Last night was an at-home workout (so I could get a little exercise in without missing the Wednesday night #dsma chat), so I was holed up in the basement with the ellipmachine and Stephen Colbert, with a starting blood sugar of 138 mg/dL.
At the twenty-three minute mark of my workout, I started to feel a little strange. Heavy. Like each foot had a big, fat chicken sitting on it, trying desperately to hatch it. My arms were over-cooked spaghetti noodles. And from the shelf, just a few feet away, I could hear the Dexcom buzzing over the sounds of Colbert's applauding audience.
"Twenty-three minutes ... I can get to thirty."
Stupid, stupid, stupid Kerri. This is the same brand of stupid where I think I need to test my blood sugar at 3 am before any drinking juice, despite the fact that I'm damp with nighttime sweat and dizzy. And the very same brand of stupid where I clean the house instead of treating the low. When the glucose is sapped from my cells, my brain doesn't know how to prioritize. It's like I need to challenge myself, taking control of a situation that's rapidly spiraling out of it, despite the fact that the smart and safe thing to do is treat the low. But my brain doesn't function properly when I'm under a certain blood sugar threshold.
So instead of stopping my workout and going upstairs to raid the fridge, I pushed through the workout for a few more minutes, until that rational part of my brain spoke up.
I keep moving my legs, concentrating on the computer screen halfway across the room that was broadcasting the Hulu show.
"Hey, Kerri?" My Internal Motivational Speaker pipes up again, more forcefully this time.
"You need to go drink some juice."
I'm so low and so confused, but still trucking forward with this workout. In my mind, I'm an elite athlete and moving with pop-and-lock precision. But in reality, I'm loose and fogged up, my knees buckling every few seconds. My whole body is screaming at me to STOP but my brain is drunk with power (seeing as how it's probably the only part of my body receiving any glucose).
"I need to get some juice," I say outloud, like I just thought of it. I can hear my Internal Motivational Speaker sighing. The ellipmachine shows a completed time of 18:58 and my brain is rattled by the fact that the numbers aren't round and complete. (What is it about that need for symmetry and control when my blood sugar is in the trenches? Why can't I force myself to focus on what I need, instead of what my OCD flare-ups are re-prioritizing for me?)
Once upstairs in the kitchen, my meter shows me at 48 mg/dL. The grape juice enters my system almost immediately, firing off the synapses that were previously on snooze. I start to relax. I start to come up. My brain switches back on in full. And I realize how stupid, stupid, stupid I am.
"I'm an idiot," I mutter, wiping the sweat from my brow.
"I agree," the voice in my head mutters back.
(But damn it, once I was back up in range, I finished my workout. Am I stubborn? Yes, yes I am.)