Saturday, November 24, 2018

Highs and Lows

I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia when I was seven: I  had my first attack during Mass, after fasting for 12 hours (and no kid should be expected to fast that long for anything short of major surgery) the way "real adults" did for Communion.  Hot and cold sweats,  in the middle of an unheated  church here's this little kid taking off her coat and putting it back on, and the next thing I know Im being frog marched, grey-faced,  out the church with Sister Mary Arthur and my mother saying, "what happened?"

After that I got to eat a small breakfast on Sunday (oy, the private pleasures of a dispensation from the Bishop) before Mass...

It's part of diabetes, but not necessarily a symptom.  I found out it can live on its own, quite nicely.  Of course, my mother came from a good solid French Canadian family, so packing the kids with food like a portable lunch box was second nature to her.

The real problem arises when you are with someone who doesn't get what you're saying, as in, "I think I need to eat now" and they say "okay, let's make reservations.".   No. I mean NOW, and give me that cookie.  It also makes you testy.

 I was thinking about this today, when I was casting about for something to eat for lunch and my husband said, "I should think you'd KNOW when you're hungry..."  and I realized that I don't ever want to get to the rumbly stomach phase of hungry.  I can't. By then, I'm probably going to be out cold.    We have to gauge how we feel, how 'empty',  how cranky, how slightly fuzzy headed.

My biggest fear at this age is going into one of these in the supermarket and waking up as the EMTs  hook me up to an IV and a heart monitor, when all I really need is a handful of M&Ms...😰


  1. Familiar scenario, except it was husband, and he was advised for other reasons never to eat sugar at times like this, just quick protein.

    He never knew in time that he needed it, mental confusion being a symptom, so I got good at pushing the cheese sandwich quick!

  2. I have a very small window in which to navigate, and once I start getting that furry feeling behind my ears I've learned to put down the hammer, the broom, the garden hose and head back to the house NOW.
    Irritability has to do with the drop in sugar, and only appears when someone suggests getting me a hot meal. NOT NOW. GIVE ME YOUR COOKIE, YOUR APPLE, YOUR LEFT EAR. NOW. And part of that 'irritability' comes from the annoyance I feel when someone starts suggesting things to do 'next time".

    But I've found that no only skipping a meal brings it on, but eating too well. Last time this happened I was in the middle of WalMart with a cart full of groceries. Made it to the checkout aisle and candy bars just in time, and realized I was not going to be driving for a few minutes, since the way out of that place is a bit tricky.

    At that point I was afraid someone would look at me and see a old lady with a dead grey pallor, and call an ambulance. noooo...

    Sometimes it's harder to be on the outside of it, watching, than on the inside, and yeah, that mental confusion is the worst. No sudden movements, there...

  3. do they make medic-alert bracelets with an "in case of emergency, shove M&Ms into my mouth" message?

    1. glad to see you feeling better, N, and that is a good idea: it would also have to specify why, so I don't end up in the diabetic coma ward...

      The only problem with carrying candy with you at all times is not eating it. Then again, if you ate it, you'd not have the problem. Just a chocolatey smile.

  4. Kindred soul!
    Although my hypoglycemia is unofficial. I finally learned not rely on carbs alone, especially in the morning - some kind of protein is key.
    But, cranky? Sweaty.? Weak? And rattled brain? Yep.

  5. And best to let every doctor and surgeon you meet about it. When I go in for operations, I make sure what's in that IV is nourishment, and they always reassure me.
    No one wants a patient to faint on the way to an operation. =)
    The brain fog is the worst, you have to make up your mind before it hits that "no you will NOT be driving for a few minutes, because..."

    I'm not so afraid of passing out as I am waking up in a hospital bed with an IV attached. Yikes. Or someone trying out his newfound skill as a Rescue Person, mouth to mouth. Bleah.