We had the bedroom door mostly shut, to keep the heat in and in (futile) attempt to keep the cats out.   It’s icy cold out there and the big picture window in the bedroom doesn’t do much for keeping things toasty warm, so we have a down comforter, a fleece, and a throw on the bed.

I fell asleep around midnight, tucked underneath the mountain of blankets and pressed against my boyfriend.  Warm and cozy, with a little gray Siah nestled between us. 

5:32 am.

Every blanket tossed off me.  Shirt tangled around my damp collarbone.  Forehead slick with sweat.  Abby is prowling around at the base of the bed, emitting frantic little meows.  The room is frighteningly silent and I can hear my heart beating in my ears.  It is so hot in here I can’t stand it.  I am so tired.  I ask Chris for help but the words are caught in my teeth and, instead, I reach over for my meter case, unzip it, and find out what number was keeping me from sleeping.

43 mg/dl.

The same version of autopilot for 20 years.  Out to the fridge.  Upcap the grape juice.  Eight sips.  Wipe my mouth with my sleeve, knowing I’ll be angry that my white shirt sleeve is stained violet with juice but I didn’t mind now and I just wanted to go back to bed.

Without thinking, grabbed a fistful of cereal from the box on the top of the fridge.  The little O’s look like prehistoric tires, all jagged and almost square-ish.  Chomp those down, imagining them turning shades of purple in my mouth from the grape juice stains.

Stumble back to bed.  Abby walks in front of me, guiding the way.

Back under the covers.  Press my cold nose against Chris’s shoulder.  He stirs and goes into the autopilot he’s been on for the past two years. 

“Are you okay?” 

“I’m low.”

“Did you drink juice?”


He puts his arm around me.  My brain is sloshing around in my head but the letters have been picked clean from my teeth and I’m regaining the ability to make words.

Reassured that the taste of juice in my mouth means my blood sugar will come up eventually, I close my eyes and sleep holds me as close as Chris.

This morning, the sweaters have replaced the letters.  Blood sugar is 306 mg/dl, thank you very much.  Annoyed that it was probably the arbitrary fistful of cereal that lurched me over the edge, I’m chasing insulin with coffee to keep from letting the night’s events affect my work day.

Damn this urge to over-treat.  You would think, after all these years, I would be able to control that by now.