I remember my first hypo. It was the week I was diagnosed and I was on the phone (old school, landline, not cordless) chatting with a friend. I was filling her in with what had happened in the previous week, pretending I knew about diabetes and had it all sorted out.
I started to feel wonky. ‘I feel wonky,’ I told her. And then I squealed. ‘I’m having a hypo! This is a hypo!’ I was acting like I’d won the lottery. All week I’d been hearing about these mysterious hypo ‘episodes’ and what they would be like. And now I was having one. For real. Woot!
I hung up, went into the kitchen and announced ‘I am having a hypo’. I was living back home at this point in time, saving money to buy a home before getting married. My mum appeared from somewhere and as I stood there looking confused she sprang into action, producing jelly beans, toast and my BGL meter. I just kept thinking about the hypo, trying to put into words how I was feeling. ‘I feel a bit wobbly. Kind of like I am swimming. No. No. That’s not really right. I’m not swimming, maybe I’m floating. Yes. Floating. Like a bird. But birds don’t float, do they? No they fly. But I’m not flying…..’
This need to verbalise how I feel is not unusual, but it was sending mum into a slight panic as she handed me one jelly bean at a time to eat, trying to get me to focus on the glucose I needed to consume rather than delivering a speech on ‘what a low feels like’.
Today, I’ve had more than my share of hypos and I am no longer excited about them. In fact, that excitement lasted all of about a day and a half, after which I decided that they were a pain in the arse and that I wouldn’t be having any more of them. Ha – so sweet and innocent.
Lows have changed over my 16 years of diabetes. They went from being very easy to manage, to slightly less pleasant. I discovered that they also have different personalities – stubborn, teary, angry, irrational, denial, giggly and (in true seven dwarfs style), grumpy.
And then there is just plain foggy.
Early Sunday morning, I woke with the familiar low feeling and half asleep, reached over for the jar of jelly snakes on my bedside table and ate a few. As I was waiting for my BGLs to return to a reasonable level, and for the shaking to stop, I thought I’d check Facebook and Twitter. What else to do at that time of the morning? There would surely be someone on line to chat with.
Hypos can be a learning experience. Here is what I learnt. My pump does not have the Facebook app on it. Nor Twitter. It took me about five minutes to realise this. I looked at the menu, pressed the ‘ok’ button, searched, went back to the main menu, searched, all the while wondering where the little social media icons were so I could get online and find someone to tell about my hypo (some things never change, it seems).
It took a while – and probably an increase of a few mmol/l before I gave up. And went back to sleep.
It wasn’t until the morning when I woke up and noticed the lid off the lolly jar, a rogue jelly snake under my pillow and my pump still in my hand that I realised what I’d done.
The foggy hypos are often the ones that have me rolling my eyes and feeling like an idiot. But surely, surely, I’m not the only one who does silly things whilst low. Am I?