I’ve lived with diabetes longer than I’ve done almost anything else in my life. Longer than I’ve known my husband. For more years than I was in school. Longer than I’ve owned my own house, been able to drink alcohol, or had my driver license. I’ve lived with diabetes for 32 years and 8 months, so by now I should know absolutely everything, shouldn’t I? I should be able to run on auto-pilot with perfect results, right? WRONG!!!
Lately I’ve been feeling like I don’t know anything about diabetes. Well, no, I guess I’ve been feeling more like diabetes has changed the rules. Specifically, the low blood sugar rules. I’ve always felt lucky that my body handles lows really well. Even in the 30s and high 20s, I’ve been able to do what I needed to do without much of a problem. Lately, that hasn’t been the case. I had that scary bad low last month when I was home alone. Thinking back, I also had a weird low in the middle of the night while at Friends for Life. I tested somewhere in the 30s and ate four GlucoLift tablets, and then sat there trying to figure out if that was enough. I was so confused that I had no idea how many carbs I needed to treat a low. I picked up the box of Canadian Smarties that Scully had gifted to me earlier that evening and saw that it contained 40 grams of carbs. I pondered if 40 grams was what I was supposed to treat a low with and scarfed them all down. That’s right . . . . I treated a low with a total of 56 grams of carbs and thought that sounded right. Clear-headed, I was not.
Then there was another scary bad low last week. Pete worked late and picked up dinner for us on his way home. He noticed I wasn’t talking much, but assumed I was mad that he had worked so late. (Poor guy.) He said he realized something was wrong when my hand started shaking so badly that I kept dropping my food. I don’t remember that, but I do vaguely remember him bringing me a juice box and telling me to drink it. Things went kind of dark and fuzzy for a while, but I eventually realized I was covered in sweat and that Pete kept taking furtive glances at me with a concerned look on his face. I had to ask him what happened, and as he filled me in he admitted how scared he was.
I don’t know what is going on. I don’t know why my body isn’t handling lows well anymore. I don’t know anything except that, for the first time in my life, going low really scares me. I’ve lived with diabetes for a very long time and I’ve made lots of adjustments over the years. This will be another one. I’m making sure to test the second my CGM sends me a “low predicted” alarm. Earlier this week I started to feel as if I might be slipping toward another bad low, so I treated and treated and treated some more. Sure, I ended up near 200, but I will gladly correct that back down if it means avoiding another instance of realizing there is a chunk of time I can’t account for. I will do what I have to do. But it is important to know that even after 32 years and 8 months, I sometimes feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s important to know that diabetes keeps changing the rules And that I do have a nagging fear deep down inside that any minute, diabetes will win.
We need a cure.