I woke up on Saturday morning and for an exquisite 15 seconds, I didn’t remember the night before. Then I moved. Then my body remembered.
Gingerly, I swung my legs to the side of the bed so I could get up and to go to the bathroom. The pain under my left breast was making it difficult for me to breathe, much less move.
My feet gently touched the ground and I pushed myself to standing. I steadied myself and once certain I wasn’t going to fall over, I walked to the bathroom. Flashes from the night before running through my head.
Awake. Asleep. Awake. Asleep.
Forcing food down my throat, falling back to sleep.
Waking and feeling like I was drowning.
Not being able to remember which way to turn from our bedroom.
Trying to stand up to get to the kitchen and not being able to support myself.
Finding myself in the kitchen staring at an empty bottle of orange juice.
It was the middle of the night. The kidlet was, thankfully sound asleep and didn’t stir, despite my crashing and clumsy movements. At one point, I dropped a glass on the wooden kitchen floors, but even the loud crash didn’t wake her.
Aaron was at a gig and still hours from home.
After almost two hours, I started vomiting. My BGL was still sitting under 3mmol/l. I lay down on the bed and thought that I would need to get to the hospital.
Eventually, I called my parents and asked them to come over, thinking that one could stay with our daughter while the other took me to A&E.
By the time they arrived, I was a mess. I couldn’t stop crying; I felt nauseous and faint; my heart was beating fast and hard in my chest and I breathing was difficult.
‘Renz, darling. What do you want us to do?’ they asked. ‘Do you want to go to the hospital?’
I didn’t know. I didn’t know what was the right thing to do. I couldn’t concentrate enough to make a decision. I was distracted and kept thinking about what would have happened if I had passed out on the floor in the hallway, crashed to the ground and had the kidlet wake to find me there. I felt guilty for getting my parents out of bed and out of their house in the middle of the night to rescue me – and then not be able to tell them what I wanted and what I needed.
I decided not to go to A&E. The thought of having to spend at least 6 hours on an emergency room bed was even more overwhelming than having to continue to deal with what was going on. The danger period seemed to be over – at least I was remaining conscious now.
At 3am, my BGL had finally hit 3.2mmol/l. It was three hours since I first woke and started eating. I still didn’t feel confident enough to sleep even though I was exhausted. I turned on the television, just in time to see Ryan Reynolds being attacked by a snake in Buried.
At 4am, just as the movie ended, my BGL was 4.1mmol/l. I felt it safe enough to go to bed.
I spent most of Saturday dozing, trying to rid my body of the aching and exhaustion and my mind of feelings of desperation. But they remained.
I had a constant headache that moved in waves from dull to pulsating. I needed to rest after doing anything remotely energetic. I mowed the front lawn – not more than a postage stamp of grass – and needed to lie down for half an hour afterwards. Pushing the hand mower back and forwards caused the pain in my ribs to throb.
I ached all over, I felt fragile and tears kept forming in my eyes. I looked at my daughter and had to keep pushing away the thought of her finding me unconscious.
By Sunday morning, after a good night’s sleep, I felt a lot better. I still had a dull ache in my head and a twinge in my left ribs. But overall, I felt better. My body had started to heal and I felt like I had some energy back.
I spent Sunday afternoon at a local street festival, enveloped by gorgeous food, loud music and bright colours. We sat and watched some Bollywood dancing and then climbed the stairs to an upstairs bar to hear a hard swinging big band belt out some Frank Sinatra (and this). Occasional flashes of being hypo would pop into my head and I’d smother them by distracting myself with the energy around me.
Today, a couple of days later, there are no lasting physical scars. The pain has gone. The nausea has gone. And the headache is no longer there.
But I am so fragile. I feel damaged and I feel broken and I feel beaten. I am frayed with exhaustion.
And yet. It’s another day. And I’m here. On I go.