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Diabetes, the Bloodsucker

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For the first time since my diabetes diagnosis, I was fearful because of my diabetes.

My meter showed 2.3mmol/l and my pump told me I still insulin on board from dessert. I was disorientated, drenched in sweat, defensive and frantically fighting the urge to fall back to sleep.

 

By the time I walked to the kitchen I must have looked like a zombie to my mum, who was getting ready for bed. Unfortunately, she stepped on the hypo monster’s toes by asking if I needed anything a few times. The “No” that came from me surprised us both. I didn’t even know I had the energy to speak, let alone using my angry tone.

As I sat at the kitchen bench, eating maybe But my 10th snake (apparently 2 snakes = 20g of carbs) and still feeling very low, I started to worry. I did not have a glucagon pen in the house and no one at home is trained in using one.

My glucagon script was useless sitting in a pharmacy. I never got one because of the cost and short shelf-life it had. I thought it would be unlikely that I would have to use it and didn’t want to waste it.

Thankfully, after finishing the snakes and moving on to shortbread biscuits, I could feel my sugars were very slowly creeping up. Soon the worry about needing glucagon faded back to the shadows again.

My next consideration was whether I should bolus for that over treatment and what to bolus for. I had long lost track of what I was eating and how much, as you do in the hypo haze. Sitting at only 6.0mmol/l after all that food, I decided to let it go and correct my morning blood sugar. I was ready to sleep.

 

By morning my blood sugars were only at 10mmol/l, considering how much I ate overnight. But I had woken up with the worst hypo/hyper hangover yet. The brain fog was real. I could barely log into my uni account. I was too scared to try and drive to uni.

It’s frustrating to feel vulnerable and defeated because of diabetes. It sucks to have diabetes disrupt your plans. But what can you do but go for a walk around the neighbourhood to clear your head and get back on track with your day? Diabetes may be a little bloodsucker, but it will never win.

Posted by

Pancreatically challenged, diabetes advocate, PhD student and dietitian - working to positive changes within the diabetes community and healthcare setting. Although diagnosed at age of 19 with T2DM, the type of diabetes I have is under constant debate. Finally pumping as of March 2014.

7 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Thanks Ashley for sharing this, hope you’re feeling ok now, sounds scary, you’re an inspiration ,
    Susan and Marco

    Reply

    • Thanks Susan. I am feeling better thanks. And it’s not always scary, I promise 🙂

      Hope you’re both well!

      Regards,
      Ashley

      Reply

  2. Oh dear, that must have been a really really bad low if you only woke-up with 10 the next morning!
    Poor mum, better not get in the way of a hypo-hungry person craving candies!! I’ve been sick for the past week and am really noticing how my sugars are interfering with my healing process… Right there with you on the “bloodsucker” feeling, all though for now it still feels like its winning a little bit… But I shall claim victory in the end 😉

    Reply

    • I know! Especially after eating all that food. Yeah, diabetes really impacts the healing process. 😦 Hope you get better soon! I know you will claim victory 😉 x

      Reply

  3. I worked with a diabetic lady. I was told if her sugar got too low the quickest way to increase it was to drink ordinary cola. I have also heard of another lady who got low sugar and she was given soft drink too.

    Reply

  4. Hi Ashley, thanks for your amazing post… it rings bells with me! The last hypo I had was (luckily) in the doctor’s waiting room! 2.4 and falling, with no jelly beans in my bag (they must have fallen out in the car). Long story short, a small packet of jb’s later, no improvement. 10 scotch fingers, 2 cups of tea with four sugars in each AND a big chicken salad sandwich, 45 minutes and I only got up to 3.5! sheesh! Went to sleep for the afternoon and yes, the stupid hazy hangover when I woke 5 hours later, with a reading of 4.9. So bloody annoying. I’m type 2 and yes, they’re now debating what I really have…
    Good luck!

    Reply

  5. I know the feeling. In had hypo of 2.1 in dr rooms and my wonderful doctor even gave me her lunch to eat. Would not let me leve thE surgery until I was 5.5. It wa 840 in the morning.

    Reply

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