The Random Acts of Lows…

The other night, Jacob and I arrived home with bags of groceries, ready to get cookin’. I uncorked some wine, put on some cooking tunes, and was about to start chopping garlic when I realized I felt….off. Like exceptionally tired or….something. I was about to brush it off when I thought, maybe I should just test real quick. A finger stick revealed I was all the way down at 52mg/dL, with no other symptoms than “feeling off.” Diabetic intuition led me to test, I suppose.

This year I’ve started to to deal with some hypoglycemic unawareness – more so than I have in my nearly two decades of living with diabetes. This recent low got me thinking about one reason that lows are so challenging (besides the obvious of totally sucking in every respect): symptoms are not consistent.

If every time I dropped below 65mg/dL I was, let’s say, sweaty and dizzy, then I could at least always associate that with a low BG. Many times I do indeed have those symptoms. But I’ve also had the following reactions to a low:

Fatigue

Nausea

Lightheaded

Wobbly knees

Crankiness

Sleepiness

Shakiness

Disorientation

Just feeling “off” or “spacey”

And that one random time I burst into tears while jogging with my best friend – thank goodness she’s a veteran Type 3 and asked “Are you low?” right away followed by “Let’s stop and check your blood sugar.” She’s a good friend, and an excellent diabuddy.

What I’m saying is, the fact that lows can have all sorts of symptoms and vary from person to person and low to low doesn’t help any of us recognize them more quickly – it’s no wonder hypo unawareness increases with duration of disease. By the time you’ve had this disease for 20 years you’ve had more variety in your low symptoms than there are stars in the sky. It kind of gets to the point where any time you feel funny, you’re wondering if you’re low – or high for that matter, but that’s a whole other blog post.

As confusing as this hypo-unaware thing is, I’m grateful for the lows I DO catch earlier, and for my little Dexcom who helps with the tough ones.

Have you ever had any bizarre low symptoms? Feel free to share, and happy Friday folks!

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Comments

It’s so hard because the closer we are to target, the more we deal with situations like these.

I remember being very frustrated when a sure fire feeling of being low started happening to me at 200 mg/dl. I guess it was a good reminder that we should always test to be sure, right?

I had never before (until recently) experienced the “cranky” symptom. I happened to be walking home from the grocery store and through the neighborhood. It seemed like everyone in the neighborhood was out and I was really annoyed at that. (Understatement). I walked in the garage and my landlady/fellow tenant was just getting out of her car.

“Well, I have experienced the low symptom of anger. I’d heard of it, but never experienced it.”

“THAT’S a symptom?!!”

“Yeah. I’ve got to get out of here before I do something I regret.” It was the most sudden, anti-social feeling I have ever had in my life.

My strangest one was nausea. It’s only happened a couple of times.

Occasionally my lips and tongue and/or thighs feel tingly. My husband says that he can tell when I’m low because I laugh at his jokes. That’s kind of when I’m at the stage where it feels like I’ve had a glass of wine or two. Diabetes is so random. I’ve never really thought about it, but it would be nice if all lows felt the same.

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