Holy crap, it was just a matter of time before pop culture came up with a word that describes so much of my existence.  I spent years with undiagnosed blood sugar problems.  Years that postponed my ability to drive, a real crimp in the lifestyle of a late teen.  Years that made me think that my glucose mediated emotionality was just something I had to work on in psychotherapy, emotional regulation really goes right out the window when your blood sugar is plumeting, but who knew?  Not me!  I had hints.  I worked as a unit secretary while a starving (literally) college student.  One night, the nurses, sick of my shitty mood, said “Have you had ANYTHING to eat today?” and when I grumpily conceded  that my work schedule resulted in my missing the two weekend meals my crappy meal plan offered, they practically held me down and did a finger stick.  A $20 was pressed into my hand and a nurse walked me to the cafeteria to get food.  “No, not that.  Get this.  You need sugar” she said, swapping my diet soda for a sugary one.  Another “hint” came later, when I was married to the ER resident.  I came home from grocery shopping in a wretched mood.  I was actually slurring my words too, as I muttered expletives at my husband, the groceries, the cabinets, and the refrigerator.  “When was the last time you ate?” my ex asked me.  I don’t recall my exact words but my reaction went something like “YOU’RE JUST TRYING TO INVALIDATE MY TOTALLY VALID ANGER!  YOU MEN ALWAYS TRY TO MAKE WOMEN THINK THAT THEIR EMOTIONS ARE BIOLOGICALLY MEDIATED!  F*$K YOU BOB!”  Bob, to his credit, calmly mixed me a juice with a spoonful of sugar.  “Drink this.  If you’re still pissed off, we can fight then.”  Ah, the chagrin of realizing he was right.

And then the diabetic.  My grad school boyfriend who was a type 1 diabetic and who played games with his blood sugar and insulin like a gambling addict at the races.  Dietary restrictions be damned, he had a glucose infusion set and a blood sugar meter.  We checked my sugar a few times when I was being shitty, and what do you know?  Low.  60s and 50s and one horrible night, so low he wouldn’t tell me, just force fed me candy while I re-enacted scenes from the Exorcist.

So here it is, the pop culture reference I’ve been waiting all my life for.  Enjoy!


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  1. Anaphylaxing

     /  November 14, 2013

    Hee hee. Great.

  2. Ohhhh, you’re one of those types! I never understood the angry mood thing when I read about hypoglycemia because I’m literally fine one minute and a sweaty, shake-y, about-to-pass-out mess the next minute. I always ate small meals every few hours or would bring fruit to work with me back in the day, but things are a mess now. Hmmm. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with the Judy-types. I wonder how some can go so long with low blood sugar and for others it just hits and boom. Odd?

    Oh, that link was funny and I do have to just grab whatever is in sight now and start stuffing away. I’m not even hungry when it hits! I used to grab the sugar bowl so bought some glucose tabs, which don’t seem to help, but I can’t see the instructions! I probably need to take more than 1 or something. Ugh. Even stranger was the Gap Girls clip. I was literally just thinking about Chris Farley right before I read this because that mayor of Toronto was on TV and was thinking how if he were still alive, CF could play that guy in a heartbeat and then there he was, on his break from the Gap. Lol! Those were the best years of SNL. Good times…

    • Actually, they have a term for what you have. Hypoglycemia unawareness, and it looks like at least one theory is that you can chalk it up to autonomic f**kery. http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/54/12/3592.long

      I’ve started having fewer crazy brain symptoms, I recall clocking in in the 50s last summer and not realizing it. I chalk that up to feeling crappy most of the time these days though, and not thinking to check my blood sugar when I feel crappier. Now that I can barely eat, my sugar is actually pretty stable, coming in in the 90s most of the time. If I eat and only eat once, then I’m screwed. But if I starve all day, everything’s great (blood sugar-wise). Sort of makes the case for reactive hypoglycemia, but during my glucose tolerance test in 2010, my insulin levels never got very high. Guess I’m just very sensitive to it? Never did get a good explanation of this. Just one of those little mysteries.

      • Hmmm. Thanks for the link, but I only saw that tied to diabetes. My vision is really sucky (another thing freaking me out to no end) so maybe I missed something. The dumb GP who didn’t do any tests said reactive hypoglycemia also and my glucose was normal on my yearly labs because I had to eat some cereal to get to the lab. I’ve never tested it myself, but it was usually flagged low and I had the classic symptoms. I think my glucose was in the 60s or so in fasting labs??? Back then it was from going more than a few hrs w/o food. I really think it must be tied to being so underweight. I think my body has nothing in reserve now or something (not great with blood sugar issues here). I used to weigh what you do with a lot of muscle and am almost 30 lbs less now for reasons unknown. Well, most is from my limited diet, but nothing explains the extra 10 lbs that flew off this summer and I never had got my pre-EDS weight back all this time. That has to screw things up. My glucose has never been high, so I would presume I don’t have diabetes.

        The last time I was this thin was when I 1st got sick and was barfing from the pain all day, but I didn’t have food allergies/GI issues then (got a break from the latter) and would stop at 7-11 and get Snickers bars! Yum. Then, I’d get peanut M&Ms from the vending machine at work. Lol. I hated that freakin’ job and they all thought I had an eating disorder as I was eating all that junk and spending 1/2 the day puking in the bathroom and looked like a skeleton! So, even though I was too sick to get much at the store or cook, I’d get my sugar and I was eating a lot of eggs, so at least had protein and now have none. It’s just gruel around here mainly. So, maybe it is the reactive crap due to all the starch. Argh. I cannot find a new/good PCP for the life of me.

        Long, rambling reply… Off to bed!

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