Recharging the Diabetic Battery
The holiday season is absolutely my favorite time of year. But, it’s a really good thing for my diabetes management that it doesn’t last all year! After eating a paleo, low carbohydrate diet for several months, I really noticed how adversely the refined flour and sugar impact my blood sugar and well being. I simply felt badly after eating Christmas cookies and goodies on several evenings over the past few weeks. Blah!
High blood sugar is bad for my body, but I often don’t feel symptomatic with highs unless I’m really high (over 350 mg/dl). What feel worse (for me) are the lows that inevitably come crashing down when I overcorrect for high blood glucose. When there’s so much to do (cards to send, presents to buy and wrap, treats to bake) on top of my regular tasks, I can’t stand being derailed by a low blood sugar.
One weekday evening in the middle of December, I was trying to get a lot done in the hour between my family getting home and the kids’ bath routine. Suddenly, I felt like my blood sugar might be dropping (from a correction in the afternoon). I tested and confirmed that my blood glucose was 65 mg/dl and grabbed a large handful of raisins and kept going. A few minutes later the symptoms got stronger and I got some dried pineapple bits and sat down. I consumed way more fruit than I knew I needed for the low because it felt so bad. Then, I sat in a tired trance as my blood sugar slowly rebounded.
As I sat there, feeling exhausted, drained, and frustrated that my medical condition had just thrown off my well coordinated plan for the evening, I had a thought: often for me, low blood sugar is like a phone needing to recharge its battery (my cell battery hasn’t been holding a charge lately, so that was probably why the analogy came to me). For those moments when the battery is dead, your phone is totally useless. Once the battery has been charged a bit, you’re good to go! Low blood sugar can be debilitating in the moment. But, I know that if I give myself glucose and wait (i.e. charge the battery) I’ll be set and able to resume my activities pretty quickly.
For some reason, this concept gave me piece-of-mind. That drained feeling was temporary and would pass, once I gave myself a glucose recharge.