I was woken up this morning by my partners alarm beeping away at 7am.
“Do we have to go to work?” I asked as I tried to remember which day it was. I was sure it was Sunday…
“Not today, I set it by accident.” He replied.
Feeling pleased I rolled over and went back to sleep. I woke up again at 9am full of energy and enthusiasm…
“I’m ready to start my day!” I said, waiting for a response. When I realised I wasn’t going to get one I gathered my essentials - laptop, ipad, phone and blood glucose machine, then I headed to the front room.
My blood sugar reading was 13.7mmol/l so I took 1.6 units of insulin as a correction. I didn’t feel hungry enough to eat anything so I made a cup of tea instead and settled down to start on an essay. Three hours later I was ready to eat. I grabbed some noodles and counted the carbs, there were 40 grams per portion which meant I needed 5.4 units of insulin as my blood sugar had come down to 8.5mmol/l. I used the multiwave function on my insulin pump which meant that the insulin could be delivered over a certain period of time. I choose 4 hours and gave an immediate dose of 1 unit – I’ve learnt over time that if I take more than 2 units of insulin when my blood sugar is between 4-9mmol/L I end up having a hypo, so I tend to use the multiwave function for times like this.
45 minutes later we were heading out for a walk in sunny Southsea, so I checked my blood sugar again. It was 5.7mmol/l which 9 times out of 10 means that I'm heading towards a hypo. It’s very rare for me that my blood sugars will stay at a ‘good’ range, so I ate a few jelly babies as we left the house.
Around 30 minutes later I felt my hypo symptoms coming on. A sudden tingling sensation washed through me from head to toe and walking in a straight line became quite difficult.
“I’m having a hypo” I said as I reached into my bag for my jelly babies. As they don’t seem to be working very well as a hypo treatment at the moment we went to a shop to buy a drink to treat the hypo instead. Only a few minutes after my symptoms had started everything changed very suddenly.
“I can’t see properly” I said. My other half held my hand tightly.
“Shall we go back to the car?” He asked. I nodded… at that stage no words would come out of my mouth.
The car was only 5 minutes away but the walk back seemed to take hours. My vision had changed again and objects around me started to go past in a flash. The only way I can describe it is like a strobe lighting effect. Nothing was staying still but flashing in front of my eyes. People walking past seemed to be coming out of nowhere, even shop doors seemed to springing up from the ground. This has happened to me a few times before but this time everything seemed to be sped up, apart from me. I was aware that I was walking quite slowly and gripping onto my partner’s hand. I remember feeling scared that something might jump out at me, and thinking that people were watching me (which they probably were). I desperately wanted to be in a safe place.
The next thing I knew I was finding it hard to catch my breath, and every object that seemed to be jumping out caused me to take in a sharp breath. I suddenly became so frightened I started to cry. My poor partner must have been getting the strangest looks as he walked through the street with me, holding onto what must have looked like a drunk girl in tears… at 1pm.
I then found myself stood by my car as he put his hand into my bag to find my car keys. I looked at him and my brain didn’t quite catch up. Why was this person saying he’ll drive me home? I stood at the driver’s side of the car for a few seconds, again my brain hadn’t caught up, and then walked around to the passenger’s side to get in.
I don’t remember much after that but I woke up in bed wearing pyjamas with a bar of chocolate on the pillow next to me.
Thinking back on it now I feel so silly for crying, but at the time the whole situation was incredibly frightening. I hated feeling so out of control, even if it was only for a few minutes, and I’m just glad that the majority of my hypos are much easier to deal with.