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Tootsie Roll of Doom.

Low blood sugars can sound like stories told ’round the campfire, with great embellishments and drama as to who can tolerate the lowest number without tipping over.

“Low?  I wasn’t just low.  I was so low that my eyes were swimming away from my face and my meter said 52 mg/dL but I still got my own juice.”

“52?  I was 41 mg/dL without any symptoms at all and then my hands fell off so I ate them.”

“Pfffft.  I was 30 mg/dL and eating popcorn and I was coherent enough to eat individual kernels of popped corn until 100 hours passed and I had steadily climbed back up to 115 mg/dL without a rebound high.”


Most of the time, my lows are symptom free and I can function properly.  I feel lucky that, in the last 28 years, there have been more functional hypoglycemic episodes than ones requiring assistance.  I’m glad I can treat my own lows.

But sometimes numbers hit differently.  A blood sugar around 65 mg/dL usually feels a tiny bit off, but nothing too jarring.  No shaky hands, clumsy tongue, loss of peripheral vision stuff going on, mostly just a Dexcom alarm going off, forcing me to take a closer look at my graph and thinking, “Huh.  Time for a snack.”  (This lack of hypo symptoms is what prompted me to look into a continuous glucose monitor in the first place.)

At other times, the 65 mg/dL comes in like a freight train, barreling towards me with symptoms hitting full force, which happened yesterday while I was brushing my teeth.  A waves of confusion washed over me and put a twitch in my hands, making my desired grip onto the bathroom counter hard to come by.  My tongue went numb and I forced myself to spit the toothpaste into the sink, knowing the next mission was more challenging: get downstairs and eat something fast.

The first thing I saw was a giant Tootsie Roll in Birdzone’s Halloween bucket.  (Flashbacks to being a kid growing up with diabetes, where the Halloween bucket was always saved as a “for low blood sugars!” salve but instead was something I dipped into without admitting it, until there were only Almond Joys left.)  Normally, Tootsie Rolls are a candy that repulses me enough to steer me clear, the low symptoms were intensifying and my knees felt wobbly, so I unwrapped the candy and shoved it into my mouth.  And then I learned of a new hypoglycemia symptom that was in play this round:  a confused jaw.

Chewing on that Tootsie Roll candy was a disaster.  It was slightly cold, making it tough to work through regardless, but the massive chewy scope of the thing was too much.  In the fog of a low, I clamped down on the stupid thing and felt a familiar popping sensation.  The Tootsie Roll was working to raise my blood sugar, but in the interim, it had pulled off one of the frigging composites from my tooth.

Once the low had subsided, I called the dentist to fess up and make a fix-it appointment.

“What happened?  Did you bite into an apple or something?” asked the receptionist.

“No, it was actually a Tootsie Roll but …”

“Oh, Halloween candy.  Yeah, we get a lot of calls this time of year for stuff like this.”

And in my head, I was all, “Wait, no it was a low blood sugar and it was THIS BIG and I finally had symptoms – they were rotten – in the 60’s which is why I went for the Halloween candy …”

… but instead, I was all, “Yep.  Tootsie Roll of doom.”


9 Comments Post a comment
  1. ria #

    sorry, Kerri, I couldn’t stop laughing
    try wearing a partial and having the tootsie roll stick to that when treating a low
    not a great choice……..
    are tootsie rolls supposed to taste like chocolate ?? =)

    11/5/14; 12:19 pm
  2. katy #

    I love Almond Joys, and they’re easy on my dental work.

    11/5/14; 1:51 pm
  3. all of that and then you had to explain to your daughter why her favorite “saved” Halloween treat was gone…ah, not cool

    11/5/14; 8:56 pm
  4. Marissa Ramsay #

    My blood has been going down into the 40s with no symptoms. I’ve nan trying to keep my BG between 150-230 but my low blood symptoms are still nowhere to be found 🙁 thank god for my Dexcom, I would probably be dead without it.

    11/5/14; 9:15 pm
  5. Lisa #

    Thank you. You just made me not feel crazy. I have had lows in the 40’s that I haven’t felt, and lows in the 60’s that bring me to my knees. Now if I could just make myself alarmed when I’m that low enough to do something. It really never occurs to me that maybe I should drink a juice box. I’m like, oooh shiney…look at that mirror it’s so cool…I need to wash those dishes…maybe I can Google that…and not motivated to doing something at all.

    11/5/14; 11:53 pm
  6. Larry #

    I have had low blood sugars 60 or so. I feel all shaky and seating. I always have a couple of Skittles on had and that corrests it right away. Faster that those glocose tablets.

    11/6/14; 7:13 am
  7. denise #

    You don’t love almond joys?!?!? I only whish they made them with the mounds dark chocolate. It’s like a maccarron dipped in chocolate, with a nut! It’s the perfect food.

    11/6/14; 9:39 am
  8. June S. #

    I feel your pain! I broke off a piece of my eye tooth on a mini Halloween treat once. UGH! Since then, I have kept juice boxes all around the house!

    11/6/14; 6:29 pm

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