Sunday, March 01, 2009

Crisis in the Night

It's a feeling that's impossible to describe. It is so unique that it beggers explanations as to why it isn't recognized and dealt with immediately - it can only be one thing. It happened last night. I'd been in bed and asleep for about an hour. I woke up and knew that something was very wrong. I lay there, feeling a gnawing fear in my stomach, trembles in my knee - a catastrophe was in the offing. My skin was moist with sweat, my mind could not focus. I needed to do something. I needed to do it now. But I can't stand up. I'd fall over. In fact, I was lying down and inside I was falling down. A constant feeling of falling. A constant feeling of fear. I was not dying, I knew that. I was not living, I knew that too.

What to do ...

What to do ...

Joe shifted in bed behind where I lay. I remembered that I didn't live alone. It took only a second to place Joe in my life. He loves me. He HELPS me. I felt safer because he was there. I let myself doze.

I wake soaked in sweat. I can barely think. The fear has moved into my chest. I have to remember to breathe. Somethings wrong. Really wrong. I check the time, see the numbers but do not understand them. I try to get up, my legs are jelly. Sweat runs down my back.

Joe moves again and I ask him to go get my tester. It's very late. He's deeply asleep. He says 'sure' but doesn't get up. I wait. Maybe this will pass. No. It's getting worse. I call to him again. He gets up and stumbles into the front room, grabs the tester out of my wheelchair bag and brings it to me. I turn the light on and prick my finger and scoop the droplet of blood onto the strip. A few seconds later the monitor tells me that my blood sugar is dangerously low, the lowest I've ever tested.

Calling from the bathroom, Joe asks me the number. I tell him and he rushes to the kitchen to get me a glass of orange juice. It only takes a few seconds for sanity to return to my bones, for calmness to replace the fear in my stomach, for me to stop falling.

It's over. Until next time.

22 comments:

Carrie said...

How low was your number? My husband is diabetic and I know how scary it is being the one who only has the ability to pass drinks/sugar and cross my fingers that the numbers will rise.

I hope you are feeling better today.

JudiElise said...

Sorry to hear of the low blood sugar scare.

Interesting though, how it affected your thinking and thoughts.

Our bodies (health) and minds are so interconnected.

Glad you have someone there with you.

Take care.

Belinda said...

Very scary to read about how that felt. I can only imagine if you lived alone, or were someone who could not speak or call for help. Wow, how terrifying.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Belinda, you know what is a real good cure for low blood sugar? Pie. Think on that a bit. Carrie my number was 1.9. I've never been below 2 before (that I can remember).

Manuela said...

Okay Dave (and Joe), here's the set up. tester goes on the night stand table so you don't need to get up to search. Also on the night table dextrose tabs (I'll bring you a roll on Monday). Next time you wake up with the classic signs, treat first, then test. A high blood sugar is better than going that low. you burn off fewer brain cell with highs than lows - trust me, Ive scorched a lot of them!! Of course at 1.9! it will take a while to remember everything is at hand. Your getting down to my territory. I remember when I use to still feel them. Don't try anything too active today, if you're like me, you'll be wanting an afternoon nap. Take care, I putting those tabs in my purse for you right now.

Rosemary said...

When I read the title of your post today, my heart began beating quickly.
How awful for you (both).
I used to teach with a man who was diabetic, and he would have a few episodes each school year. The kids all knew the signs to look for. I was always amazed how quickly the juice or sweet worked. Take care and rest today.

Heather UK said...

I was going to suggest that but Manuela beat me to it.

Look after yourself Dave.

x

wendy said...

Flat out terrifying! I'm so glad you had Joe there to help.

Tamara said...

That's scary! Listen to Manuela! :-)

I do have to compliment you on your writing though. You had me on the edge of my seat. Quite descriptive.

FridaWrites said...

Very scary. So good that Joe is there with you.

Resa said...

Wow Dave, hope you are feeling better. Take care.

Shan said...

That's so scary - I've seen it happen to two peopleI love. One of them, when low, refuses the testing and sugar out of insulin-induced childish contrariness...has to be cajoled and tricked by his wife into taking the juice. It's frightening and one can't help but think, what if it happens some time when he's alone?

LIsa said...

Dave, another thing that gets sugar into the blood stream quickly is those little tubes of decorative frosting. My sister in law had two children with diabetes and would squirt that into their mouths when they crashed.

I knew there were more reasons I love pie!

Lisa

Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

Would it be worth investing in multiple testers?

One could stay permanently next to your bed. Another permanently in your wheelchair bag (so it's always with you when you go out). That way, you don't have to remember to keep transferring it back and forth.

Possibly another at the office, etc. And since you travel so much, maybe even another in your usual traveling suitcase or carry-on bag so it can be literally the first thing that is packed (because it's always kept in the suitcase).

I'm so glad Joe was there for you.

Brenda said...

How awful! My hubby's diabetic, so I've seen this type of reaction. But it scares the pants off of me every. single. time. So glad Joe was there. Lots of good suggestions here, so I won't add any. Just...please take care of yourself!!

jueb said...

Wow Dave 1.9 was low, lucky you weren't alone and you had Joe there with you. Hope you are feeling better. Great blog though

Belinda said...

Dear Dave,
You made me laugh again with the pie plea. There shall be pie! You betcha! :)

liz said...

So glad that you woke, that Joe was there, that you are okay.

Thinking of you both.

kayan53@gmail.com said...

Dave Hingsburger -- You think you can flirt with slipping away like that, but no. Your film "The Whole Truth" has just been injected into the advocacy bloodstream in Washington State, USA (via moi). You have to stay around a bit, come and do an in-person presentation for us. So, Puh-leeze... eat the pie, follow all the other advice here, 'cause you ain't done yet. :-)
Anita M. Kay - Olympia, Washington

Heike said...

Thank you Joe!

Reformed Anon. Girl in Pain said...

ew 1.9 certainly sucks.
I recently had testing that made my sugars drop to .9 and it was a scary scary time getting it back up.
I often go low, no fun for sure.
maybe you should keep some pie on your bedside table every night, you know?..... just in case.
:)
Soli Deo Gloria
REformed girl

Another nurse... said...

I agree with Lisa about the tubes of icing/frosting. They contain just about the right about to give in case of low blood sugars - cheap too!