I asked friends and strangers alike to finish a statement for me, and I’d like your thoughts in the comments, too. (It will help me with a personal DeTickles project.)
Finish the sentence: “Low blood sugar means…”
When I asked on Facebook and Twitter I got an interesting mix of responses though granted from a very limited selection of people. Answers ranged from, “Huh, guess I should eat something,” to “I’m about to need to go to the hospital so I don’t die.”
This leads me to think that context is key and there could probably be better awareness raised for people with hypoglycemia (fancy technical word for low blood sugar in general and for frequent low blood sugar, also called lows) and for people with diabetes (who are more susceptible to low blood sugar, especially those who take insulin as a medicine).
When I think about low blood sugar, I try not to freak out, but the reality is, I have to take immediate, measured action to make sure it doesn’t stay low and doesn’t drop lower.
For a lot of people, and for me when I was going through growth spurts, low blood sugar meant I was hangry, weak, and couldn’t do anything else until I got some food.
Meat was usually the food of choice, maybe a sandwich, so there was bread (carbs) involved too, but I find it fascinating that some protein was enough then but today, with DeTickles, I have to have carbs and a specific kind of carbs at that: fast-acting carbs. Candy; regular soda; a baked goodie should work; every Type 1 Diabadass’ favorite, the glucose tablet (chalky, flavored, special sugar, if you will); juice (oh yes please); or something along those lines. A lot of things we may normally veer away from become essential life savers. (The candy does live up to it’s name!) And I have to measure how much of what kind of carb I’m eating and time it, waiting while I feel shaky and sick and try to be aware of every little symptom and change so I can prevent my body from shutting down. For me personally it usually takes a half hour before I’m okay again and can get back to my normal living.
So if the majority population thinks “low blood sugar” means a minor inconvenience that can be handled with a little snack, pretty much whatever it is, the phrase doesn’t hold much weight, especially for daily living when you need to get help from somebody.
Which is one reason why I like to try using “my blood is too thin.” It sounds less catchy maybe, but iuueghh, it gives an immediate, visceral impression of a definite problem, right? (I’ll talk more on this phrase in a future post.)
But while we wait for that phrase to catch on, try to think of low blood sugar as your body’s cells starving. If the cells starve, so do you. So yes, please eat something that will feed those cells.
And keep in mind, it might just mean an ER visit for someone you know.