It’s weird to see that posts from 2011 are still relevant to how my diabetes behaves today. See also: when my blood sugar is tumbling, sometimes the dishes become a priority over a fistful of jellybeans. Today, I’m looking back at a post from 2011 discussing that exact phenomenon, the urge to become a one-woman cleaning crew when under 65 mg/dL.
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The urge to clean grabs me by the throat, and I find myself spritzing Clorox on the counter and rubbing frantically with a fistful of paper towels. Once that task is accomplished, I notice that the floor just below the refrigerator door is sticky with juice or something, so I kneel down and scrub that, too. And then suddenly the fridge door needs a scrub down, and I should probably grab all the sweet potatoes that are growing actual faces there on the back shelf and I think there’s a jar of minced garlic that’s spilled somewhere in there and …
… all while the Dexcom wails, shouting “LOW!! KERRI!! STOP FRIGGING CLEANING AND EAT SOMETHING!!!”
I look at the graph and see the double-down arrows, and confirm the low with my meter. But it takes an awful lot of self-control to stop scrubbing and drink some grape juice.
Why am I struck with that urge to clean when I’m low? I do not understand what it is about the Low Cleaning Crew that moves into my brain when the sugar apparently moves out, but they are a merry and manic mix of maids. When my blood sugar is in the absolute trenches, I get these cleaning fits. Emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry, picking up the piles of Bird toys that little the floor … it’s like the slow ebbing of glucose from my blood stream makes my body feel so disorganized and rattled that I search and destroy all external messes to level the proverbial playing field.
(And I am clearly not alone in this affliction. Scott posted about this the other day on Facebook, and the flood of comments was just enough to make my low blood sugar cleaning crews grab a mop. This apparently happens to a lot of PWD … so explain why my house isn’t cleaner on a regular basis?)
Usually, it’s the beading of sweat on my forehead that makes me stop cleaning and acknowledge my blood sugar. A lot of times, that cleaning fit comes with a frantically panicked mindset, where my brain is racing to think as many thoughts in as little time as possible, my hands shaking open a new garbage bag or sliding silverware into its place in the drawer organizer.
“Did you have a low?” Chris asks, looking at the gleaming kitchen and the piles of folded clothes.
“How could you tell?” I responded, wiping the glucose dust off the kitchen counter with a swipe of my sleeve.