I am on a 7am flight to Adelaide for a day-long meeting. This is just plain rude and given that I’m on about 5 hours sleep (self-inflicted), I am coffee-d up to my eyeballs just so I can stay awake.
So, on the flight, sitting in seat 15B, I have had a little snooze, (maintaining my ‘only ever been awake for take off twice’ record by being sound asleep as we taxied and took off), and am now staring, zombie-like, at my iPad trying to make sense of the words I am typing. (Good luck to the nosey woman in seat 15C who is totally not surreptitiously reading what I am typing.)
And I’m yawning. A lot.
Recently, I have noticed a new hypo symptom. When low – having dropped slowly, I get very yawn-y. It happens completely out of the blue – a sudden onset of lazy, gaping oscitancy.
The first time this happened, I was with friends and all of a sudden, it started. I couldn’t stop yawning. One after another after another. I kept apologising, saying that the last few late nights must be catching up with me.
Shortly after, I checked my BGL and I was low – not staggeringly so, but low nonetheless. As soon as I treated and my BGLs rose, the yawning stopped and I felt fine.
It happened a few more times before I put two and two together. Sudden yawns = slowly decreasing BGLs.
When it happens, there are absolutely no other symptoms. The shaky, sweaty adrenaline rush hypos that come from either a rapid drop, or waking up suddenly overnight are completely absent. Instead, it’s a listless, snail-like feeling of sluggishness and a realisation that I am yawning. A lot.
This new low symptom is manageable and now that I have worked it out, I can use it quite effectively. As soon as I notice the yawns have started, I treat.
As someone who at times has impaired hypo awareness – love it when a BGL check shows a 2.5mmol/l and I am feeling perfectly fine – I’ll take any symptoms at all. And for me those hypos that sneak up on me are particularly symptom-less. So this is quite a welcome new development.
Of course, on days like today – when my day started on an early morning flight after a night of minimal sleep – it gets confusing. I’m yet to work out how to differentiate if a yawn is a hint I’m low. Or a silent scream for coffee.