The Pinging and the Ponging.
Target lows struck again yesterday, only in the form of a "didn't test until after I ate and was only 53 mg/dl" sort of thing. (Which made me wonder how low I was as I stumbled through the aisles of the store.) I had BSparl with me, strapped into the shopping carriage, so I opened and consumed half a package of orange slices (happened to be in the party aisle I was perusing) without blinking. With sugar-coated teeth, I smiled at my daughter, assuring her that I was fine.
"Mama is totally fine. We're going to rock this low right up into the stratosphere with those candies. Mama is going to need a whole bottle of insulin to fix this!"
(She clapped her hands and cheered at the word "bottle.")
Low blood sugars have always frightened me because of the immediacy of their danger. A blood sugar of 70 mg/dl can (and for me, often does) tumble into the 50's. And 30's and 40's can quickly become part of the party, too. Lows feel tangled and confusing. I know they don't look too intense from the outside, but the panic and delayed response of my body that's internalized is exhausting and scary. My body, and my brain, don't react accordingly to extreme lows. While I should have found somewhere to sit down and eat, instead I felt a weird burst of energy and pushed the cart around with vigor while my blood sugar was in the trenches.
But what scares me even more is the rebound high that comes with such a scrappy low. The lows that hit while I'm outside the comfort of my home - particularly when I'm solely responsible for my daughter - are the ones I over treat the most, because I just want to be high again. I would gladly trade a 28 mg/dl for a 228 mg/dl. But the reality is, I most often trade a 28 mg/dl for a 328 mg/dl. I mean, we can talk about willpower and carefully calculated carb dosing, but what really happens is that when I'm excessively low, I eat anything I can get my hands on. And fast. And without wondering how many carbs are in it or how high the rebound might be. I will do anything to make the tunnel vision and the shaking hands and the cotton-encased confusion STOP.
Yesterday's Target low rebounded up to 408 mg/dl. I haven't seen a number that close to the gas prices in several months. "Whoa," I murmured when the number flashed up at me from my meter. "Hang on a minute, let's check that again." 323 mg/dl this time. (I love how this passes for "accurate enough" in glucose meter technologies, but that's an entirely different post.) My Dexcom looked like a carnival ride. My mouth was now wearing the warm, wooly sweater of high blood sugar. And I was pissed at diabetes.
I hate the pinging and the ponging. Honestly, I'd rather hang out at 140 mg/dl all day long and take whatever consequences come as a result of that, instead of this wild swing of multiple hundreds. Bad lows wipe me out, emotionally and physically. As do their often-corresponding rebound highs. And in the middle rests that guilt of "if only I had the restraint to not over-treat," or "if only I had checked my Dexcom earlier and caught that low."
Diabetes isn't a perfect science. Not even for a second.
Instead, I feel like I'm a mad scientist. ... does this gives me license to work on an evil laugh?