Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hypo what?

I had an appointment to get my nails done yesterday at noon.  It was an awkward time for me on a Saturday, too early to eat lunch beforehand, but it usually takes about an hour and a quarter, so by the time it's done, it's after one, and late for lunch, for me. So right before I left I had a glass of chocolate milk, and grabbed a granola bar, which I ate in the car.

Everything was fine for about an hour, then I just suddenly felt the blood drain from my face, and I broke out in a sweat. I felt shaky and clammy; I felt like I was going to either throw up or pass out.   I sat there trying to figure out if I could wait it out, if I could sit there until we were done, and then pass out. The manicurist must have felt my pulse speed up.  I think she thought it was in reaction to the music that was playing, because she asked me if I felt like I wanted to tap my fingers. 

Still trying to be unobtrusive, I said I needed to go to the bathroom. I went back to the restroom, sat down and put my head between my knees, trying to avoid fainting.  I felt a little better.  I splashed some water on my face and went back out.  I said I was sorry, but I felt like I was going to pass out, and wasn't sure what to do. She asked me if I had eaten anything that morning and I said I had, but probably not a wise choice.  She said she was going to go get me something from the vending machine, and was looking in her drawer for change when the other nail tech said that she had some peanut butter crackers, and asked if I wanted them. I thought that was probably a good idea.  I ate two, had some water, and felt like I was going to live.  I realized it must have been an episode of low blood sugar.

As soon as I left, I went to Panera Bread and ordered a bowl of potato soup and a salad and bread, and I felt much better after eating.  Even so, I went home and laid down for an hour or so before going back out to run errands. 

It's not the first time that has happened to me, although it might be the most extreme. Usually I get some warning, start to feel a little shaky, and know that I need to eat immediately. This time there was no warning at all. I assume it was a crash from the sugary "breakfast" and if I had had more protein and less sugar it would probably have been fine, although I kind of thought the milk would balance out the sugar.  But what do I know?  I just play a doctor on tv . . . .

I think there was also an emotional component to it. I've been upset about something at work, and I had been talking to Bob about it right before I left the house, and my manicurist had asked me how things were going at work and I had teared up, but, of course, had tried to hold it in and not break down. I try hard not to let her be my therapist--she gets that enough from other clients.  But it's like being a bartender, I think.  She's a good listener.  Like my sister--I had spent my lunch hour Friday in the parking lot in her car talking to her.  She picked me up on front of my office and tossed me a turkey sandwich from the vending machine in her building, and said, "Here's your lunch, where can I park?"

Anyway, I guess it was the perfect storm. Bob called when he was leaving work to come home and asked if I had had a good day, and I said, well, not really . . .  I told him what had happened, and he immediately attrubuted it to stress.  I know I don't really eat well, and I don't really handle my emotions well. I try to hold everything in, and I know that isn't healthy. I just don't feel like it's right to burden other people with my problems, knowing everyone has problems of their own. But I also know that sometimes I need to open up and be vulnerable when it's safe, with someone I can trust, like my sister.

But back to the hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, thing--I don't know whether it's a genetic or family thing, but my mom was a real expert on it back when I was a kid at home.  It didn't affect me as much as it did some of my other family members, but it did happen.  I specifically remember being at a school concert and feeling like I was going to faint, and going outside to get some air.  I used to carry candy (Smarties) with me when I traveled in case I got stuck somewhere with no food.  It's hard for people who don't experience it to understand.  Bob almost never eats during the day.  He'll work all day and not eat until he gets home, sometimes not until ten at night.  But he does now understand that I need to eat on a fairly regular basis, and I've learned not to be embarrassed about it--for instance, if we're traveling--that I need to eat, even if he doesn't. Well, I guess I am a little bit embarrassed about it. I know this is stupid, but it feels weak, that I shouldn't have to eat. Isn't that stupid?

My mother has recently been put on a diabetic diet,  and maybe I should be on one, too. I've gotten to this point where I've been worrying about so many other things that I don't want to worry about what I'm eating.  I eat mostly whatever I want and try not to think too much about it.  But maybe I should.