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Cleaning Crews.

The urge to clean grabs me by the throat, and I find myself spritzing Clorox on the counter and rubbing frantically with a fistful of paper towels.  Once that task is accomplished,  I notice that the floor just below the refrigerator door is sticky with juice or something, so I kneel down and scrub that, too.  And then suddenly the fridge door needs a scrub down, and I should probably grab all the sweet potatoes that are growing actual faces there on the back shelf and I think there's a jar of minced garlic that's spilled somewhere in there and ...

... all while the Dexcom wails, shouting "LOW!!  KERRI!!  STOP FRIGGING CLEANING AND EAT SOMETHING!!!"

I look at the graph and see the double-down arrows, and confirm the low with my meter.  But it takes an awful lot of self-control to stop scrubbing and drink some grape juice.

Why am I struck with that urge to clean when I'm low?  I do not understand what it is about the Low Cleaning Crew that moves into my brain when the sugar apparently moves out, but they are a merry and manic mix of maids.  When my blood sugar is in the absolute trenches, I get these cleaning fits.  Emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry, picking up the piles of Bird toys that little the floor ... it's like the slow ebbing of glucose from my blood stream makes my body feel so disorganized and rattled that I search and destroy all external messes to level the proverbial playing field. 

(And I am clearly not alone in this affliction.  Scott posted about this the other day on Facebook, and the flood of comments was just enough to make my low blood sugar cleaning crews grab a mop.  This apparently happens to a lot of PWD ... so explain why my house isn't cleaner on a regular basis?)  

Usually, it's the beading of sweat on my forehead that makes me stop cleaning and acknowledge my blood sugar.  A lot of times, that cleaning fit comes with a frantically panicked mindset, where my brain is racing to think as many thoughts in as little time as possible, my hands shaking open a new garbage bag or sliding silverware into its place in the drawer organizer.

"Did you have a low?"  Chris asks, looking at the gleaming kitchen and the piles of folded clothes.

"How could you tell?"  I responded, wiping the glucose dust off the kitchen counter with a swipe of my sleeve.

"Wild guess." 

Comments

Yep. Add "yard work" in there with cleaning, and I'm right there with you, ignoring the Dexcom.

For me, it's the cleaning that comes first, then the low.

Then I stop cleaning for a couple of weeks.

Yup, me too. Not just cleaning, but a stubborn refusal to stop whatever I'm doing - sometimes that is my only low symptom until I'm in the low 40s and the sweat breaks out.

I've had to tell my family "if I say I'm low but you don't see me treat it, make me sit down and drink juice or something".

I have to admit - this doesn't happen to me - not cleaning wise (I wish it would then I could fire the housecleaner - NOT - I'm the dishwasher/cook/fill in blank here of the household). I guess the only thing is that when having a low - I sorta sometimes go into a denial that I'm low. It happens less now that I finally know how to use my insulin properly after 44 years - pums. yuppers, you youngster D's take note of this old fart D - we "eventually" get the hang of the D thing with time :)
Now I'm eying my kitchen - wishing I had the same experiences as some of you do with a low - can I hire any of you (gotta passport - come on over to Canada).

And organizing. I went so far as to insist on putting up curtain rods once, despite a screaming Dex and a 44 mg/dL. Man, we're all a little touched...!

Kerri this happens to me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME, seriously. Doesn't matter my pre BS but i'm always low and then my hubby has to force me to stop and drink juice or something. I don't know what it is about lows wanted to organize and clean. Happened to me yesterday twice AND this morning. Nuts.

Kathy's comment made me laugh! :)

How interesting. I just thought it was the reverse for me. I will have to pay closer attention next time. I'm afraid to do house cleaning thinking it will drop my BGs. I try to test before cleaning and if my BG is below 150ish, I will drink some juice before tearing into work. Then I test a half hour later and every half hour after that.(takes me a little longer to get my house work done now that I am older and hopefully wiser "FatAnna")

I do get frustrated having to plan my life around the diabetes. You would think after 23 years I would have this issue resolved.
Christine

Same here. And as a 20 something male - i abhor cleaning. I always just chalked it up to something that I could immediately control - after the carbs kick in and my the thoughts in my mind return to a normal pace I feel somewhat accomplished having emptied the dishwasher for the first time in 2 weeks, ha.

Who has time to stop and treat a low when you're FINALLY making progress on the dust bunnies under the bed??? Priorities, people! ;-)

OMG...the whole time I was reading I was thinking 'I TOTALLY DO THIS!!!!' So crazy. Wonder why......??? Sometimes that's how I realize I'm low...just by wondering why the hell I'm cleaning everything. :-)

Happens to me EVERY time, I get frustrated when I have to stop and my husband always tells me to relax, and clean later. Why? When the lows tell me to do it NOW!!! I should learn to turn my pump settings down while I clean, but I never think I am going to clean that long, since I don't really like to do it. But agreed, you see one thing and then you find something else that needs to be cleaned. Vicious cycle.

I have to admit - this doesn't happen to me - not cleaning wise (I wish it would then I could fire the housecleaner - NOT - I'm the dishwasher/cook/fill in blank here of the household). I guess the only thing is that when having a low - I sorta sometimes go into a denial that I'm low. It happens less now that I finally know how to use my insulin properly after 44 years - pums. yuppers, you youngster D's take note of this old fart D - we "eventually" get the hang of the D thing with time :)
Now I'm eying my kitchen - wishing I had the same experiences as some of you do with a low - can I hire any of you (gotta passport - come on over to Canada).

So weird that so many of us share this affliction. If I'm cleaning and I realize that I'm starting to clean like mad, then it's almost always a low. However, a low doesn't initiate cleaning if I'm not already in the act. Strange stuff!

I think we do this because we don't want to stop and actually FEEL the low. I hate it!! I hate that sinking feeling that just makes you feel so drained and helpless. Even after I take my glucose tablets, the only way to feel better is to WAIT - to sit there, motionless and sweaty.

I was doing a logic type cross-out-words puzzle in Education class today, and instead of processing the instructions correctly, my sugar deprived brain had me crossing out words like a maniac until I had only one left...and I was supposed to have 6! It was interesting.

I do not have the cleaning frenzy thing; however, I have the need to finish grading the stack of papers in front of me (math teacher who never has less than 3" to grade), respond to all of my work email, and/or complete the next 2 logic puzzles in the book I carry.

@Emily: We should meet. ;-)

Generally it's my husband watching the cleaning madness that stops me and tells me to check my sugar while I'm trying to remember where the clean t-shirts go.

Yes, yes, yes! This happens to me, too. Or rather did until I hired a cleaner. (Used the inevitable lows as an excuse!) Now, I seem to want to rearrange furniture when low. I seem to have super-power strength and can move couches, bookshelves laden with books and desks without a hint of their weight.

i've never heard of this before! and the fact that so many PWD are saying ME TOO makes it even more fascinating. i have to keep an eye on my kid to see if i ever notice her doing anything similar when she's low. huh. thanks. :)

Fascinating. I'd like to do a study evaluating the correlation between cleanliness of one's home to frequency of low blood sugar. Happens to me almost every time too. Not just my home, my inbix, the computer files, the organization of my desk drawer. . .

I'm fairly certain it has to do with preferential preservation of the more important neurons and sacrifices the unnecessary but more evolved regions of the brain. All mammals must breath, feed themselves and protect their environment but I'm fairly certain tidyness is not critical to survival.

The nice thing is that cleaning when hypo seems like much less of a downer than when euglycemic.

Me too! My DSN said that it's because of the adrenaline released or something. Either way my house sparkles so I'm thankful!

Diabetes Interruption!

It is one of those times when Diabetes wants to interrupt us. Again! I too have an urge to finish what I am doing before I have to recover myself. Sometime I wait so long my legs start to get a little wobbly..... It's crazy. It only takes a couple of minutes to sip some juice. But no, I need to get this last task done. Diabetes Interruption Sucks!

Huh. That's very interesting! I would not have guessed, being a person without diabetes, that one would get a bee in his/her bonnet about cleanliness during a low. However, as I type this, I have noticed Jenna gets super goofy some nights, bouncing off the walls with a seemingly endless amount of energy and a check reveals a raging low...so perhaps that will manifest itself as compulsive cleaning when she gets older.

....I wonder when that will be....I could use some reinforcements around here.....OOP! Did I say that out loud?? :)

LOL - the reason I keep coming back to this blog is I keep reading about myself!!! I decided it was because my brain has decided that cleaning is what will fix whatever is wrong - I will be FINE once my fridge is clean! I wish it worked, now the fridge is not only clean, it's empty! ;>

Ummm.... I confess. I clean, too, when I'm low (or just about to go low). And I don't just mean put stuff away, I mean empty-the-enture-refrigerator-and-scrub-the-dry-celery-leaves-from-the-produce-drawer clean. I can't explain why, I always thought it was just me. Guess not. Thanks for sharing!

Love you all for being so honest. My husband has commented he won't stop me because the only time I clean now is when I am low... Last time I was scrubbing the handles on the fridge! He asked me if I got everything??? Then I realized, quick check...yep 43! He groaned. Now I know when he smiles and I'm scrubbing away, something has to give! My CGM/pump is usually about 20 minutes late of notifying me of a problem, oh well. :)

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