Monday, August 01, 2005

A Bottle of Juice in the Shower

I ignored the headache at first, thinking maybe I was still acclimating to the new blood pressure medication I started on Saturday. I soaped up my hair and enjoying the way my sunburn ached a little bit under the pressure of the water.

A few minutes passed. The headache was still there.

I caught myself staring at the shampoo bottle. Not glancing at it in passing. I've been using the same bottle of Dove shampoo for at least two weeks now. But this time, I had it in my hand and I was fixated on the phrase "Rinse," wondering why it didn't say "Rinse. And repeat" like it did a few years back. My eyes unfocused like I was trying to see the sailboats behind one of those magic eye pictures. And there I stood. Still had that headache. Didn't really think about the fact that I had gone for a walk about an hour earlier.

The water gently washed over the back of my still soapy hair as I realized I was leaning against the shower wall. Headache. Shifting, unfocused eyes. Waves of nausea and dizziness undulating over me. The water was warm. I was warm. And sleepy. So sleepy. It was nice to close my eyes for a few minutes until -

Complete panic. I realized that I was alone in my apartment. My neighbors weren't home downstairs. The Boy wasn't on the computer in the bedroom. I was alone. And having a Crash and Burn low bloodsugar reaction.

I turned the water off and grabbed a towel. I was talking to myself as I wrapped the towel around my body, "Keep it together. Don't fall. Just walk out to the kitchen. Go go go." My internal Motivational Speaker coached me out of the bathroom and into the kitchen. I walked, determinedly, to the fridge and opened the door. The cats circled like sharks at my feet, emitting mews now and again, licking my ankles.

"Juice." I grabbed the bottle of juice from the fridge and took a long pull. Motivational Speaker counted in my head as I drank feverishly. "One, two ... three.. four swallows. Keep going. Take eight swallows. Eight will bring you up enough. Five... come on... six, seven, eight... good."

Juice bottle in hand, I reached for my testing kit off the kitchen counter. Wiping the escaping sips from my quivering chin, I forced myself to go through the familiar motions of taking a strip from the bottle, queueing up the machine, and lancing my fingertip. Meter rang in at 47 mg/dl. Adrenaline coursed through me as I panicked at the thought of passing out, alone in my apartment. Oh yeah, and in a towel with soapy hair.

Low Kerri and Normal Kerri tousled over what to do next. Low Kerri wanted to sit on the floor and wait for her bloodsugar to rise. She also wanted to eat the entire stash of cookies in the cookie jar. Normal Kerri knew she had taken enough sips of juice to come up just the right amount. She also knew that The Boy was expecting her in an hour. Normal Kerri and Low Kerri reached the following ridiculous compromise: Go back into the bathroom, turn on the shower, and bring the bottle of juice.

It was a stupid idea, climbing back into the shower at a bloodsugar well under normal range. I should have waited until my levels came up. But I knew I was coming around when I looked at the shower caddy and saw my Dove shampoo and a bottle of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice. And realized what a lucky moron I was.

Motivational Speaker agreed, as she retired until next time.

10 Comments:

At August 02, 2005 1:33 AM, Blogger SaintMartha said...

Thank God, Thank God, Thank God that you were okay. You are such an amazing writer that I was riveted--but boy oh boy am I glad everything turned out okay.

You are such a special person Kerri--

 
At August 02, 2005 8:51 AM, Blogger Shannon said...

Damn, girl. With the way you wrote that, I almost felt what it's like to go through a low. This really helps me to understand what my son goes through. I'm happy you came out of it OK and found the presence of mind to handle it.

 
At August 02, 2005 11:58 AM, Blogger mytime79 said...

I have to agree with Shannon's comment. I almost felt like I was going through the low as well. Sometimes taking a shower and getting ready to meet a guy is more important than fixing that low :)although you managed to do both.

 
At August 02, 2005 1:27 PM, Blogger Sandra Miller said...

Scary stuff, Kerri. Very scary stuff.

I was holding my breath until I reached the end of your post. VERY glad you're okay, and can share this. As others have said, makes understanding the "low" experience a lot easier.

Though, I'm afraid, it doesn't make it any less frightening.

 
At August 03, 2005 8:46 PM, Blogger Violet said...

Oof.

Powerful stuff here, K. You have the writing mojo indeed.

Consider: this is about as close to as scary as it gets (while one is still conscious enough to be frightened, anyhow). And the various Kerris in your head kicked the situation's ass. Woot!

 
At August 05, 2005 5:27 PM, Anonymous terrilynn said...

Aiyeeee! So glad you're all right. Lows just scare the crap out of me.

 
At August 07, 2005 6:15 AM, Anonymous Mark said...

Put that into a health magazine. My cousin (a pumper) was found dead in the shower. I bet that the shower is some kind of a weak spot for us diabetics. You wrote that in such a way as to let the reader inside the head of the low diabetic. The way your mind kind of drifts and floats not knowing it is about to panic, once panic'd not knowing the best decision to make, once having made that decision in a state of lowness, later realizing the mistakes made and thankfulling noting that they were not tragic. (I found the milk in the cabinet, rather than in the fridge the morning after one of my late night lows apparently the cookies went well with the milk, but the milk doesn't keep well in the cabinet next to the cookies.) I would never put the milk in the cabinet unless I was very very low.

 
At August 13, 2005 11:53 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

I'm glad everything ended up OK.

My husband actually keeps juice in the bathroom, just in case.

 
At October 07, 2005 8:05 PM, Anonymous Jessica said...

Been there kiddo... About the same time this happened to you, give or take a day. I'm lying in bed around 7am, staring at myself in the full length mirrors thinking 'Its really hot in here!' So then, I'm still lying in bed, staring at myself in the mirrors, no clothes, because the sheets are off, because its really hot. Then the phone rings. Its my mom. The next thing I remember, my boyfriend Marc is standing in front of me, trying to get me to drink grape juice and eat gummy bears(I will always eat gummy bears when I'm low!). And then, my mom walks in, and my immediate thought, 'I'm naked in front of my mom!'. This marks the second time in 17 years that I have needed help when I'm home alone. 1st time was in 1996, I was at my apartment in Maine, and my mom called. She really needs to stop calling!! Marc times me in the shower now. If I take longer than 15 minutes, he comes in with juice :)

 
At May 06, 2011 10:03 PM, Blogger jess weber said...

Ok, I may be the only one but I found this funny. not that you were low and could have passed ou, but that you brought the juice in the shower! maybe its cause I have diabetes and know what it feels like to do things like that=/
thanks for sharing!

 

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