Friday, January 30, 2015

migraine + bad low = sick and hungover

It happened last week. It's still worth sharing

This is a difficult story of struggle because writing about rainbows and unicorns with regards to diabetes is just plain boring and non existent.

I rode my bike home from work. It was dark and cold and headwindy. I pushed it because I was leaving work at 6:30pm and I was eager to get home to Ryan. The heavy panniers and the single speed of the steel frame bike are awesome but it does tend to make it a bit harder to push if you want to get anywhere fast. I arrived home and within 10 minutes my vision had completely started playing psychedelic games on me. Sometimes I get this weirdness with low blood sugar but I wasn't low. I tested twice and both times I was 4.4mmol/l (80mg/dl). I wondered if I was dropping from the ride and the vision weirdness was some sort of precursor to a low cuz I was sorta low. I ate some honey and waited. Nothing. All it did was make my blood sugar high. Huh. that's really fucking weird and by this point I'm starting to freak out. Was I somehow drugged? It was kind of the feeling of when you look at a bright light by accident and you're kind of blinded for a few minutes. Except with a side effect of an acid trip. (yes I had some wild days in my past).

It came to me in the shower. It was a migraine with an aura. I get migraines a lot, mostly tension and stress migraines. They rarely get so bad I can't function and I generally have plenty of warning to seek out drugs. So naturally, I googled that shit when I got out of the shower. Bright spots and black spots, zigzags... it was an aura. My head felt fine though. I took an Advil and not long after, the searing pain started. There's not much one can do at this point. I took some gravol to put myself to sleep because I wasn't tired at 8:30pm. Gravol did the trick.

Here's where shit goes off the rails.

Ryans Beeg Alarm is set for 1:30am every night. I don't know how long I was low for but I do remember trying to wake myself up for awhile. It was only 1am and the beeg alarm hadn't gone off yet. I fumble in my gravol induced haze. Fucking Gravol!!! I love it but it turns me into a death sleeper as opposed to my normal mouse-farts-wake-me-up

1.7mmol/l (30mg/dl)

I went to the kitchen because I'm out of Dex. A low of that caliber calls for honey because no chewing. The symptoms set in pretty quick. I remember feeling particularly uncomfortable in my body. My muscles were screaming. I was breathing heavy and sweating. I couldn't get comfortable enough to wait for it to subside. It was just so terribly awful. I wanted to disappear from the world entirely. Every movement took strength I didn't have and time seemed to slow down. 15 minutes later, I was only at 2.7mmol/l (48mg/dl). Ryan got more honey cuz I finished the jar I had. He kept an eye on me and stayed awake. He got me up an hour later and I was at 9.9mmol/l and terribly nauseous. Sugar is my kryptonite and makes me very ill. Most of the time I think this is a cruel joke.

At 9.9 I was tempted to take a bit of insulin thinking come morning I'll be waking up high with another sort of sick feeling to deal with but I didn't. Alas, I woke up at 6am with another low of 2.3mmol/l (41mg/dl). It took me 30 minutes just to get to a sitting up position. Who the fuck ran me over during the night? Coffee, yes... coffee is the answer. Green smoothie? hell no. My dear stomach was upset and disgruntled until 2pm. I worked for hours and hours on zero food and through a terrible nauseated state of hungover-ness. I finally ate something (a single clementine) and pulled out my insulin for the first time that day. As per usual, I had a rough night and took gravol again to settle my stomach. 24 hours of not really eating and feeling hungover. I woke up the next day feeling fine.

Here's the thing with me, one bad low and I'm sick for a whole day. My blood sugar may come back up but I am screwed for the day just barely hanging on.

In retrospect I needed to call in sick. What a fucking awful day of being hungover. What a fucking awful night of everything going bad. My first aura migraine, that was a treat. Nearly dying in my sleep - sure doesn't get much worse than that. A day of feeling hungover when I don't even drink? Wonderful in a stinky nutsack.

I do have a blog post or two that will make you smile that I'm working on. I'm not always all doom and gloom.



  1. Sorry to hear :( I always feel like I'm starting to trip when a low is coming on especially when I'm in the middle of some random activity and not really thinking about my blood sugar. It's very interesting to me that Aldous Huxley wrote about (in doors of perception) how taking mescaline is like a low bg in many ways.. Also the thing that really struck me was the whole time slowing down thing. I always feel this when I'm low and trying to wait out time and when I'm still dropping I find it harder because time definitely slows. Kind of like when you're tripping (maybe not that much ;) I also have sensatiins sometimes that I'm low when I'm not (and then end up low soon after) and I think that our body may have some sort of internal warning system for impending lows (this is not based on anything scientific just my personal experience) On we go in time no matter how slow or fast it's moving <3

  2. What what what a sucky experience. I'm sorry. I'm glad Ryan is there to help.


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