Monday, August 22, 2011

Don't Keep Swimming


Somehow, there's a tell-tale sign that a suddenly-influential Low is creeping into my world while I'm at work:

“ I miss my dog.”

And that seemingly-innocent thought leads to all kinds of hypo-craziness, apparently.

That realization came earlier this week, actually on the EXACT SAME DAY that similar circumstances played out two years earlier. On a Thursday afternoon in mid-August, at 3:30 p.m.

Then: Aug. 18, 2009. Now: Aug. 20, 2011.

My parents happened to be visiting from out of town then, too.

Uncanny coincidences can’t even describe the eeriness of this latest example of Lows in the Workplace, that mirrored those that played out in 2009. These hypos can come out of nowhere and punch you in the gut. Or, as Kim from Texting My Pancreas says, it’s like you are being hit with a “huge Incredible Hulk fist made of concrete and carbonite.”

And so it was.

Just as before, I found myself at my desk thinking about my black lab, Riley. Missing her. Wanting to see her, jump around, wrestle and just have some fun. That led to suspiciously-unusual amounts of focus on this thought, and an eventual decision that maybe I should cut out early to make my way home to see her.

On that August afternoon in 2009, I tested and came out in the low 100s and all seemed OK. Even though I didn't feel totally cool, the test apparently proved otherwise and I was already pressed with work duties. I had something to take care of at 3:30p, and so I made my way out of the office - where the plummeting blood sugar soon caught up to me and presented itself. In the end, it was an experience I’d describe as one of the scariest in my life, and one that truly Changed My Life.

Not this time, though.

When this Low hit, I was ironically reading Kim’s latest post about Lows in the Workplace, when it all came together and clicked.

I’d had trouble focusing on my work, so tried a quick blog-read distraction despite my dropping BG. In mid-comment as the touchscreen buttons became more elusive and unclear, everything made sense in a moment: sweating merged with coldness, concentration evaporation, blurry vision. Rationale thought was nowhere to be found, even though I probably thought everything seemed completely normal at the time. I could keep working away and not be dissuaded, and just deal with the D-matter once my work was finished.

"I'm Fine," went through my mind (of course), followed closely by the thought of "Pay No Attention, All Is Well Here" and "Go About Your Regular Work-Tasks, Please."

Obviously, not. A blood test proved the point, and Skittles were my solution to the sudden 62 mg/dL.

Tried to stand up, and darn near fell over and caused a ruckus there in my office. Found some change and, despite seeing the multi-flavored glucose tab jar in my desk drawer there, decided that the break room vending machine would offer a better remedy. Stepping downstairs away from prying eyes, I inhaled the candy quickly – but not so fast as to sacrifice the chance to snap a quick Blackberry photo of my meter and Skittles posing together for Twitter distribution.

Not too long after that, things began to seem real again – that flurry of surrealness was passing and I made my way back to my desk to pick up where I’d left off earlier before plummeting. Back at my desk, I glanced at the calendar and it suddenly dawned on me: It was the SAME TIME as this type of thing happened before. Two years ago, in fact. That’s when a Low hit even more suddenly than it did this time, and despite trying to do everything right, too much went wrong.

I’m glad it didn’t get too bad this time.

Just an annoying happening, likely a causality of two specific events: 1. That being my 3rd day of a Pump Hiatus where I’ve returned temporarily to twice-a-day Lantus shots and Multiple Daily Injections of Humalog boluses; and 2.) Pressing work deadlines that day that kept me on my toes but led to skipping lunch. I’d been hurrying all day, telling myself to press on and that I could easily do. Maybe even subconsciously telling myself “You CAN do it” and diabetes wouldn’t “hold me back” this time. Hindsight is 20/20, obviously. But at the time it made perfect sense for my tunnel-vision type of workday.

Stories like this are scary and not cool, but they seem to happen to so many of us PWD. Why do we do this type of thing, thinking we're "fine" when we'r really not? Maybe someday someone will provide a clear answer to this psychological D-mystery. The best we can do is deal with it as needed rather than trying to “just keep swimming” until a later time… because soon enough, we may find ourselves drowning as a result. Better to find that live jacket while we still have the strength to swim.

Hopefully, in the future, I'll recognize my severe dog-missing and lack of focus as clear signs that it's time to test and do something, as happened this round.

7 comments:

Jonah said...

Proofread your post and I think you'll LOL.
I get panic attack lows but I'm not scared about them afterwards. They aren't my most dangerous lows, I don't think, just some really unpleasant ones. The ones that scare me are the ones where my blood sugar is very low (say, 25) and I feel nothing.

Wendy said...

I'm glad things turned around....thoughts of you dog kind of pulled at my heartstrings a little.

The insight into my daughter's experience that you've given me is priceless.

Thank you.

Kelly Booth said...

I am really sorry that happened to you Mike and glad you weren't hurt.

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