Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Head in the Sand: The Morning After

Last night I made chicken vegetable soup. It's just starting to cool down here in Tennessee and soup was the perfect meal for the weather. Not to mention the fact that I am running dangerously low on groceries and I'm too lazy to go to the supermarket until I absolutely have to. I had all the ingredients to to make this soup last night and I have to say, it was delicious.

I always find it a little hard to estimate my carbs for homemade soup. I usually take a wild guess and watch my blood sugars really closely for the next several hours. If it seems like I did okay, I use that same estimation the next time I eat the soup. Usually it isn't a very difficult thing for me to do.

So there I was, eating my soup. I had estimated my carbs at around 25 grams because I knew that I would have seconds and the soup had diced potatoes, corn, and peas. And seconds I did have. Two hours after dinner my blood sugar was 84. This almost panicked me into eating something else, or turning my pump off, but I instead decided to keep a closer eye on the blood sugars to see if they were going to keep falling, or hold steady. I was (of course) hoping for the holding steady.

Three hours after dinner: 85

Four hours after dinner: 82
Bedtime (about 4 and 1/2 hrs after): 80
I still had 1.1 units of active insulin left, according to my bolus wizard on my pump. This doesn't usually worry me because my blood sugar tends to increase after I go to sleep. My basal rate even increases, especially closer to morning to deal with the lovely dawn phenomenon.
I went to be feeling confident I would awake around 100.

Fast forward to the middle of the night (around 3:50 according to my meter; I checked the time this morning). I woke up, wide awake. This never happens to me. I felt almost frozen. Something is very wrong. I willed myself to open my eyes all the way, trying to get a bearing on my surroundings. I'm scared. I can't reach the two feet to my left to turn on my lamp, so I reach on the opposite side of my bed, where I lay my meter every night. Thankfully, there's a tiny flashlight on my meter case; my meter doesn't have a back light.

My head is spinning and I think to myself "This isn't right." And it wasn't. I was 55. I reached for the juice box I keep on my nightstand. I fumble with the straw and think that I just want to go back to sleep. I drain the juice box and lay there, box in hand, knowing that even though my blood sugar is low, it won't stay that way. The 25 grams of carbs in the juice box will bring me back up. I closed my eyes and drift back to sleep.

My alarm went off this morning & I pried my eyes open, hoping that it wouldn't be as bad as I knew it would be. It was. I have a splitting headache & when I turn my lamp on, my eyes squint to keep out the pain. It's almost like a hangover, minus the throwing up part. I grabbed my meter and checked my blood sugar. It's 122. I've survived the night, but from past experiences, I know I'm in for a long day.
I haven't had a low in the night in months. I don't know why I always wake myself up. Actually, I do: God, plain & simple. He's always taken care of me when I couldn't take care of myself. There always seems to be someone around who knows what's wrong and knows what to do when I don't, or I'm not able to care for myself.
Back to my day: I stumble around getting ready for work, feeling like death warmed over. All I really want to is go lay back down and go back to sleep. I contemplate calling in to work today, but know I have a full schedule of appointments that other's in my office would have to see or reschedule. I don't want to do that to them.
So I went to work. I took some ibuprofen to help with the headache. It didn't help much. I felt like I'd stuck my head in a pile of sand. My eyes were gritty feeling, no matter how much I rubbed them. They were heavy, feeling like sandbags were weighing the lids down.

But I worked. I worked all day and by around 4:00 this afternoon I felt somewhat like a human-being again. My eyes don't feel so much like I stuck my head in the sand anymore.

Today, while I was working, I thought about Kerri's experience with a low a few nights ago. I know exactly how she feels. I should have taken that swig of juice before I went to bed. But for once, it would have been nice to not have to worry about diabetes. A blood sugar of 84 is normal. Why can't I be normal and stay that way?? Kerri has Chris to help her out, but she seems to wake herself up most of the time. I always do. Or God does, I guess it depends on how you want to look at it.
As short tempered and ill as I was today, I worked all day. Tomorrow, after a good night's sleep and decent blood sugar readings, I will be in a better mood, I will feel better, and I will still be thankful that I'm here.


Unknown said...

I'm sorry you had such a crummy low. I know the hangover feeling all too well. I'm proud of you for trudging into work despite feeling like CRAP.

When I had my scary low on Monday, I called in and went to the hospital instead. On Tuesday I was feeling like shite from the roller-coaster ride of highs/lows and that icky hangover feeling, so I just couldn't face a full day of teaching and my nightly Chinese class. I called in sick. I skipped my Chinese class. When I worked in a cubicle job, I found I could fumble through my day feeling terrible, but as a teacher I have to be "on" all the time and I just can't face that when I feel so terrible. I still feel guilty about cancelling my classes and letting my students down and the school down. There are no subs. But diabetes doesn't take a break and sometimes I need to let myself off the hook and call in sick.

I feel like I let diabetes "win" if I do that, but at the same time, I also feel like I'm honoring my body and my feelings and taking care of myself. Ah, it's kinda a Catch-22.

Anyway, this is all a long way of saying I'm sorry to hear about your low and the hangover that inevitably follows. I know how you feel and I hope today was a better day and tomorrow is even nicer.

Thinking of you!

Bad Decision Maker said...

Sorry about your sucky low.

Maybe this is more daunting if you are not as much of a nerd as I am, but sometimes I try to keep track of how many carbs are in the whole recipe, and then estimate how much I'm taking (1/4 or whatever) to help guess at the carbs. Mixture-y stuff like soups are hard though.

Anonymous said...

Nightime lows are the worst... I'm so sorry you had one. I hope the hypo-hangover goes away fast!

I didn't know you were in TN, fun! I grew up in Bristol (VA side, though) and go back once a year.

Hope you're feeling better & better.

Donna said...

I hope you're feeling better. I had a similar experience not too long ago. It's irritating that when you're holding steady in the 80s that you never know which direction it's going to go next - high or low. It's like some kind of guessing game.

I truly believe that God is waking you up in the middle of the night when you need be awakened. He does the same thing for me. Even though my husband is here, he is a HEAVY sleeper & takes pain medication for his back before he goes to bed. So when he's asleep, he's asleep. Many times I wake up with a low & he never knows about it - even though I may have made all kinds of noise when I got up.

I'm glad God watches over you & gets you through these situations.

Paige said...

I was excited about your 85 when I started reading, but it didn't hold. I'm sorry. It sounds like a bad one.