Saturday, October 24, 2015

I'm Afraid of...

Dying at night.

It feels crazy to write that, because it's not every night and it's not all the time, but it is something that I think about probably more than the average person. I think I use this blog often to vent my frustrations. Or clear my head. Or share funny stories. It's not often that I like to be truly vulnerable on here, in real time. Usually I write about things a few days or weeks later, with a different lens, a calmer, more rational lens.

But last night I had one of those nights. You know that feeling that you get, where right when you're falling asleep, you feel like you step off a curb or miss a stair step or something and you jerk awake? Well I sometimes get those, except it's the middle of the night, and I feel jerked awake by a sudden fear that my blood sugar is really low. I jolt awake, certain that I'm disoriented, confused, and near seizures. Only to check the CGM or prick my finger and see that I was cruising at 124 and steady. And there are some nights like these, where the fear doesn't subside for the rest of the night.

Or sometimes the fear sneaks in other ways. Like when I groggily hear the CGM go off, warning me that I've dropped below 85, and I just decide to ignore it and hope I'll stay in the 80s. And then it goes off several more times, and by the time I finally pay attention, I'm LOW below 55 and I've wasted 45 minutes pretending it wasn't going to happen and now I'll waste another hour tending to it.

Or when I am camping, and I have to be separated from my food. All food, even my sugar tabs. And I set my low alert to 90 just to be extra safe and I send myself to bed with a BG of 290 because I'm terrified of having to wake up and run to the bear canister. I sleep with my CGM tucked into my beanie, to be extra sure of hearing the vibrations. I wake every hour and a half, to be sure that I'm not accidentally sleeping on the side of my body where my sensor clings to my leg, thus cutting off signal and potentially not alerting me to my brain's starvation.

I think part of it has to do with the fact that I'm sleeping alone now for the first time in my diabetes career. But part of it has always been there, because to be honest, I have no idea what it looks like to have a severe hypoglycemic attack and it's very possible that I could die quietly in the night even with someone sleeping right next to me.

So, yeah. Having diabetes, it is what it is. Anyone could die in the night, at any time and I get that. To borrow a phrase from Bob's Burgers, I'm no hero. I still put my bra on one boob at a time, like anybody else. But maybe I know a little something about fear that I didn't before. 

1 comment:

  1. I think it gets better. Eventually you get used to it. I used to feel that way after I had my blood clot. When it was first diagnosed, I was in the hospital for 6 days, with a heart monitor on. Then they sent me home, to sleep by myself, which had never been a problem before. But I'd be afraid a piece would break off in the night, and I'd never know. But eventually, you get used to it. It becomes a part of your life. Not to say it won't come back for some reason, but you just soldier through it, and get used to it again. The doctor at the hospital said something that really stuck with me. Nobody likes to be reminded of their vulnerability. I hope it gets easier for you soon.