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Managing Diabetes: Dealing With The Lows

For a good, long time, I ran higher than usual on purpose because of my focus on the baby and my fear of low blood sugars while I was responsible for her care.  In the last few months, I’ve started to lower my blood sugar goals to reclaim a little more control and tighten up that freaking standard deviation.

Which also means that my sensitivity to low blood sugars is tossed out the window once again, along with any whisper of a symptom.  (“Pssssst.  You’re low.”)

So these lows are starting to creep back into rotation.  For a few weeks, it was the 60 mg/dL range that had me sweating and shaking and reaching for juice before bothering with my meter, because the symptoms of the low were so intense.  Those lows were weird because I wanted to drown myself in grape juice, even though I really only needed a few sips to bring me back into range.

But now, with my control slightly better and my meter average down a smidge, I’m back to the Symptom-Free Zone, where lows are caught more by the Dexcom and less by my actual body.  In the last week alone, I had:

  • a 48 mg/dL at 4:30 in the morning (wherein I started texting people back about random things, in my low stupor, and when I woke up, I had to ask people if I really had a text conversation, or if it was something I dreamt);
  • a 44 mg/dL which had me so disoriented that I fed the cats before getting my own juice (see also: casual low);
  • a 39 mg/dL after sleeping-in one morning, where my only symptom was confusion about who I was.  (I had to remind myself: “I’m a person.  I’m a person named Kerri.  Hello, Kerri!  Those are glucose tabs.  Eat them?”)

Lows bug me out.  They are unnerving moments in my diabetes management when, even after all this time, this disease can grab me and shake the leaves off my mental tree.  And the lack of symptoms seems to be a strange reward for achieving tighter control, which is so counterproductive that it makes my liver throw its hands up in frustrated disgust.  (“Seriously?  Now I work harder?” while my pancreas happily sips on a mango margarita and plays soduku.)

I want that middle ground.  That place where lows aren’t so dramatically low (I’d love a good 65 mg/dL as a trade for these 30’s) and the rebound highs are so sticky.  Where troubles melt like lemondrops, and my blood sugar is 130, tops  … something something.

For now, I’m testing a freaking ton and relying heavily on the Dexcom as I make adjustments to my basal rates.  And I’m keeping my phone in another room while I sleep, to keep the ‘texting while low’ at bay.  😉

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

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