Thursday, 3 December 2009

I'm low, I'm low...

Hypoglycaemia is one of the perils of diabetes, most commonly in those on insulin and trying to keep tight control. Erm, that would be me then! A hypo occurs when the level of glucose in the blood drops too low, usually below 3.5 mmol/l. As glucose is the only form of energy the brain can use, it quite rightly becomes rather distressed when it can’t get enough to function properly and sends out all sorts of signals to let the unfortunate diabetic know that something is wrong.

The odd thing is that, even though I know precisely what is happening, I feel somewhat reluctant to remedy the situation by eating some fast-acting sugar, like jelly babies or a sugary drink. I feel like it’s something really annoying and fight against the feeling, as though I can somehow overcome it through willpower alone, that it is something I must defeat mentally, even though it is a physical condition that needs handling in a physical way. As the person having the hypo I can’t rally say how I might appear to others, but there is much evidence that people become irrational, or appear drunk, sometimes aggressive, and often completely illogical. Not surprising, really, as it is the hypoing brain that is compromised and therefore not best placed to behave in a rational manner.

I know what I need to do to make the feeling go away – eat some sugar! But knowing this does not seem to be enough to make me act immediately, and I’ll sometimes spend quite some time deciding whether I should eat a green jelly baby, which I don’t really like, or a red one, which would be a nice treat and at least I would get some pleasure as a reward for suffering the hypo. But if I always leave the green ones, then there’ll only be green ones left at some indeterminate time in the future when I’m having another hypo and would really like a red one! And I’m arguing out this stupid dilemma whilst all the time I’m trembling and sweating and my heart is racing, and there are hundreds of little black blobs swimming in and out and across my vision.

Just eat the stupid jelly babies!!!!!
I’m low, I’m low and I know that it’s so,
And I wish and I wish that this feeling would go,
For I’m sweaty and shaky from my head to my toes,
From the back of my head to the tip of my nose!

So why don’t I act? Oh, why hesitate?
It’s so inconvenient, I’d rather just wait,
I’ll leave it a minute, it won’t be too late,
Though it seems to be worse now, I’m in quite a state!

I’ve got jelly babies by the side of my chair,
A green one? A red one? I really don’t care,
This darned diabetes is really unfair,
I'm living the dream - or a waking nightmare!

Oh, I can’t write my letters with eyesight like this,
All swimming and jumbled and all gone amiss,
So at last I feel tempted by the sugary kiss
Of a sweet jelly baby, and some sugar rush bliss!

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