Sunday, November 7, 2010

Frustration from Lows

I wanted to write this next post about lows. I think low blood sugars are one of the most frustrating part of diabetes. Preventing and being prepared for lows is always on the back of my mind, yet they still seem to sneak up on me and come at really inconvenient times. Most of my lows come on during a run or workout. Very inconvenient. I rarely feel like I can recover from a low that comes on during exercise so I usually end up having to end my workout early.  Its frustrating and usually leaves me envying those people that can continue on exercising without having to stop for Gatorade or glucose tabs. Instead of being able to spend another half hour or so releasing stress and burning calories, I end up calling it quits and consuming calories to bring my blood sugar up.

On Friday I had a really bad low at work, which brings me to inconvenient low situation #2: while you are at work or in an important meeting. On Friday I was leading a meeting and my CGM vibrated to indicate I was below 70. While the meeting continued, I checked my blood sugar and as my sugar continued to drop, my mind got fuzzier. I would have loved for the meeting (and work) to stop because I had a low, but I of course did not want to draw attention to my low and have to try to explain how I was feeling. So I suffered through my fogginess as a I slipped three glucose tabs into my mouth and waited for my sugar to come up.  Another annoying time for lows to come on is after a big meal. Those times when you know you ate alot and therefore took a bunch of insulin to cover and over estimated how much carbs/insulin you needed. Knowing you need to then consume more calories/sugar to bring your blood sugar up is again frustrating. I find it hard to explain to those not familiar with type 1 diabetes how I can be low after eating a huge meal, but it happens- and it stinks.

Besides being unpredictable, inconvenient, and forcing you to intake calories and carrying around some sort of food/sugar with you ALL the time, lows are a pain because they feel crappy. I had a low today while walking in the mall with my mom and in addition to being sweaty and shaking, I didn't even have the energy to hold a conversation with her until my blood sugar came up. They can leave you weak, light headed and confused and make you want to eat everything around you to make the feeling go away. (I will have to write another post about some of the weird things I have eaten when I have been low....I think I melted peanut butter and cool whip on a granola bar one time...).  I have heard of some Type 1's aiming to keep their blood sugar over 200 all the time just to avoid preventing lows. Obviously not the smartest thing to do but I can see why people would want to do that. We all try to avoid lows in our own ways, but unfortunately those of us who try for very tight blood sugar control experience them more frequently. For me, a few days without a low is a rarity- but putting up with the lows is worth it if it means my body will be healthy in the long run.

1 comment:

  1. Heids, I love the idea of writing about weird things you have eaten when you have had a low. We have all done it! I have also concocted some very strange recipes, usually in the middle of the night, to treat my lows. Just the other night I ate a bowl of Rice Krispies cereal with warm water and then I pulled apart a bunch of large marshmallows and put them on top, added a few heaping teaspoons of sugar and put the whole thing in the microwave. LOL. I laughed about it the next morning although the thought of it makes my stomach turn. It is nothing I would ever concoct if I was thinking clearly.