I was 48 mg/dl after dinner.
I thought I had over-estimated a bit for dinner and when his words started swimming in the foreground before they slammed into my ears, my hands unzipped the black meter case without thinking. Grape juice stained my mouth but the moment ended with a sheepish smile and a "I think I over-bolused a little at dinner."
Before bed, I was 107 mg/dl. Safe. I curled against Chris, said a silent prayer for the cat to remain off my pillow, and fell asleep.
At 4:07 am, I woke up with the lamp on.
Then I remembered that I had woken up about 20 minutes earlier and turned the lamp on, like I was trying to wake up in stages. Shirt was melted against me, my face was cold with sweat. My meter case was open and lying next to me, but I couldn't remember testing.
Siah hopped up on the bed and purred loudly.
Moonlit lows had been leaving me alone lately, letting me cling to the few hours of sleep I was able to catch. But this one must have been hiding under the bed, knowing full well that my earlier low had sapped my liver of its glucagon storage. My thoughts were unraveling like a scarf. Did I test earlier?
Chris stirred next to me. For some reason, I was determined to let him sleep. I pressed the "on" button on the meter to recall the last result, my brain stuck in a routine of "test, then treat," even though I knew with every breath that I needed juice now.
Last result was the 107 mg/dl before bed.
Click. 5 ... 4 ... 3 ...
Siah put her little gray nose over the meter screen and pawed at my wrist.
Nodding to myself almost matter-of-factly, I swung my shaking legs over the side of the bed and put my feet on the floor. I felt like I was made of yarn. My feet wouldn't plant themselves in place but instead they kept staggering, one after the other, throwing me into the wall. I tried to take a step forward and crumpled to the floor.
My brain is fully functioning. I know words. I know sounds. I know exactly what I need to do and what the number 42 means but my body has betrayed me and won't move as I have asked, like I was a robot who had been over-oiled.
Crawling back into the bed, I meant to tap Chris on the shoulder but instead my hand took on a force of its own and whacked him solidly in the chest.
He woke up instantly.
"Sit down." In a matter of seconds, he was back with a bottle of juice, despite the fact that there were two juice bottles resting on the bedside table. Autopilot for both of us.
Again with the grape juice. Wiped my shirt against my forehead. He held my arm and kept me steady.
Drained the bottle. Rezippered the meter case. Routines, routines, robotic routines. Turned off the lamp. Collapsed against my pillow and listened to the sound of my labored breathing, aware of the hurricane of juice in my stomach and the tears in my eyes even though I didn't feel sad. I just felt low.
"It's okay. You're okay."
And I lay there, at the bottom of the well but slowly coming back up to the surface, like a sad robot. Wishing I could tell him "I know," but instead these tears fell out and my mouth wouldn't make the words.