I feel fine. Everything is fine. Then my legs feel week. I start to feel like my head can’t stay up – almost like my neck is rejecting the weight of it. My hands begin to shake … and then my whole body. My heart feels like it is escaping my chest, and sweat drips from my forehead.
This sounds like a long process, but it all happens in a matter of seconds, and with no warning.
This is how it feels when my body overproduces insulin and causes my blood sugar to crash. This is also known as hypoglycemia.
The best way I can describe a low blood sugar attack is to use something familiar to Southern Californians – earthquakes.
You are sitting somewhere and suddenly there is chaos. You know the feeling, even though you live in an earthquake-prone area, and are just supposed to roll with it, your heart races as you duck and cover. Secretly you wonder – is this the Big One?
Too dramatic? Sure. But you won’t admit that until after you know you’re OK.
It feels like my own personal earthquake every time my blood sugar crashes. And the same chaos ensues.
For me, the way to safety is sugar.
I always have candy in my purse. My kids know not to ask for it because it’s mommy’s “emergency candy.” Just the other day my blood sugar crashed at home, and I treated it, eventually recovered and moved on.
The real fun comes when I’m out in public though. Everyone stops to stare at the shaking fat lady shoving candy in her mouth. She looks like she needs help, but she’s just shoving candy in her face … what could possibly be the problem?
I get stares, dirty looks, and nasty comments. When my children are with me, it’s worse. “Save some for the kids!” one woman said to me in Target.
Is that any way to treat someone who is in a life-and-death situation? If I didn’t treat the low sugar, I would eventually slip into diabetic shock and die with no intervention. It’s difficult to explain to people why consuming candy or some form of sugar at a rapid rate is the way I save my own life. Yes, it’s that serious.
Still too dramatic?
Truth is, sometimes it just happens.
While my weight is certainly a contributing factor now, it wasn’t always. I am not on insulin, so I control my blood sugar with oral medication and diet. I see my doctor regularly, and I have very tightly controlleddiabetes. In fact my latest blood tests showed I was “barely” diabetic.
However, even with medications and food perfectly balanced by my doctor and me, low blood sugar can still just happen – and I tend to be prone to it.
I am especially vulnerable when I eat lower carbohydrate meals, and when I exercise. These factors make my blood sugar come down – usually in a good way – but sometimes it can come down too far. It is a constant balancing act, and it is often unpredictable.
I feel like I have some extra hurdles to jump over as I get fit. (How many is that now??) Still, I have to keep moving!
The silver lining? I don’t deal with a “sweet tooth” very often, and I keep my favorite candy on hand, so at least the whole process tastes a little better.
I’ll take what I can get.