Wednesday July 11th, 2012

The exercise:

Write something about: going low.

Seeing as I don't like keeping people in the dark, I've decided to explain Monday's goings on.


We had a big harvest day for our local orders and box program on Monday morning - not quite as busy as when the strawberries were going full blast, but still a lot of work. Plus it was really hot out. As in, when I was doing deliveries around 1:45 in the afternoon, it was 41 degrees in the sun.

I rewarded myself with some ice cream when I got home, but otherwise I had nothing to eat between lunch and when we were sitting around waiting for people to pick up their produce around five o'clock.

Which was when I decided to have a beer.

Now, I'm aware that diabetics should not have alcohol on an empty stomach. I guess I forgot, or just didn't realize how devoid of food my belly was. Either way, I took what should have been the right amount of insulin for it and went back to waiting.

A little while later Kat asked me to go to our backyard garden box to pick some lettuce for dinner. I went out and stood there for a while, studying our various plants. And I thought, Nothing looks like lettuce.

I picked what, to my mind, looked the most like lettuce and brought that in. It's at this point that my memory goes blank.

The next thing I remember, I'm sitting at the dinner table, insulin pen in hand, and Kat is trying to get me to eat some food. I am utterly confused (I can't even figure out how my pen is supposed to work) and refuse to cooperate. Later I'll learn that ten or fifteen minutes have passed since I picked (mostly) lettuce. Kat, not aware of the extent of my low, doesn't understand why I won't eat something or test my blood sugar. I'm just trying to figure out where I am and what's going on.

Eventually Kat threatens to call 911 if I don't eat and I still refuse. To be honest, I'm fairly certain I'm dreaming. Everything is very strange and nothing is making sense, so it must be a dream. Right?

Things don't seem real until the ambulance arrives. It's around this point that I realize the extent of my previous confusion and ask Kat what happened.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what doctors like to call a hypoglycemic episode. First one I've experienced in the six and a half years since I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

In short, my blood glucose went so low that my brain stopped functioning normally. The paramedics tried to get my levels up again but things weren't going as well as they wanted so they ended up taking me, by ambulance (woo, first time in one of those), to the hospital in Oliver.

By the time I got there my levels were fine and I was thinking clearly again. They still kept me for an hour or so before letting me go home. When we got back here just after ten, I really didn't feel like writing anything at all but managed to force out the little poem I ended up posting.

So, that's the deal. Unpleasant, lesson learned, hope to never go through that again. But if I do, at least we'll both have a better idea of what the hell is going on.


writebite said...

wow itbis amazing unwrote anything at all, one of your best haiku btw.
take care, don't let yourself go low again!

Greg said...

Oh wow, that's quite a story! I didn't know that diabetics weren't supposed to take alcohol on an empty stomach, but I can see how easy it would be under the circumstances you describe to not realise that you needed something to eat as well as the time. It all sounds reasonably normal as you narrate it as well – there's no real clue to the person inside the story what's gone wrong or that there's any reason to worry, it's only the people outside who can see the abnormal behaviour and start worrying. I can imagine myself going outside and thinking, "Nothing looks like lettuce," and not realising that that's not a normal thing to think.
Well, I'm glad you got paramedics out to help :) And a trip in an ambulance can't be bad, if nothing bad is at either end of it.
But... your first hypoglycaemic episode happens when Kat's pregnant? She's never going to let you forget this!

Going low
Miss Snippet looked at the bus driver, who cringed. He hated the way the teachers all had of making you feel like you were just another of their naughty children.
"You have a spare can of petrol?" she said, her words clipped. She sounded like she was working hard to retain her temper. The bus driver shook his head and then hung it. He knew he should stand up to her, but a little voice in the back of his mind kept telling him he'd be caned if he did.
"And yet you let the fuel run low while we were taking thirty children on a school trip? And now we're stuck in the middle of nowhere?" Each word was like a stroke of the cane.
"There's a garage five miles along," he volunteered.
"Right," said Miss Snippet, her eyes wide and unblinking, staring at him with such fury that he could feel himself trying to sink through his seat.
"Children! New task! Get out and push!"
As the children, barely grumbling at all, got up and out of the bus, Miss Snippet sat down behind the driver.
"You and I are going to have a little talk," she said.

Cathryn Leigh said...

@MArc - *HUGS* Glad to hear it came out all right

@Greg - better to have happened while she was pregnant than while trying to care for an infant... Trust me on this one. *grins*

Going Low

The swing goes low
Then back up high
My stomach Flip Flops
As I touch the sky

Apparently you're prompts are giving me poetry rather than prose it seems. Perhaps I'm a bit prosed out. :}

Marc said...

Writebite - thank you, I'll be doing my best not to :)

Greg - no, I imagine she won't. But I suspect I won't let myself forget it either.

Oh dear, that bus driver is in for a long ride. Push? Either way, I wouldn't want to be in his seat!

Cathryn - thank you :)

And yeah, having a baby around probably would have made it all the worse.

Hah, yup, that's pretty much the feeling I used to get too :D

Morrigan Aoife said...

Marc - I have had one of these in which I passed out, and another type where I got very very shaky but none in which I was in that state of confusion. I can not imagine what a emotionally overwhelming experience you had that evening and I am very sorry you had to go through that.


Calypso music resonates through the air
The dancing stops, people move away and stare
A thin bar is placed on it's lowest rung
Then out of the crowd the young limbo lead sprung!

Marc said...

Morrigan - I'm sorry to hear you've experienced something similar. I suspect I was pretty close to passing out, and I'm not entirely sure why I didn't.

Ah, now that is a much more enjoyable form of going low :)