Running late for the train, as usual, I leaned in to the mirror and applied my mascara with shaking hands. Noticed I was sort of weaving as I stood there. I tried to pick up my comb but my fingers were too clumsy and the comb clattered to the floor.
“Chris? Hey Chris? Do you mind grabbing my meter?”
I hear his footsteps coming down the hall and the distinct “zii-iiip” of the black meter case being opened.
Prick my finger. Feed the little blood-hungry machine.
48 mg/dl. For some reason, just seeing the number makes me feel lower.
“Hey now…” Chris responds. “Juice?”
He comes back with a glass full of the all-natural juice we bought at Trader Joe’s. Having every intention of eating healthy, we purchased this pomegranate, cranberry, and blueberry blending while thinking, “Well, if you have to drink juice to treat a reaction, may as well make it the healthiest possible juice!”
Note to readers: The Trader Joe’s all-natural juice tastes like garbage. It is sort of bitter and thick and was almost unchuggable, making it difficult to choke down eight sips. I will never buy it again.
I drained the glass, taking breaks between sips to say, “Blech, this stuff tastes horrendous!”
We have to leave in two minutes, so I try and gather up my things while coming up from the low.
“You’d better drive. I’m feeling odd still.”
In the car, I start shaking.
“I’m not up yet.” My voice sounds hollow and like it’s not coming from my head.
Chris takes the Capri Sun from the center console of my car and hands it to me.
“Drink this, Kerri.”
Drained it. I press my hands to my head, to keep my sense from flying out.
Car parked. Buy tickets. Waiting for the train.
“I feel crummy, baby. I really don’t feel well at all.” He takes my hand. A homeless woman walks through the crowded platform, yelling, “All you fat bitches can’t spare some change to get me some food? Just some food? I need to eat. I need to eat to survive.”
The iron arches above where are sitting are catching my panicked breaths as they escape, forming icicles of fear above my head.
“You okay? The train is coming. Are you okay?”
“I’m okay.” I’m trying to force my head to unfog and take control of my body. Knees weak, eyes tearing up. My tongue lays thick in my mouth.
The train roars through. We board.
I test again. 57 mg/dl.
“Fifty-seven? You haven’t come up much at all. How about some glucose tabs?”
I chew on the grape-flavored glucose tabs from the depths of my purse, their violet dust collecting on my gloves. Close my eyes and pretend I’m sleeping so no one sees my tears of frustration.
“It’s okay, Kerri. It’s okay. You’ve had a ton of juice. You’ll come up soon. It’s okay.”
While he’s right, it’s hard to hear him from the bottom of this well. I started the day with a 4 am low, over-treating myself up to a ripe 398 mg/dl, spending the day high as the proverbial kite, and now crashing back down to these lows again.
“I was 198 for about an hour today, you know.” I said to no one in particular.
“Test again, Kerri.”
106 mg/dl. Finally on the climb.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, 106.” I start to smirk out of sheer relief. I laugh. My voice sounds like mine again. “I feel stupid.”
“No baby, you’re not stupid. You were just low.”
“No, I mean I feel stupid, like I killed some brain cells with this one.”
So damn tired now. My deviation for the day spanned several hundred points. I felt embarrassed and annoyed with this disease.