Last night I had a dream that I was having a seizure.
Sorry if this is too much information but this is the cold (well hot) truth about having a hypo with Type 1. If you’re type 1 you know if you wake up in the middle of the night with low blood sugars you wake up sweaty (ew I know) and confused. (I did warn you!)
A low blood sugar (hypo) is a reading, when doing a finger prick test of below 4mmol, the lower the number the more dangerous – is the general rule. To treat a low glucose you have to eat 15grams of carbs or 150ml of full sugar drink (but nobody ever sticks to this) to bring your blood sugars back up into a safe range (4 – 7mmol). Some symptoms are feeling dizzy, shaking, becoming pale and confusion.
Normally when I wake up low during the night I have a dream prior to waking up that I’m drinking a full sugar can of Sprite – then, when i wake up, I’m low. My body’s way of warning me subconsciously I reckon.
Last night my body was warning me again. If you didn’t already know, whenever a Type 1 Diabetics blood sugar is extremely low it can lead to seizures – something I witnessed first hand when my best friend nearly drown from a hypo related seizure on a holiday we went on (thankfully she’s ok now, I couldn’t live without her) – but since then I’ve always had an intense fear of having a low blood sugar.
I scanned my arm with my Libre – I was so thankful in my shaky state that I didn’t not have to faff with my strips and finger pricker because quite frankly I have never had a hypo as bad in my life.
Symptoms of my night time hypo tonight –
Symptom 1 – I felt drunk, but I hadn’t been drinking (shock horror as a uni student I know)
Symptom 2 – I was unfathomably hot and I felt like i’d run a marathon
Symptom 3 – I wanted to eat all the food (the hypo monster that lives in all of us T1’s during a nighttime low)
But the reading that came up was not what id expected
My meter read LO – (bloods below 2.2mmol)
PANIC. PANIC. PANIC.
LO – too low for the meter to read – sends instant alarm bells to my sleep deprived and confused brain.
I retested on my handset next to my bed – I didn’t believe my Libre as id never had bloods this low- but the Libre was right my bloods were 1.3mmol. I felt extremely lucky that I’m so in tune with my body because most people wouldn’t have woken up. I really feel for people with no hypo awareness because diabetes doesn’t sleep when we do.
After a pack of dextro tablets, a few skittles and an hour later of fighting the stubborn hypo my bloods finally rose to 4.4mmol and I could finally go to sleep.
Last night reminded me of just how 24/7 diabetes is and even when you don’t think you’re thinking about your diabetes subconsciously you always are. I did nothing different in my diabetes management (even remembered to change the clock on my handset) and this just shows how irrational diabetes can be some times – no two days are ever the same. Sometimes its unexplainable – but that doesn’t mean we should give up.
Scares in my diabetes allow me to reflect (after panic of course) – it reminds me everyday how lucky I am to wake up, something most of us take for granted. Yes it isn’t always rainbows and unicorns with Type 1 but it makes us stronger. I did not post this for to scare people – hypos are just part of what we have to deal with sometimes – but to remind us that we conquer more everyday that we realise. Its a conscious and subconscious battle. But no matter what happens, we overcome it, come out stronger and carry on fighting. Its in our blood sugar.
Lots of love The Backpacker and The Pod xxx