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Sad Robot.

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.

42 mg/dl.

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.

"Help me?"The sad robot.

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.

Comments

Aw, K, I know. I'm glad you're OK, but I just hate the kind of joy-sapping power the D has at times. It sucks. And I'm tired of it - for both us. But today is a new day - and we've all got each other and this unwanted, but well-appreciated understanding. (K) - N

Sorry you had a rough night. I hate night time lows. Sometimes, I don't know where they come from. I'm convinced my pancreas sometimes decides to work for a moment. Sleep better tonight.

Kerri

Sorry for your lousy night. I hate when my brain is working internally but it can't seem to get my body to react the way it should. I really makes me feel out of control.

Especially when all you want to do is say something. It gives a whole new level of meaning to tongue-tied.

Sigh, poor Kerri. I started crying once inexplicably while I was low. I wasn't sad, or particularly frustrated - I just started bawling. Everyone was very concerned and wondering what was upsetting me and I could do was sit there and wail "Waaaah! I'm not *sniff* sad. I don't *hic* know why I'm *hic* cryingggggg!"

Good times.

Kerri,
I totally understand and hate that this is something you had to go through. It affects you the next day and it's hard to explain to other people why you feel so crummy. Thanks for doing what you do so well- putting a voice to this disease. Hope you have a better night tonight.
:o) Allison

Whenever you write about being low, I get a big lump in my throat. I hate the thought of you being vulnerable both physically and emotionally. I guess it's because you're always so cheery even in the face of stress.

The sucker punches that lows give are hard to overcome.

"Wishing I could tell him 'I know,' but instead these tears fell out and my mouth wouldn't make the words."

Perfect statement. We've all been there.

Reading that helps. Thank you for sharing the bitter side of this bittersweet D-life. After all, it is the bitter that makes the sweet so very sweet. Thanks.

All I could think was "Thank goodness Chris was there."

Those darned nighttime lows (actually, I have better words for them but will spare you). They scare the bejeesus out of me and I worry about them in my daughter. It's what keeps parents of D kids up at night worrying *sigh*.

I'm glad all is well though. Hope tonight is a more peaceful night for you!

((Hugs)) I got teary-eyed reading this. I guess because I've been there, with the lows. And I'm not even on insulin.. but this damned disease can cause some really funky issues and ... well I can just relate.

(((hugs)))

My eyes are watery. You hit the nail in writing. I've been there. It is a scary feeling.

So glad you are okay.

{{hugs}} I'm so sorry. I'm glad you're ok.

Hi Kerri,

While it sucks that so many others can know exactly how I feel at times when I'm low, it is still good to know there's others out there like me.

Hope you day went better then your night!

Randee

"Bottom of the well"

That describes it better than I've ever heard or read.

Thank you for giving us the picture. It touches a lot of senses.

I'm sorry you were feeling low, and quite literally low. I'm with Nicole when she mentioned "The kind of joy-sapping power the D has at times."

I know how you feel. I'm glad you have Chris there next to you to help you and support you.

Jamie could have written my comment for me...that's exactly what keeps me waking up at night to check my DD. Kerri, I'm sorry you had such a bad night, and I am very thankful that you have Chris (as well as the ability to at least wake up when you are that low). Here's hoping for a nice Chris-type guy for my little girl - of course, not until she's at least 40 though. ;)

*HUG* You know, I wonder how Chris feels during a time like this, any chance he's willing to write from his perspective? The men in our lives.. saviors!!!

I just had to say that I LOVE LJK's idea of Chris writing a post on your blog. I know I'm being nosy, but it would be really cool to read something from his perspective, and he's become such a character in the lives of all who read your blog, that it would be really nice to hear what he has to say!

your writing is so vivid, i get close to feeling what those with d feel and it makes me sad. my dd is 11 and i can't imagine her off to college or living alone. how did you manage?

Kerri,
Are you still using the continuous glucose monitor?
Maura

That's so well-written! I might just send everyone here when they ask me what a low feels like. All I have to add is that my arms usually feel hollow.

I had a 42 today and it felt just like that, and sort of like falling backwards. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who gets those crazy lows.

Hey Kerri,

This is the first comment I have made on your blog, even though I have been reading it for a few months.

My eyes actually filled with tears when I read this post...

I am a type-oner who was diagnosed at 25. I am now 34 and have almost completed my first year on the Mini Med.

I am writing for the first time on this particular post, because I wanted to let you know that you wonderfully, heartbreakingly described an experience that only someone with diabetes can understand...

Thanks for sharing your experiences with the world. They really make a difference...and they are often really funny, too.

a1c-flo
(Chris Florez, Seattle)

I'm sorry, Kerri. This is so hard to read about, but I'm glad Chris was there to help you.

nice one

it's painful that this is so normal to us, down to every detail. thank you for articulating yet again what is so hard about this disease. i so loved how you put all of this, but especially the part about the two bottles of juice already on the nightstand. things that should make us feel better and don't really. you're the best and i so hope you've now had more beauty sleep. and, loved the pictures from the day before. 3,073 is a lot of words! we're lucky you're wriitng.

I suffer from hypoglycaemia from time to time and I have nearly lost my most precious angel and boyfriend

December 12,2007
Kerri and Chris

I typed 1.1mml and Low Blood Sugar and your blog came up.

Tonight was my turn for a Low. I have been a type 1 diabetic since my 22nd birthday. (I'm 46). I had a good evening out with my wife at a small group/church meeting. HOWEVER, I didn't have a proper night snack and thought that the christmas chocolates, that were served would be sufficient.
WRONG!! My first mistake was adding 7 units of Humilog to offset what I thought was a High Sugar: I was probably low, when I went to bed at 11:30 p.m. I don't check my blood sugar very often. I slept......... like it was my last night on earth......... My wife, Eleanor tried to wake me with no response.

I was impressing Eleanor with my low-sugar symptoms by 2:30 a.m. (I had soaked the bed with my sweat, I was moaning loudly and had crossed my arms as if I was in cardiac arrest/which probably wasn't that far from the truth..)

After 30 minutes of trying to get me to drink some juice, she called the paramedics and I was given glucose via "tube"/mouth. (At least this time, they didn't have to give me a intrevinous.)

This was the closest I have been to a real-life comma. 1.1 mml was the reading the parametics reported at about 2:30 + - a.m. The last time I was anywhere near that figure was 1.3mml about 9 years ago. That was a Low at Regina,Sk. bus depot on the way to get married. Stress has the effect of lowering blood-sugar in my case. I am recovering from carpel tunnel repair and have had to adjust my insulin intake + to make up for the lack of activity due to the recovery from the surgery.

This Low was scary! When I "woke up", the parametic was trying to force the tube of glucose down my throat. What a rude way to wake up!!! I was barely able to make it to the kitchen to sign the "release form".

Very...... out of it....... A low sugar, certainly takes a physical/emotional toll.

You're not alone Kerri!!


Hi Kerri,

I've been following your blog since 2007, the year my then 5 year old was diagnosed with type 1. Your latest entry caught my eye because the reading (38) was the same reading my daughter recently had while at school--when the teacher sent her to the office alone to see the nurse! No matter how much effort is put into educating the school staff, writing 504 plans, etc...each new school year brings new people to re-educate and remind what to do. I was all over that one, of course. I've often wondered what it's like to have a blood sugar that low. My daughter, although 10 years old now, often says her stomach hurts but she does not express other symptoms.

Anyway, when I read your post, it brought tears to my eyes knowing that some day she will be on her own with this. I am thankful for your blog and how you share your experiences. It feels like you are giving my daughter a voice, since she is still too young to adequately express how these things feel.

Diana

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