I ignored the headache at first, thinking maybe I was still acclimating to the new blood pressure medication I started on Saturday. I soaped up my hair and enjoying the way my sunburn ached a little bit under the pressure of the water.
A few minutes passed. The headache was still there.
I caught myself staring at the shampoo bottle. Not glancing at it in passing. I’ve been using the same bottle of Dove shampoo for at least two weeks now. But this time, I had it in my hand and I was fixated on the phrase “Rinse,” wondering why it didn’t say “Rinse. And repeat” like it did a few years back. My eyes unfocused like I was trying to see the sailboats behind one of those magic eye pictures. And there I stood. Still had that headache. Didn’t really think about the fact that I had gone for a walk about an hour earlier.
The water gently washed over the back of my still soapy hair as I realized I was leaning against the shower wall. Headache. Shifting, unfocused eyes. Waves of nausea and dizziness undulating over me. The water was warm. I was warm. And sleepy. So sleepy. It was nice to close my eyes for a few minutes until –
Complete panic. I realized that I was alone in my apartment. My neighbors weren’t home downstairs. The Boy wasn’t on the computer in the bedroom. I was alone. And having a Crash and Burn low bloodsugar reaction.
I turned the water off and grabbed a towel. I was talking to myself as I wrapped the towel around my body, “Keep it together. Don’t fall. Just walk out to the kitchen. Go go go.” My internal Motivational Speaker coached me out of the bathroom and into the kitchen. I walked, determinedly, to the fridge and opened the door. The cats circled like sharks at my feet, emitting mews now and again, licking my ankles.
“Juice.” I grabbed the bottle of juice from the fridge and took a long pull. Motivational Speaker counted in my head as I drank feverishly. “One, two … three.. four swallows. Keep going. Take eight swallows. Eight will bring you up enough. Five… come on… six, seven, eight… good.”
Juice bottle in hand, I reached for my testing kit off the kitchen counter. Wiping the escaping sips from my quivering chin, I forced myself to go through the familiar motions of taking a strip from the bottle, queueing up the machine, and lancing my fingertip. Meter rang in at 47 mg/dl. Adrenaline coursed through me as I panicked at the thought of passing out, alone in my apartment. Oh yeah, and in a towel with soapy hair.
Low Kerri and Normal Kerri tousled over what to do next. Low Kerri wanted to sit on the floor and wait for her bloodsugar to rise. She also wanted to eat the entire stash of cookies in the cookie jar. Normal Kerri knew she had taken enough sips of juice to come up just the right amount. She also knew that The Boy was expecting her in an hour. Normal Kerri and Low Kerri reached the following ridiculous compromise: Go back into the bathroom, turn on the shower, and bring the bottle of juice.
It was a stupid idea, climbing back into the shower at a bloodsugar well under normal range. I should have waited until my levels came up. But I knew I was coming around when I looked at the shower caddy and saw my Dove shampoo and a bottle of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice. And realized what a lucky moron I was.
Motivational Speaker agreed, as she retired until next time.