Things that are not fun: Over-treating hypos.

One of my favourite diabetes bloggers/authors is Wil Dubois. He’s honest, funny and creative.

As Will so succinctly points out, “our brain runs on sugar and it doesn’t run very well in the absence of sugar”. Well, mine works pretty terrible when I’m low.

I’ve been relatively fortunate with my diabetes. I’ve had a few close calls, but I’ve never had a low or high that has resulted in an ambulance call-out or hospital visit (touch wood). But I really hate hypos, and those hypos where I feel the need to eat and eat and eat to bring that hypo up, and the consequences don’t even pass my mind. Wil has called these these “Caveman Lows”, where your IQ has dropped dramatically thanks to the hypo and you are running on pure instinct – that is; food for survival!

I often over-treat hypos. First it’s 6 jelly babies. Then 12. Then 20. Then… 625…. and whatever is in the fridge/cupboard/kitchen table.

Last night was a shocker:

  • 10.30pm. Went to sleep with BG of 6.3. Perfect!
  • 11.40pm.  I woke up at 3.2, but felt much lower. My hypos during the middle of the night are often worse than day hypos.
  • 11.41pm. I always keep jelly babies next to my bed, so promptly scoffed a handful of those. Upon checking twitter, I learnt that my good Adelaideian (Is that a word? I hope so.) friend Simon was low too. Spooky.
  • 11.45pm. I ate all the jelly babies in close proximity, so in my fuzzy state of mind, I decided to go downstairs to get some more. Another handful or two downstairs, plus a bite of some home made rum-balls. That should bring me back above 4.0…
  • Midnight: Back upstairs and I was 6.0 at midnight and went back to sleep.
  • 4.59am: Wake up. Urgh. Thirsty. Headache. Thirsty. Headache. Thirsty. Headache. Rummage for Verio IQ. 19.0. Shit – I didn’t eat that much did I? It felt like waking up with a hangover wondering where all those drinks had magically snuck into the night before. A bit like Homer’s Night Out.
  • 5.00am. Mega correction bolus.
  • 6.47am. Normality is resumed. 5.9. But I felt like death warmed up for most of the day!

I like to look on the lighter side of diabetes, but diabetes is shit sometimes.

After over-treating a low I often feel guilty about overreacting and bringing my BG way, way, way higher than intended, especially when I know that 6 or 7 jelly babies will normally do it for me. Wil’s post on Caveman Lows and recognition that over-treating hypos can be an unfortunate reality of life with diabetes, and the other posts out there in the Diabetes Online Community help lighten the load.

And to conclude, here is a caveman comic. About golf. Because I’m bad at golf.

Courtesy of John Hart Studios.

Courtesy of John Hart Studios.

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4 thoughts on “Things that are not fun: Over-treating hypos.

  1. I’m guilty of overtreating when I feel much lower than I am. And the feeling of being hit by a truck from the low is only compounded by my over treating… it’s as if that same truck decided to come back for a second pass!
    Great post!

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