Surreality Bites

(I can show you the teeth marks)

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Monday – Woman Down
I’m sore. It feels like I fell down, which I did. I don’t remember it, but my husband says I did and he’s pretty reliable. There is a tender spot on the back of my head where it hit the wall and a bruise on my right arm from hitting God-only-knows what. My shoulder feels kind of wretched, too, like I strained the muscles in it somehow. The skin on three of my fingers on my right hand is mangled from grasping the metal mini blinds. I don’t remember doing that. I do remember lying on the floor next to the window, looking up at the mini blinds and wondering how they got so mangled. I was lying on my back. The lights were on in the bedroom. My son was in his small bed at the foot of my own bed, sound asleep.

I wondered what I was doing on the floor. I was drenched in sweat, which told me my blood sugar had dropped down really low. Had I gone into convulsions? I wasn’t sure. I’m never sure about that. When my sugar gets so low that I have convulsions, I am unconscious. During the convulsions my liver releases the emergency backup glucose it saves in case I am ever being chased by a Saber Tooth Tiger (this programming was handed from my most ancient of ancestors, who would be amazed at the shots I take and the meter that tests my blood sugar. Then again, they’d be amazed to see a battery operated flashlight, too). When this fight-or-flight sugar hits my bloodstream and I come to, I’m fine. Not normal, but aware of my surroundings and able to talk.

I’d never wound up on the floor like this. My head was on a pillow, which should not have been there by the window like that. I was soaking wet, like I’d been out in the rain. The adrenalin that my body releases to get to that emergency sugar and bring me back to life leaves me in a cold sweat. I hate it. It feels vile. It occurred to me that I needed to pee, so I pulled myself up just as Jeff was coming around the corning with a glass of orange juice.

“Don’t get up!” he barked.

“I have to. I’m fine,” I said.

“Be careful! I don’t want you getting up!” I had obviously pulled him out of a deep sleep, and he was freaked out. 22 years of living with me has not lessened how these incidents freak him out.

“I need to pee,” I said, and made my way to the bathroom. He put the glass of juice on the side table and went out to the garage, probably to smoke a cigarette. He no doubt needed the serotonin rush that the nicotine would give him.

I came back to the bathroom and lay on my side of the bed. The sheets were cold and wet. Gross. I reached over to the table to drink the juice. As alert as I was, everything was still a little too dreamlike for me to turn down a glass of juice. I didn’t want to ask Jeff what had happened. I don’t like him when he’s freaking out, and asking him for a blow by blow would make him freak out more. I wanted fresh sheets on the bed and was thinking about getting up to change them when he came back in the room, glanced at the empty glass, took that as a good sign, and got back into bed. Asking to change the sheets would only remind him of how bad this episode was, I thought. His side of the bed was dry, so he was comfortable. I decided to suffer through it rather than deal with his scowling face when I asked for dry sheets. I wrapped myself in my damp bedding and hoped it would warm up soon. I fell back asleep, despite the wet sheets, wet pajamas, and wet hair.

The next morning I noticed how bad my fingers were cut. I took a shower and changed the sheets.

By the afternoon, I breached the subject of what happened and how did I end up on the floor. That part was bugging me, since I had no memory of getting there.

I hate when my blood sugar drops in the night. In the daytime, I will notice it and do what needs to be done to correct it. At night, it’s a crap shoot whether or not I will wake up or not. If it happens when I’m in a light phase of sleep, I may awaken and make my way to the kitchen for juice. I have also known myself to make my way to the kitchen when I was not exactly awake, and become aware that I was there as the cold air from inside the refrigerator hit my wet skin. Apparently I was off on one of these sleep-walking self-rescue excursions on Sunday morning when something went wrong: my 6 year old son had fallen out of his bed, and when I walked around the foot of my bed in my stupor I tripped over him. Rather than fall on him, I fell back and hit the wall. That is what woke my husband up.

He put our son back in his bed. He tried to put me back in bed, but I was having convulsions and he couldn’t. He gave me a pillow to lie on, instead, and went off in search of orange juice, which works like magic.

“What happened to my fingers?” I asked.

“You had a death-grip on the mini blinds. I’m sorry. I guess I cut you when I was trying to get them out of your hand.”

I looked down at the Band-Aids I had on them. Beneath the bandages, my fingers looked like I had grabbed the wrong end of a knife. They don’t hurt as long as I have the wounds covered up, so I had four bandages making stripes around each finger.

“That’s okay,” I said, though I’m not sure why he couldn’t let me hold onto the blinds if I had wanted to. Apparently, I did want to; from the shape the blinds and my hands were both in, I had not surrendered them easily.

It wasn’t until that evening that I began to feel the sore spot on the back of my head, and the bruises on my back and arm. I kind of got the blinds looking like they should again, though it still looks like me own one of those kittens that has it in for mini blinds.

“Why is my head sore?”

“Probably because you hit the wall.”


It’s not like this happens all of the time. Months go by without it happening. A year or two can go by. I tread carefully around Jeff after it does, because it always freaks him out. I don’t get freaked out, only annoyed. It’s a drama that is scarier to watch than it is to act out (and since I am unconscious during the scariest scene, it doesn’t faze me). The only part that I can say really bothers me is the wet bed sheets. I really can't decribe how icky they feel to try to fall back asleep on.

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I'm glad you are ok and have Jeff to look after you.

I'm really glad you don't live alone.

I hope all the bumps and cuts and all heal VERY soon!

I have lived alone, and survived it; I don't take any one shot with a dose big enough to kill me. If I went into convulsions living alone, I was blissfully unaware of them. I only know about them now because of the look on Jeff's face the next day.

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I appriciate him, at least when he's not freaking out. :)

Thanks! I'm fine. Just a lil' scraped up. :)

Quite glad you're all right now. I've been as low as 24. I hit 26 a couple weeks ago. I'm quite familiar with the soggy sheets / clothes. But I have yet to convulse or pass out (as far as I know.)

I don't think Ken could be as calm as Jeff was. We had a talk one time because when I was low it seemed to me that he was often yelling at me to test or drink the oj or eat some candy. That made me stubborn because it annoyed me. I don't deserve to be yelled at when I'm low.

But when we talked he said he wasn't ever yelling. And now I'm wondering if my perception was off. He's not a yeller so it would be out of character for him to do that. That makes me wonder if I was starting to get combative. I'm glad we talked about that and now when it seems like he's yelling, I tell him and he tells me he's not. When I listen to him I can hear that he's not. My perceptions are really off I guess when I'm that low :\

At 24, I can still hold a conversation. It doesn't make any sense, but I can hold it. For me to black out, my sugar is too low for my meter to measure (it just says "Lo," meaning 15 mg/dL or lower).

I know I'm combative at those times. Its all the adrenalin. Anyone demanding I eat or drink something (or worse, trying to force something into my mouth) is not going to find me cooperative. Still, if Jeff holds out a juicebox and give the simple short command of "Drink," I will. So long as he doesn't use an exclamation point when he says it. I don't like hearing exclamation points when I'm like that.

Yeah, perceptions are way off. It's like being in a weird dream where everyone is shouting and for some reason you are the only one who is soaking wet.

I'm also very glad you're okay. And very impressed that whether it was maternal instinct or reasoning, you managed not to land on your son.

I agree that not crushing my child was the right decision on my part (it may have been dumb luck, but usually when I trip I fall forward, not back). I'm kind of impressed with that myself, and wish I would remember enough to know whether I deserve the pat on the back on not. :)

Glad you're OK and, like the others said, glad Jeff was there. Nothing scarier than being sick or hurt and being alone.

Jeff is not always there. Weirdly, when I have to handle this stuff on my own, I'm more irritated than scared. All this stuff is very inconvenient to me from where I stand; it's only scary from the outside looking in.

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