Wednesday, June 10, 2015

That Moment When . . .

JuiceThat moment when awareness flits in and out, as if carried by butterflies.  Deep inside I wish it would just crash in all at once.  I’m sure that would be easier.  I take another sip.  My water tastes so weird, almost fruity.  But I clearly remember our conversation as Pete poured our dinner drinks.  He offered iced tea, but I wanted water so that’s what he poured me.

Another sip.  No, I’m quite sure this isn’t water.  I suddenly notice my glass of water on the coffee table and realize I have a second glass in my hand.  “Wait.  What am I drinking?”  “It’s your Low Juice”, Pete replies.  That doesn’t make sense.  “Why?  Was I low?”

“Yes, baby.  I think it was a bad one.”

As we talk, a few more pieces of the puzzle come back, but never enough to fill in the whole picture.  My blood sugar must have dropped really fast, and Pete said he could tell I was low even before my CGM alarmed.  For one thing, I was just staring blankly at the T.V.  As he tells me this, I suddenly remember how confusing the show we were watching was.  That show?  It was Seinfeld.  Not a confusing show at all.  Then he tells me my hand was shaking so badly I could barely eat my cheeseburger.  Oh yes, I do remember trying to take bites while my whole arm jolted around.  I wonder why that didn’t seem odd to me at the time.

Pete asks if I remember my pump suspending.  I don’t, but sure enough when I look it has suspended.  I also don’t remember him getting me the juice.  I actually don’t remember much else about the time that passed during that low.  I imagine it’s like when you drink so much that you black out, without the fun, silly drunk time before the blackout but with the same hung-over feeling afterward.  (I’m guessing at this because I’ve never actually drank so much that I blacked out.)  There is only one other small memory that floats back to me, and I have the chuckle at the irony.  I remember thinking that it has been a very long time since I’d had a really bad low.  Maybe since that one I had while watching an early episode of Mad Men, when I got combative and yelled curse words and didn’t even realize what I was doing.  That’s right, as I sat there smugly thinking that I hadn’t had a bad low in a very long time, I was actually deep in the throes of a bad low and didn’t realize it.  Oh Diabetes, you sure love to eff with my mind, don’t you?

"You must be really sweaty, Sweetheart.”.  His words snap me back from my memories and I realize that yes, I am really sweaty and I’m shivering.  So I head upstairs for a shower, but not before apologizing for having such a bad low and scaring Pete.  In fact, I apologize over and over that night, and even for a few days more, even though I kind of know this wasn’t my fault.  I can’t help but feel sorry for putting him through that.

I also can’t help feeling the fear.  I’m not used the letting fear be one of the emotions tied to diabetes, but it’s wormed its way through and has settled in.  I let me mind go to the place where I wonder what would’ve happened if Pete hadn’t been home to help me.  If I had been driving.  If I had been with people who don’t know what a bad low looks like and what to do when it happens.  I don’t let my mind dwell on this too long, but right now I can’t completely block out the fear.


  1. Thank you for posting this. I don't have any diabetic friends, and while my friends and family are informed and understanding, sometimes I can feel like I'm the only one who ever goes through this. You make me feel less alone, and I appreciate it.

    1. Thank YOU, Claire, because your comment makes me feel less alone too.

  2. ahhh. fuck.

    i had one of those too (as you know) and i HATE that it happened. and that it happens.

  3. What is up with the East Coast with you, Kelly K, and Kerri posting bad low stories??? Oh wait--all of your names begin with K. Play eerie, creepy music now....

  4. Oh Karen! I just had a very bad low last night. The meter says I was in the 20s. I vaguely remember choosing between orange and apple juice and that's it. Rob took care of the rest. I've told him a zillion times today how sorry I am. Your post is so touching and brought me to tears (in a good way). I'm not alone. Someone else understands.

  5. I have had type 1 for 13 years now and it was not until this past year that I started experiencing lows when I would black out. It is hard because why my family and friends know what I have is serious, life threatening and sometimes unpredictable, they still have a hard time understanding that the way I act when I am in a "black out low" isn't "me" and that its not directly my fault. I have found myself apologizing many times to them as well. It is so scary. Often I find myself starting at the clock upset and confused because I just can't seem to figure out what time it is. I live alone and fortunately for me something in me must register to get juice at some point. It is so scary and takes so long to feel mentally stable after a low that bad. It is unfortunate though comforting to know that I am not alone in this. Thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope with all of us.


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