The Hypoglycaemic Superhero – by Daisy Shaw
Okie dokie, so this is my first post as a Diabetes UK blogger! I’m really looking forward to sharing some of my experiences as a teen type 1 and learning from others through the Diabetic Online Community.
Thought I’d start off with a matter that I’ve thought of numerous times since I’ve had diabetes – what do I look like when I’m having a hypo? I don’t mean that in the sense of ‘how do I act when I’m low?’, because I’m aware of my behaviour (I’m drowsy, unresponsive, uncooperative etc.) The question I’m really asking is: if someone was watching me having a hypo and didn’t know I was diabetic, what on earth would they think?!
I pondered this question the other day, after I suffered a low blood sugar during the night. I had awoken several times already, aware that I was hypo, but feeling too weak and tired to drag myself out of bed. However, eventually survival instincts must have ignited in my body and all of a sudden I felt a surge of energy! I kicked back my duvet and jumped out of bed as if a wasp had stung me. I need sugar…
As I approached the landing and contemplated how to get down the stairs, I decided that the safest thing to do in this situation would probably to bump down on my bum, one step at a time. So that’s what I did. Bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump. Reverting back to my former question, at this point, a person who could see me but didn’t know I was diabetic would probably have thought that I had developed a mental health disorder. Regression to an infantile state.
Next, I rushed into the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of Lucozade. I attempted to pour it into a glass but instead poured more onto the kitchen surface and floor. Gulped it down. Then there was the Kit Kat and the fromage frais, only I didn’t really eat them because they weren’t even in my mouth long enough for me to taste them. Thinking back now, I don’t know if I even chewed. By this point, the person would be thinking: binge eater.
Finally, I decided to make myself a bowl of porridge whilst in a hypo. This is never a good idea. After being in the microwave for 2 minutes on full power, I removed the bowl without any recognition that my fingers were about to be burned. Well, I don’t know whether it was the adrenaline running through my veins or the fact that my reactions were significantly impaired by the hypo, but I must have been holding the bowl for at least 5 seconds before I began to feel any pain. Only then did I drop it.
I suspect that, if such a person had been able to see this line of consecutive events, they would most definitely be ringing some sort of medical professional. Probably a psychiatrist.
Anyway, as it turned out, there wasn’t anyone watching and when I tested my blood glucose level after my ‘episode’ it had risen to 5.6mmol. Still, if there was one thing I learned from this experience it was that I need glucose tabs by my bed. With some sore fingertips and indigestion, I won’t be attempting to be my own Hypoglycaemic Superhero again anytime soon!