The 48 mg/dL I had the other night wasn't the lowest I've ever been, or the most 'out of it' I've been in the middle of the night. Getting out of bed and not being able to stand without swaying, forcing me to wake my husband and ask him for assistance isn't the best, but it isn't unfamiliar. And the fact that my washing machine doesn't have a "hypoglyemic sweat-and-grape-juice removal" setting for my bedding the next day isn't new, either. (Though I wish that setting existed.)
What's new in the last year or two is the hypoglycemia hangover that happens after a middle of the night low.
Years ago (as far back as I can remember), low would come swooping in, be treated, and then would take off again. There wasn't much of a lasting effect, so even if I had a nasty low in the morning at school, I was fine within a few minutes. A couple of years ago, when I was working at dLife, I had an intense low before I left for work in the morning, and I needed an extra 30 minutes to get my act together ... and at the time, I was mortified because diabetes rarely affected my ability to get to work on time. (Thankfully, the phone call to my editor at the diabetes media company that started with, "I had a really nasty low and I am going to be about 30 minutes late," was met with a very understanding, "That's fine. I hope you're feeling better; we'll see you when you get here." I could not be more grateful for my former boss. /digression and office-longing) The majority of the time, a low sucked, but I could bounce back from it without too much issue.
Now? Bah. I'm a waste of space for at least three hours in the morning following a visit from the hypo fairy.
The aftermath of severe hypos is me, struggling to pry my eyes open after a gross low but needed to eject myself from the bed to rescue Birdy. She runs through the house, arms over her head (E.T. style), happy to be awake and shouting about "it's a sunny day!" and I'm switching on the coffee maker with one hand and debating sunglasses though I'm indoors. It's a headache that pounds not right behind my eyes but right in the middle, like someone slapped a slice of toxic cheese on top of my dome. It's these chills that set in on the overnight, the result of falling asleep in hypo-sweat-soaked clothes, making me shove a sweatshirt into the dryer for a few minutes before putting it on, craving some kind of comfort cocoon. Kind of like the flu, but more like just my brain has the flu, and not my entire body. It's a lingering feeling of exhaustion and soreness, not like the aftermath of running a marathon but more like someone ran a marathon ON me.
But it passes. And I feel normal again, with energy and brain function and the ability to process more thoughts than just, "Should I test?" Instead, I'm back to playing, and working, and putting the sheets back on the bed and wondering if the sheets would ever get changed, were it not for the lows.