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Body, I Am Sorry. You Didn’t Deserve That. December 20, 2012

Posted by laosita in diabetes.
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I’ve ended up in my guest room before because of a low. I have no idea why I went there, why I stayed or why it took me so long to get out. But last night I think diabetes thought the world was ending, only a day early.

My foggy head thought I shouldn’t move. Couldn’t move. Sweaty. Freezing cold. Sitting in a dark door frame. Counting. I don’t know why I was counting or what I was counting to. I can’t remember why I couldn’t move. Or thought I shouldn’t move. I don’t know how long I’d sat there. Long enough to be freezing cold and turn my bare toes into blocks of ice without color or feeling. (Oddly enough, this is the not the first low to result in some level of frostbite. Except the first time involved ice cream, which was way more fun.) I finally heard beeping. An alarm clock. A CGM. LOW. Freezing cold. Wet long sleeve t-shirt. Cold house. I’m not dead. Must change into something dry. Turn up heat. What day is it? What time is it? Eat. Did I miss tonight’s flight? Eat. Heat up a mug of water. Eat. Drink. Turn up heat again. Try three times to log into work email (yeah, I don’t know why either).

Find blanket. Establish the day, time and that what I am suppose to be doing can wait. Back to bed for half an hour to try and warm up. Dry sweatshirt, four blankets. Uncontrollable shivering and the realization I can’t feel my toes. Heat pack. I know where that is. 3:00 on the microwave. Check with hands to make sure the heat pack is not too hot. My toes can’t tell me that right now. Take to bed. Curl up again.

Fifteen minutes later my CGM provides a real number, with double up arrows. I don’t care. My toes hurt, I can’t stop shivering. Remembering little of stranded-on-a-mountain safety, all I can think of is frostbite and hypothermia. Now my toes burn. Double check that the pack isn’t actually too hot. It’s not.

My brain, while not clear and won’t be for the rest of the day, is at least thinking straight now. Give insulin for my now high number. Warm water. Turn up heat again and find clothes so I don’t have to leave the bathroom to dress, risking getting cold again. Finally step into the shower and warm up.

I don’t know how long I stood there either, but at least I was conscious and warm. But I couldn’t hardly stand. Mental checklist: Not low. Maybe dehydrated. Maybe I warmed up too much too fast. I am so tired. Exhausted. Exhausted from sitting in a cold door frame in sweaty fleece pants, drenched long sleeve t-shirt and bare toes for who knows how long. Exhausted from dealing with a LOW low. Exhausted from trying to figure out what the hell happened. Exhausted from a now fast-rising blood sugar.

My body doesn’t deserve this and I hate that I put it through this. I put my body through a lot of shit – bike crashes, horse falls, ridiculous swim workouts, moving hay bales, shin splints, cold temps, warm temps, inconsistent weight, plus all the CGM sensor pokes, infusion sites, needles and lances. It does not need to deal with anything extra.

Events like this makes diabetes scare me NOW. A lot of things about my future with diabetes scare me, but those I can work at to help prevent or manage. But living alone, counting on my body to pull me through after all the shit I’ve already put it through. Yeah, it blew the whole pancreas thing, but it doesn’t deserve this. I can treat a low, a high and everything in between. But the things that happen during or after, things not diabetes related, I don’t know how to fix that. I take my best guess and go. Exhaustion from an extended low, a couple hours of shivering, a high. They don’t mention that complication at diagnosis.

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Comments»

1. Alanna - December 20, 2012

Oh, what a crappy feeling. I am so sorry. Chin up.

laosita - December 23, 2012

Chin up – I like that! I’ve never not heard that before, but I like that for this situation.

2. elaine logan - December 20, 2012

That sounds so brave. Sounds like you did a good job of hanging in there with the unpredictable. Thanks for writing about this. I don’t understand the half of it, but I can feel the humanity of it. …. sending you virtual speculas…

laosita - December 23, 2012

Yay, virtual speculaas! 😉 Understanding that unpredictable happens is more than what most people understand.

3. Scott K. Johnson - December 21, 2012

What a ride. I’m so sorry. The exhaustion is almost indescribable, but you’ve managed to paint a perfect picture of it here.

laosita - December 23, 2012

Thank you Scott.


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