My Diabetes Inklings

Hypos, Dementors and Nutella

Although I worry about diabetes complications, the thing I loathe most about diabetes are the hypos/lows or low blood sugars. Especially when they hit in the middle of night. It becomes a battle between trying to raise your sugars to a reasonable level and sleep. But what else can you do? When diabetes hands you lemons, sometimes you just gotta suck it.

It’s hard to describe what a hypo feels like to someone who has never experienced it. Some people with functioning pancreas think it’s similar to when you’re ‘hangry’, but it really isn’t. I would almost compare it to being around a Dementor from the world of Harry Potter.

“…[Dementors] drain peace, hope and happiness out of the air around them.”

“If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself – soul-less and evil. You’ll be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.”

– J.K. Rowling

Last night I woke up in a sweaty haze groping around for my meter in the midst of my mess of a bedside table from doing my weekly planning. Even before the 3.2 mmol/l flashed on my screen I was searching for my mini packet of sour patch babies. I vaguely remember trying to bolus for it and was relieved to see from my pump history in the morning that I didn’t give myself any insulin for it. +1 for hypo brain.

Of course after that, all I wanted was chocolate and delicious Nutella on soft white bread. So I stumbled from my room but went to the bathroom instead. I remember being very unsteady on my feet so I just sat on the toilet for a while. Out of habit, after washing my hands, I went straight back to bed and collapsed in exhaustion. I had had a really big day and all I could think of was sleep. I didn’t get my chocolate or delicious Nutella on soft white bread. Do we even have white bread in the house?! -1 for hypo brain.

The next thing I remember was checking the time at 4am but getting out to turn my alarm off at 5.30am. I had a raging headache and there were books and pens all over the floor and an empty sour patch babies packet on the table. Oh… I hadn’t even managed to stay awake long enough to check if my blood sugar had come back up. There was a chance that I would not have woken up this morning. It was a grim thought to start the day with, but it made me grateful that I did wake up.

Checked my sugars again. 6.2 mmol/l. My thoughts then drifted to what I needed to do for the day and off I went. I am still exhausted from the interrupted sleep and drained from the hypo. But life goes on despite diabetes. I did have delicious Nutella on crackers for breakfast though.

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