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A Casual Low.

Casual blood drop"Mama?  Ma.  Ma.  Ma.  Ma.  Dumbledore.  Ma." Her voice comes over the monitor, stumbling me from sleep.  

"BEEEEEEEEEP!!!"  The Dexcom wails at me from the bedside table.  

"[insert the sound of my awful alarm clock noise, which is actually this song and makes my whole head spin with cat rage]" 

"You people all want me awake right now, don't you?"  I grumbled, reaching for my meter, despite the fact that my eyes weren't even close to open.  Damn it, the meter is in the bathroom.

I moved casually from the bed, down the hallway, and into my bathroom.  The fog is apparent at this point; I know I'm low, and now it's almost a guessing game as to just how low I really am.  My eyes are sharp and focused on the black meter case on the bathroom counter, but all of my other senses are tangled.  The floor feels harder than normal against my feet.  The sounds of the birds outside the window sound louder, filling the room and blasting their trilling pattern into my brain.

I pricked my index finger and squeezed the blood onto the test strip.  A result of 39 mg/dl yawned back at me.

"Okay.  There you are," I replied, licking the blood off my finger.

Seeing the number usually brings the symptoms of the low on full-force, but this time, everything was in full-on casual mode.  My knees were weak and my hands were shaking, but for some reason, I felt the need to casually brush my teeth.  And then I casually brushed my hair.  And then, only then, did I venture downstairs to casually grab some juice from the fridge and treat my low blood sugar.  

In the kitchen, I downed a few sips of juice.  But once I was back upstairs, I realized how bad this felt.  Every symptom hit at once, and I felt like a boat being tossed around in a storm.  The shakiness.  The dizziness.  It wasn't casual, it was desperate. I needed just a few minutes to let this sugar hit and bring me back into range.

The baby was still happily chattering away in her crib, from what I could spy on the monitor.   I tried to tap my husband gently on the shoulder, but instead smacked him on the back kind of aggressively, my hands a little slack and unresponsive.  He woke up instantly, to see his zombie-low wife standing at the edge of the bed, swaying slightly.

"Can you get up with the baby?  I'm 39."  So casual-sounding. 

He was standing up before I finished my sentence.  "Did you have juice? Do you need juice?"

"No, I already had some.  I just feel too low to get her out of her crib, and I need a few minutes to let this mess finish."  I tried to smile, knowing it was more of a Novocaine-esque grimace due to the low.

"Okay.  I'm on the Bird," and he started to head downstairs.

I sat on the edge of the bed for a minute, letting my body catch up.  After a few minutes, the symptoms of the low started to fade, and the low hangover set in (that subtle, mowed-over-by-something-substantial feeling that follows a low and leaves you out of sorts for an hour or two).  My meter and my Dexcom both confirmed I was moving in the right direction, and seeing those numbers brought me back to a feeling of security and safety.

By the time I went downstairs to join my family, it was like nothing happened.  Totally fine.  Totally casual once again.


I average 45. I totally know what 39 feels like, and it isn't fun.

I never have juice, so it's always a shot of Hershey's that does it for me. Which, I'll admit, IS a little fun. :)

The hangover part is the worst. Cause even though I'm in the mid 100s I still feel low. :/

What kind of radar do those little ones have, anyway? My DS would wake from his crib, or let a little swack go, then I'd wake up and realize I was low. I found it strange... and now that you tell us about it, we may be onto something! It's like they were born with a sixth sense! Kind of like those dogs who can smell a low and wake up their owner... lol It's funny how you say your daughter was the first to wake you. Before the Dexcom, even!

And of all the diseases in the world, I think Diabetes is the only one that's treated with sugar!

Ick... I experience so many nighttime/early morning lows, I now keep juice boxes in my night stand (I've also fallen down the stairs while trying to retrieve juice to treat a low...) The goal at our house is to keep me upstairs until normal ranges have been reached for the exact reason you've shared here... you never know if a low is going to be easy or catastrophic...

PS: That alarm song is terrible!!! I'd throw it out the window if that woke me up...hahaha

Do you ever just lie there, knowing full well you're low (sometimes REALLY low) and just do nothing b/c you think somehow, magically, your body will somehow learn to right the wrong? It's just me that is that stubborn? Yeah, I'm not surprised. But I do that too often. :)

Good to know I am not the only one who licks my finger. Haha.

glad to know my teen is not the only one who has licked his finger for 17 years now,,,

Just wanted to say I love reading your blog, it gives me insight into how my daughter feels. 7 can't really find the words to describe how low feels. Today I learned that there are low hangovers. I had no idea and that's something I need to understand. Thanks for doing what you do.

I once sat through Bio lecture, completely unable to understand what was going on for the last 40 minutes of class, knowing that I was low, but for some reason deciding that it wasn't smart to test right then and there. I waited until I was halfway across campus before I tested, outside, in below freezing weather. I was 59, but I treated with Hershey's Kissables (they have sugar on the outside, right?) I ate them one by one from the package, and then walked casually across the rest of campus, walked up two flights of stairs, and sat in front of a computer for the next 20 minutes. Everything completely casual. Only after I got home did I realize that if I hadn't stopped to test before I'd left campus, I would've probably passed out on my mile walk home. Yet, my brain for some reason, doesn't freak out until after I've been up for a WHILE. Most of my lows are completely casual.

And I get a low hangover when I miss lows, but not so much when I treat them. Then again, my body does pick and choose which lows it feels like correcting and which ones it doesn't. And my low hangover is a KILLER migraine for the entire rest of the day. Don't you just love the hangover?

I have totally done everything you just described. I wholeheartedly agree and understand exactly what Lindsay R wrote...it's like you figure if you just wait it out somehow you'll be ok. Ugh, it's so bizarre to me when that happens.
And Kerri, that alarm clock song would drive me bananas not sure how you put up with it.

Please tell me Chris really says things like "I'm on the bird".

Oh yes, those lows that you somehow decide are less important than a bunch of other things that must get done before you treat - those are real head scratchers, huh? And then the low hangovers. Ugh, hate those too!!

Lindsay, glad I'm not alone in that. ha

I love that you lick the blood off your finger. I do that too and my family/friends think i am totally disgusting! I keep fruit snacks on the night stand for those type of lows when i don't trust my self to get out of bed and stumble down stairs.

Thanks for helping me understand my 4yo a little better.

your alarm clock song? is totes banoodles. and i can't get it out of my head!

I can tell some lows really knock Justin down. I wish I could say that he hardly has them, but they come out of no where all the time. I wish none of you ever had to feel this way.

Yes, those casual lows. Not-quite-fully-connecting that you really are low. On one level, you know that you are (you even see the number on the meter), on another level, you're not quite convinced anything has to be done about it right away. While it's going on, I feel everything is in slooow motion (you, Lindsay and Alyssa describe it well). Maybe a sign of having T1 for awhile?, as I used to react more urgently about it years ago.

Most of my lows are "casual" ones...it's like I refuse to let the low take over my day. But, if I would just treat them right away, they would just go away faster. The things I do are rarely logical...

Um, I couldn't get past the YouTube song... seriously? That's your alarm? That's absolutely hysterical! :) Love it.

I often confuse my lows with the aura-start of a classic migraine. My eyes go strange with both. Can't tell you how many tines I've casually reached for aspirin instead of glucose and then just sat there like an idiot waiting for the full-blown psychedelic aura. Finally the strangeness in my brain is interrupted by a little mantra going on in my head: Test you goose!

I've seen Zoe at a 41, when we first started her Lantus. She was totally casual about it, like no biggie.

I was a wreck for two days.

Some of you have me worried! I've been a Type I for 39 years now, and still remember the days when there was no such thing as a blood glucose meter. I love my meter (and my CGM!) and never, ever, hesitate to take action if I know I'm low. Just one experience with convusions during the night (back more than 20 years ago, when I was taking NPH and Regular) scared the heck out of me. There's no such thing as a casual (very low) BG. Maybe because I live alone I am super careful about this sort of thing. Dead in bed, I understand, can really happen!

I'm with June S. You worry me! Your CGM is alarming, you have symptoms of a bad low - yet you fumble around looking for a meter to test and then you must stumble off to the kitchen for some juice. Does your mother know about this?? For heaven sakes, treat ASAP. Your daughter is counting on you!

June and Meg - OMG you are 100% reading this post the wrong way. Have you ever had one of those lows where you know you need to treat it ASAP but your body goes into that slow-motion, barely-paying-attention mode? The kind of fog that has the rational part of your brain completely inoperative, despite other parts of your brain screaming for you to get some juice!

That's what this is. "Casual" in the sense that even though Rational Kerri knows it's an emergency, Low Kerri isn't on the same page.

And Meg, I do realize my daughter is counting on me. And I'm offended you decided to throw that in there. Next time you want to bring my kid in as ammo on your assessment of my health, I welcome you to email me privately.

Ok, so I'm not the only person who licks blood off my finger? :)

So interesting about the confusion...I just thought it was a symptom of my age. Sometimes it happens when I'm way up too...

I'm glad that you can make light of something so irritating as having a low. It just gets in the way!

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