Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Embrace The Crash

Crash, Low, Hypo, whatever you want to call it.  My preference is usually "My blood sugar is crashing".  Or at the worst of times, just the word "crash" sums it up for those who know me.  No matter which way you slice it, us folks with D get it.   Hypoglycemia.  There are a plethora of words used to describe how it feels.  Awful, Evil, Horrible, Death, F*cking'ELL.  The symptoms also vary.  There is "low'ish" blood sugar and for me that's when I hover around 4.0 mmol/l.  I often wake up in the morning low'ish.  Low'ish usually refers to slowly falling blood sugars.  There's always a lot of time to react to a slow low.  

Then there's a blood sugar crash.  For me, this is the worst kind.  Usually due to exercise and/or miss-calculation at carb counts and subsequent over-bolusing insulin.  Night time hypos get to crashing point before they wake me up.  A crash plummets, QUICKLY.  With very little warning.  I can be fine and then minutes later be on the floor.  At the worst of symptoms I'm sweating profusely and shaking uncontrollably.  I feel like my body is made of Jello and I have trouble holding myself upright.  Everything looks over-exposed and then tunnel vision.  Sounds seem alien, I can't talk or understand if someone is talking to me.  I hyperventilate.  I took my heart rate once during a mad crash and it was almost 160bpm - pretty much my heart rate when I'm running.   But I'm sitting still.  that makes me wonder if I get a work out while sitting still? 

When I go low, I get very nauseous and it becomes hard for me to swallow.  Juice sucks when I'm in that state and all I can really tolerate is glucose tabs because they dissolve in your mouth.  Sometimes I sip honey or syrup.  I've explained it to non-PWD and it really is like a near-death experience.  It's literally, your body shutting down its systems one at a time.  Without glucose (the only form of fuel our brains use) our bodies really ARE dying.  Scary thought.

Where am I going with this?  I know, holy tangent man.  Well I assure you, I have a point.  At times, I actually ENJOY feeling like death.  Yes, I really just said that.  Call me a self-inflicting masochistic whatever you want.  It's the truth, I enjoy them for the reality they cause.  A sudden reminder of what game I'm playing having diabetes.  The human body fascinates me.  Diabetes has done nothing but clarify that for me.  Its terrifying when you feel the symptoms of a hypo.  I consume the 15-20g of carbs.  I KNOW this is enough.  I KNOW I don't need more.  I used to over-treat because that automatic fear is instinctual.  I would chug a good 1/4cup of honey (and nearly throw up).  Its the fight or flight response of trauma.  Its so hard not to keep stuffing your mouth with sugar sugar  s u g a r  SUGAR!.  Since that's what the brain is screaming for.  It's all about patience.  Its the hardest part of recovering from a bad crash.  You've eaten what you know is enough now you have to sit back and ride the coaster as it usually hasn't hit its worst yet.  It always gets worse before it gets better -  I, enjoy this part.  It's so fucking deadly its intriguing.  Call me crazy, it wouldn't be the first time.  I just keep telling myself to "wait for it, wait for it".  I know I will come out of it because that's the magic of the body.  I have learned to embrace the death feeling because I force myself to be patient.  Embrace the death feeling, gee ain't that an oxymoron! 

There are situations, like when I'm out and about or with people that I just don't have patience for it.  But knowing I'll come back is enough to accept the crash and wait.  I am half giggling over here because as I write this I feel my blood sugar creeping into the danger zone because I bolused too much for an apple.  Damn irony!  Or as my mother would say "organized chaos" because she doesn't believe in coincidences.  Love your wisdom MUM!

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