BEEP!BEEP!BEEP! from the Dexcom receiver on the bedside table.
I heard it beeping for a long time.
Woke up with sweat pouring off my forehead and running down the side of my face, pooling up in my ears and in my collarbone. The pillow was soaked. My hair was soaked. An outline of me underneath me, the line drawn with the panicked sweat of hypoglycemia.
Panic. But tempered panic, since I was so deep into the low that I was slow in recognizing anything. My status updated slowly: This is a low. This is a bad, bad low. Eat something in a hurry or you’ll probably die.
The juice box on the bedside table was hard to assemble. Plastic sleeve around the straw, poking the straw through the foil hole … all actions I’ve done before but it took 30 seconds apiece for me to figure out how the whole thing worked. I drank the juice as fast as I could, in just a gulp or two and then I settled back into my self-made sweat lodge.
A few minutes later – maybe two, maybe twenty – Birdy arrived fresh from a nightmare, clutching her blanket and asking to sleep in our bed because she was scared. I don’t remember gathering her up, but I do remember putting her on the outskirts of my dampness, snuggling her up against her still-sleeping father. I was scared, too, still arranging blankets, trying to find a cool, dry section. I looked at the Dexcom, and it only told me I was LOW and had been LOW for a long time.
Normally, I get up and brush my teeth after a low blood sugar. Sometimes I use the hairdryer to dry my hypo-damped hair. This time, I couldn’t move my ankles without feeling the dizziness flooding up to my hairline. I used the edge of my t-shirt to mop the sweat from my ears. So gross. But necessary.
This morning I woke up chilled to the bone, the result of falling back asleep soaked to the skin and then drying off in the cool, fall night. The Dexcom told me I had risen up safely to 109 mg/dL, and my meter confirmed that result. My family bounced up and was ready to start their day, and I followed behind them, nursing the hypoglycemic hangover, grateful for technology that woke me up and for portion-controlled hypo treatment, but pretty fucking pissed off that diabetes was the nightmare last night.