Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.
I’ve written about many of my most memorable diabetes days before, like my initial diagnosis and the day I started insulin. I’ve also covered some positive diabetes memories, including walking for a cure with Team Ninjabetic, meeting up with other PWDs in Vegas, and winning Sam Talbot’s blogger contest. In terms of what I haven’t already shared, the memory that is freshest in my mind is a low I experienced on Easter.
My boyfriend and I had decided to walk to a restaurant in our neighborhood for brunch. It was a beautiful day, and we were happy to sit outside and enjoy the weather. After ordering an egg dish with roasted vegetables and farro, I did my carb calculation. Thinking I was playing it safe by likely underestimating the carbs in my meal, I injected insulin.
When my meal came out a few minutes later, I realized I had overestimated – by a lot. There were about two tablespoons of farro on my plate. I figured we could order dessert when we were done with our meals. Nothing jumped out at us when we looked at the dessert menu 30 minutes later, though, so we decided to just have ice cream at home.
It was only a 15-minute walk back, but it seemed like forever. I was starting to feel a bit off. Still, I stopped in one of my favorite shops along the way, wanting to take advantage of a free afternoon. I was skimming through a rack of clothes when it hit me. I suddenly felt low, low, low. Panic set in and I told my boyfriend we had to go.
I knew I should have stopped and tested, or started stuffing my face with sugar, but just wanted to get home. We were only a few blocks away. After what felt like a mile, I stumbled inside, soaking with sweat, seeing black spots, and likely seconds from passing out. My blood sugar was 45 and dropping. My boyfriend sprung into action, handing me glucose tabs and a glass of cold water. Over the next 30 minutes, I made my way up into the 90s.
I’ve had bad lows before, but have never felt that low. It completely knocked me down, leaving me exhausted, shaken, and angry the rest of the day. I knew I had too much insulin in my body for what I had eaten, and I knew I needed to get more glucose in my system as soon as possible, but I didn’t want to feel like diabetes had control. So I waited for my choice of dessert, even though it was a walk away, and I stopped along the route, even though I knew time wasn’t on my side. I was furious at myself for causing the low to happen.
I’ve eased up a bit on the blame now that some time has passed, but I haven’t forgotten the low. It continues to remind me of the power of insulin and the importance of taking action as soon as things feel off.