Have you ever been drunk enough to being able to feel your face?
I'm sure you might have a lot of drunk stories to tell your friends. The inglorious saga of being so wasted. We all share those anecdotes. At large, these episodes last for 8-10 hours.
Wouldn't it be fun to be able to extend these hours?
Imagine having the being drunk euphoria every time you open your eyes. No wonder it might seem appealing at first, but the frolic will eventually fade away and the perfect life gradually turns in to a nightmare. You know what's even worse?
Not being able to go back to normal.
No I'm not trying to take you on a head trip but rather I want to share a disease in people around us, so stereotyped you would be amazed to find the prevail.
Hypoglycemia, better known as low blood glucose or low blood sugar, occurs when the level of glucose in your blood drops below normal. The mean normal blood glucose level in humans is about 5.5 mmol/L (100 mg/dL); however, this level fluctuates throughout the day.
The symptoms of hypoglycemia tend to come on quickly and can vary from person to person.
The common suspects are are feeling shaky or jittery, sweaty, hungry, blurred vision, sleepy or tired, dizzy or lightheaded, confused or disoriented, pale, uncoordinated, irritable or nervous, argumentative or combative, changed behavior or personality, trouble concentrating, weak, fast or irregular heart beat, being unable to eat or drink, seizures or convulsions (jerky movements) and unconsciousness.
Isn't really that exciting after all, is it?
I have had so many hypoglycemic episodes in 18 years of being diabetic I should be able to attain a PhD in the subject of matter. You might feel fine one minute and all of a sudden the next thing you know is you are shaking uncontrollably and going lightheaded, feeling so drunk without having a single drop of alcohol.
Do you want to know what are the merits of being a diabetic?
I do not need to spend on alcohol to be drunk, if I am having a low its almost the same.
Humor aside, it is a very serious condition.
You can end up being dead within a matter of minutes if not treated accordingly.
What used to get on my nerves at times is the lack of understanding people possess for the gravity of the situation, for understanding that I need a minute to treat my lows.
For most of the people I've came across, the lack of empathy stays on full fledged display and is showered upon you by the phrases like "Oh she is always like this" or "Tell me something new" or the best one, "Why you do not manage your diabetes any better?"
It gets even worse at a workplace. Most of the people choose to display a lackluster of thoughtfulness towards the condition and tend to just ignore it most of the times.
It's not until the symptoms start hovering all over my face is when you witness the panic on their faces. That's when they start to realize that I really need help or I actually needed that minute I was asking for to treat my low.
It is distracting sometimes when the work is really tied up, and treating your sugar levels isn't your utmost priority. You keep ignoring the low thinking you will fix it later. Often those minutes turns into a couple of hours when you work in a fast paced environment like I do. Only you realize that you can no longer keep going and need to attend to the ailment first.
I am lucky to have certain friends at work who do understand the severity and help me in any way they can to fix my low, but then there is a majority who just tend to pay a deaf ear unless I fade away.
I have had lows at the most unhandy times and the most inconvenient places.
I might just be sitting with my friends having a chat and suddenly it happens.
More often than not, I tend to be the doomsdayer, sitting there while everyone is looking for something sweet to fix my low. Having a busy night at work and then it hits, going out for a dinner and my levels drop even before reaching the place so I have to stop and fix it first.
People ask me what does it feels like when you have a low, I tell them it is really not possible to explain to someone what I feel like while I am having a low. The closest reference I can provide them is that its not the most enjoyable thing that can happen to anyone.
Imagine not being able to move your hands or legs or on several occasions not being able to keep your eyes lids open, while you have to constantly chant in your head to stay afloat and not to fade away, not to give up on your consciousness or you will drown.
The feeling starts from your chest, a bleak gloom engulfs you while you start feeling weak, slowly you can feel it bulldozing through your body and reaching your hinds while they start shaking. Your head starts growing heavy and you can slowly feel the cells in your brain shutting down, causing you to loose focus. You start losing control of your body while feeling hungry as a bear all during that while. You feel like eating an entire kitchen which you end up regretting later when your levels starts raising again after a while.
The lowest I have ever dropped was 1.6mmol/L when I vomited in my sleep because of a hypo and it found its way back in my lungs, it might not sound very scary but trust me when I say this, it was the most grim feeling ever.
I could have died that night but for some reason, I did not.
I witness the lack of compassion and understanding in people towards Diabetes in my everyday life.
I know the symptoms of Diabetes might not be as compelling like those of several other chronic diseases, which indeed makes it even more serpentine.
I request you, the next time you see someone having a hypo please do not ignore them. Rather help them if possible as a little effort from everyone can make someone's life a little easier.
I do the same.
I hope you do too.