Definition: Low Hangover – noun – the term used to describe the horrible and fatigued feeling after a diabetic over treats a low.
The Dexcom alarms that all too familiar alarm. You suddenly feel a little sweatier, a little shakier and a little fuzzy. You check your blood sugar and the two digits on the screen confirm the feeling. You’re hypoglycemic. What transpires next happens all too fast, without even thinking. You get to the pantry and it is an out of body experience of watching your arms reach for packages, your fingers rip open containers and your teeth chewing anything that is not nailed down. After just a few short minutes of bingeing on food you know you didn’t enjoy, you start to realize the damage you just did.
You’re eating food you know you shouldn’t be, and had you not been low, you would have never eaten it, but honestly, you weren’t in the right state of mind. Your Endo’s words replay in your head. “You only need fifteen grams of carbohydrate to raise your blood sugar.” You know she’s correct, but to have that kind of self-control during a low I think I would need a miracle. I mean really, how do you choose those chalky, sour, dry tabs when crackers, chips, m and m’s, peanut butter, and chocolate milk exist in this world? That temptation is hard to beat with a clear mind, and even harder with a fuzzy mind.
You quickly see that steady arrow on the Dexcom turn into the double up arrows and you immediately think, “oh no, what did I do?” Up, up, up it goes and you know you over did it… again. Suddenly the shakiness, hungriness and hypoglycemic symptoms subside into a “soapy-feeling” mouth, a dry throat, an emerging headache and you feel a little lethargic.
Eating everything besides the kitchen sink has turned your low blood sugar into a high one and because your blood sugar fluctuated more than a roller coaster at six flags, you feel worse than you did before you treated the low. It’s like a hangover. It’s the low hangover; and you suddenly regret not having those tabs.