anything or even grabbing my meter. Maureen is like, “You look low… I’m getting some juice and something to eat”. I told her not to, I have a tube of Glucolift tabs in my pocket, and if she could, please get my meter. I didn’t want to overtreat and kill my appetite for what was shaping up to be a nice Sunday dinner. I wanted to know where my BG was so I could ingest an appropriate amount to get back up to an appropriate range.
So in about two seconds (she’s superhero fast like that) she brings me juice, honey, and my meter. “Here, drink this before you test”. “No, I want to test first”. “No, drink this first”. I had to move her hand away from trying to hand me juice while I tried to get a drop of blood to my test strip. And now, with my brain turning to mush, each attempt by her, each word by her, meant that I had to start at zero again and concentrate from the beginning to inch my way toward that strip. And in the end, that drop of blood never made it there, and the meter, myself, and Maureen all made it onto the floor.
If I would have been left alone for just a few seconds, I probably (probably…) would have gotten that reading and then started treating right away.
The second reason: Of course, the worst could have been avoided if I would have just obeyed orders and immediately started drinking juice and eating honey. And popping Glucolifts like they were candy (they do taste like candy, I confess). But I didn’t. And that’s what brings me to the crux of this post.
Here’s what I learned from this experience: Sure, if I would have been on my own, I probably would have tested first, and I’m pretty sure everything would have been okay and there would have been no need for EMS intervention or anything like that.
But the thing is, I wasn’t by myself. There were two people in this scenario, and other than physically, the other person was affected just as much or more than I was by the whole episode. People With Diabetes: Do you think that the other people in your life aren’t affected at all by what you go through? Do you think that they don’t feel for you at these moments? Do you understand that they feel responsible, sometimes guilty for not helping you enough? If I can help it, I do not want to be responsible for heaping more on my loved ones than they already have to endure.
What I learned from this is that sometimes, it’s just better to risk overtreating and suffer the high BG later in order to save your loved ones the unbearable and unnecessary grief, guilt, and fear of the next time. Holy crap, I would give anything to erase that now. Including a little bump in my A1c or a CGM graph or a downward-carb modified dinner.