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Overtreating.

We had the bedroom door mostly shut, to keep the heat in and in (futile) attempt to keep the cats out.   It’s icy cold out there and the big picture window in the bedroom doesn’t do much for keeping things toasty warm, so we have a down comforter, a fleece, and a throw on the bed.Cold.

I fell asleep around midnight, tucked underneath the mountain of blankets and pressed against my boyfriend.  Warm and cozy, with a little gray Siah nestled between us. 

5:32 am.

Every blanket tossed off me.  Shirt tangled around my damp collarbone.  Forehead slick with sweat.  Abby is prowling around at the base of the bed, emitting frantic little meows.  The room is frighteningly silent and I can hear my heart beating in my ears.  It is so hot in here I can’t stand it.  I am so tired.  I ask Chris for help but the words are caught in my teeth and, instead, I reach over for my meter case, unzip it, and find out what number was keeping me from sleeping.

43 mg/dl.

The same version of autopilot for 20 years.  Out to the fridge.  Upcap the grape juice.  Eight sips.  Wipe my mouth with my sleeve, knowing I’ll be angry that my white shirt sleeve is stained violet with juice but I didn’t mind now and I just wanted to go back to bed.

Without thinking, grabbed a fistful of cereal from the box on the top of the fridge.  The little O’s look like prehistoric tires, all jagged and almost square-ish.  Chomp those down, imagining them turning shades of purple in my mouth from the grape juice stains.

Stumble back to bed.  Abby walks in front of me, guiding the way.

Back under the covers.  Press my cold nose against Chris’s shoulder.  He stirs and goes into the autopilot he's been on for the past two years. 

“Are you okay?” 

“I’m low.  Will you hold me?”

“Did you drink juice?”

“Yes.”

He puts his arm around me.  My brain is sloshing around in my head but the letters have been picked clean from my teeth and I’m regaining the ability to make words.

Reassured that the taste of juice in my mouth means my blood sugar will come up eventually, I close my eyes and sleep holds me as close as Chris.

This morning, the sweaters have replaced the letters.  Blood sugar is 306 mg/dl, thank you very much.  Annoyed that it was probably the arbitrary fistful of cereal that lurched me over the edge, I’m chasing insulin with coffee to keep from letting the night’s events affect my work day.

Damn this urge to over-treat.  You would think, after all these years, I would be able to control that by now.

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Comments

As always, Kerri, so glad you're not alone when these lows happen.

And that you are all right.

Do you think that the 306 might have been due (at least in part) to the rebound effect?

And please don't be hard on yourself about overtreating. You were 43!

I don't think your sugar-deprived brain really cares how many years you've lived with this thing...

By the way, while this was a scary one, it was also beautifully written.

Sounds oddly similar to me last night. I clocked in at 47 just before midnight (though I had been deep asleep for 2+ hours already).

Don't be so hard on yourself about the over treating. Blame your liver: it likely dumped a ton of glucose during your low.

We have wandered down the same hallway to the kitchen. I now keep glucose tabs and a box of Juicy-Juice next to my bed with the meter. I keep those glucose tabs everywhere: purse, car, kitchen, bathroom, office, garage. I'm 47, been doing this since age 5. There ought to be an award for living with It as long as we have. I have a small 'white spot' in my vision too. Doctor Black says not to worry about them unless they get dark. Right.

Overtreating! Yea, all the time. For some reason, the middle of the night is when I tend to over-indulge. If I wake up with a low reading, I feel famished - as if I hadn't eaten in weeks. And then, wake up in the morning with a reading around 300. I can't understand why I feel so hungry at those times though.

So glad you are fine.

Your mom must be relieved that you have someone to hold you when you need to be held.

And treating those lows can be a bitch.

Wow, I have the same issue but it only seems to be a middle of the night problem, it is like I just can't catch up and I over eat until I don't feel like I am going to pass out anymore, but I can't handle how slowly your blood glucose comes up in a time like this!

I had the same problem on Tuesday night and I am trying so hard not to over-treat as I don't want to do any damage to Lil Cletus.

I hate going low in the middle of the night at least I get woken up from them!
Good luck with the insulin and coffee today!

I think Sandra and Kevin are right - perhaps your liver is the culprit. I mean, it's not like you sat on the kitchen floor with the juice carton and a tub of ice cream at 5 in the morning (not like any of us have EVER done that, right?).

Hope your day improves, because that's a kind of crappy start.

It must be the morning for lows! I woke up at 46 mg/dL this morning, although since it was close to 6:00 AM, I decided just to treat it and then shower rather than retreating back to bed. My feline (Phyllis, whose mother was Siamese and taught her to talk) was nagging me for something, but she had plenty of food and water. Only after I made the bed did I realize she was looking to sleep there alone, with the electric blanket on!

Glad you're OK. great imagery in your post, as usual. Can you trace these lows to a logical reason or are you completely befuddled by it?

Kerri, Maybe you did overeat and MAYBE YOU DIDN'T. Sometimes with a BAD low your own body produces glucagon and other hormones to increase your bg value. Try not to blame yourself. Maybe you didn't overeat! Whatever the cause it feels terrible - the rollercoaster ride. Sorry!

Were the lows brought in by the storm this week? We had the same problem last night. Casey was way low, had a piece of raisin toast(15g) and washed it down with a carb free hot chocolate(he's only 11). What happens??? Goes from a nasty low to 240 something in 30 minutes. Go figure...

Your writing is just so perfect I can't stay away! I'm sorry you have to tell this story at all! Please tell me when you finally release a book!

Hi Kerri, here’s hoping your day has improved since its start. Had a very similar problem this morning …. damn those night time lows.
I've only recently found your blog & it’s helpful to know that other people are living with the same thing – it definitely makes me feel less alone.

Cheers & Have a Great Weekend.

Night time lows feel so much worse than those in the day time. I had one of 49 last night. It's such a crappy feeling.

I'm pretty sure I won't ever be able to stop over treating. The problem for me is that when my sugar gets really low I'm barely in my right mind. I am so uncomfortable with a sugar that is lower than 50mg/dl. All I can think of is "I want this to stop!". So I treat it and I don't feel better quickly enough so I eat more.

I'm better at being able to avoid over treating if the low happens during the day. I feel it coming on quicker and don't get to the point where I'm panicking. After I've been to sleep though it's too late by the time I'm aware of the problem.

Ditto times one hundred on the glucagon.

Greg overtreats, but to avoid anything bad happening. Sigh!

You show remarkable restraint. When I have lows like that in the middle of the night it's hard for me to not eat EVERYTHING in the kitchen because I'm low and I feel awful and I just want the shaking to stop. I think I wake up in panic mode and it's hard to calm that down at 3am.

You may laugh at me, but I treat my low in the night...then count how many carbs I have ENGOLFED from the cupboards.....I then use the bolus wizard to figure out how much insulin I now need!!

A lot of brain power in the wee hours of the morning, but I have to do this as I always overtreat!!

You are right, you would think I would know better after 22 years!

It must be hard to think straight when you get that low.

I'm a type 2, controlled by diet and exercise and my doctor says I wouldn't be getting hypos like you would with medication. The lowest I've had, that I'm aware of is 3.4 or 61. That felt pretty strange, sort of like my brain was wrapped in cotton wool, so I can only imagine how you were feeling.

A handfull of cereal? If that that handful was at the very most 10 g carbs, for it to have raised your blood sugar 100 points, you would have to be so little that your blood sugar rises 10 points per carb! That would make you one small adult.

If I'm at 43, and I overtreat, I go up to 200, 250 at the very most. I'd say the difference between you and me is that your liver is kicking something in, and mine is a lazy bum.

I've always been amazed at your ability to do your eight sips and then wait.... wait.... wait... to start feeling better.

That time is an ETERNITY!!

I often overtreat, and it's the worst at night. Like Mike said, maybe I'm not in my right mind, and also what Drea said I will often try to mentally calculate what damage I have done (once I'm back to normal) and actually bolus for it.

There have been many times where I've actually bolused for nearly 200 grams of carbs and STILL woke up well over 300 mg/dl. Then I am astonished at just how many carbs I must have eaten.

tell me about it! especially at night! but then, the resulting high enfuriates me so, that i often end up overtreating that as well! (laughs nervously)

You really struck a chord here with everyone! Middle of the night lows always seem like drinking binges... when you wake up in the morning, you often feel dry, icky and see the mess in the kitchen from the night before... only difference that instead of beer bottles.. it's juice boxes and granola bar wrappers....

very hard not to over treat... ugh!

Thanks Kerri - your writing helped me to understand better how my daughter feels after a night time low.

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