I got in the front door and knew something wasn't right. I was too relieved to be home. I'd been feeling weak and lacking energy for the previous 15 minutes but put this down to a hard run this morning and a bad nights sleep. A rare Saturday night Indian takeaway wreaking havoc with my digestive system overnight. I went down to the kitchen looking for food, then it started.
Sweat, not a normal sweat that maybe leaves your armpits a bit sticky. This is a full on body sweat, from top of head to toe. It's also not sticky like normal sweat it's like water. Water bubbling out of my pores. So much water it drips down my head onto my nose and onto the floor and onto the worktop. I have my hands on the counter top and am hunched over. I try to think what I need to do. This is out of body, I know what I should do yet in these moments the clarity to execute runs away like the sweat down my nose. What I should do is eat sugar, the glucose tabs that I have in my pocket. What I do is eat a banana, then another. I have always had a reluctance to eat the glucose tabs that makes no sense. I have thought about this a fair bit and surmise that it is giving in, it is weakness in the face of diabetes that I will not allow to control me.
I eat a kiwi fruit. I am now sweating so profusely that it's running down my legs, my shorts are soaked through and my t-shirt looks like I have just come out from the gym. I call to Sue to come and help me. She takes a look at me and takes control. Within seconds I am chugging a can of coke - full sugar variety. She asks me what I need and tests my blood sugar, it is 2.7mmol. She then gets me some cereal, crunchy nut cornflakes.
The sweating is easing and I feel more aware. I am soaked through and head out into the garden to eat. My clothes are cold and wet and as it is sunny and warm I figure this will help me. I eat the cereal then slump in the chair. The waves of fatigue crash over me and I am gone. My sleep is fitful as the chair is not that comfortable and my clothes are wet, plus I feel totally out of it. As I wake to change my position I am aware that I should probably go indoors but cannot muster the energy or focus to do so.
Luca, my son, checks on me after 20minutes or so. He then comes out again after an hour. I wake up sufficiently to come inside the house. My clothes are dry but I feel awful. There is fatigue, immense fatigue, plus that hungover feeling you get after a nap sometimes.
I test my blood sugar and it's 11.4mmol. High but when I consider what I ate within a 2hr period it is around half what was expecting. This is quite a relief. I go and shower and put on some warmer clothes when I come back down there's some dinner. I eat and feel massively improved, as we watch TV we eat a bag of salted crisps. Then I check my blood sugar - 22mmol.
The joys of a hypo where, for me at any rate, my blood sugar equilibrium is then really difficult to restore and I bounce from low to high and back again. I gave myself a correction dose of insulin and will keep a close eye on things as the evening progresses.
The key to this episode was an incorrect dose of insulin at lunchtime where I ate a very low carb salad. Having run quite hard this morning I should have reduced this significantly. On they way home the tell was my reducing energy although at this time I had none of the obvious symptoms and as I was tired put it down to this.
What is difficult to explain to a non-diabetic is how your mind plays tricks. I am having a hypo, I know this yet the obvious method of dealing with this eludes me. What makes this even harder to explain is that I always have glucose tabs on me. 100% of the time. If I leave the house and have forgotten them then I go back and get them. Yet I have this pathological reluctance to take them. Having people around you that know what is going on and how to help is so vital.
My diabetes rarely impacts my life, I do every thing I can to ensure that this is the case. I have really good blood sugar control and a fit and active lifestyle. I get caught out though just like every other diabetic. You cannot stop thinking about diabetes even for a little while, not totally - it can bite you whenever.