Hypoglycemia is defined by The Bantam Medical Dictionary as a deficiency of glucose in the bloodstream, causing muscular weakness and incoordination, mental confusion, and sweating. If severe it may lead to hypoglycemic coma. Hypoglycemia most commonly occurs in diabetes mellitus, as a result of insulin over-dosage and insufficient intake of carbohydrates. It is treated by administration of glucose, by injection if the patient is in a coma; by mouth otherwise.
At the age of 13, my body seemed to turn on itself. I started out suffering from debilitating migraines, over time I began to pass out for no apparent reason and later developed a seizure disorder. The migraines were later diagnosed as an introduction to my seizure disorder and during one of my many trips to the hospital, a routine blood test showed that my blood sugar was extremely low. After being referred to an Endocrinologist, and many tests later, it was determined that my sugar levels were dropping during the third hour of testing. I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia and told that I would likely outgrow it. Looking back, my only warning signs were nausea and faintness but by eating something small every three hours, I controlled it with diet until, as predicted, I outgrew it.
Fifteen years later, in October 2010, I decided to stop smoking. With a little help from medication and family support, I was able to kick the habit pretty quickly. My body had been suffering from some withdrawal symptoms so when I started sporadically getting sick to my stomach and a bit fuzzy-headed at times, I didn’t think much of it, that is until things got much worse.
I was sitting on the couch across from my husband when I started feeling extremely nauseated. I didn’t mention it, thinking it would soon pass. Within minutes, I started sweating and the room began to spin. I looked over at my husband, so scared. I needed help, something was wrong. I stared at him while he watched TV, I couldn’t speak. I was calling his name inside of my head but my mouth wouldn’t open. My voice wouldn’t come. I wanted to throw something at him to simply get his attention but all I could do was look at my hands and wonder why they weren’t moving. I sat inside of my head, the room still spinning, shaking and scared to death, hoping my husband would just look at me. When he finally did, the look on my face alarmed him. He kept asking me what was wrong but I couldn’t tell him. Slowly, my mouth would open but still, the words wouldn’t come out. After several minutes, I returned to normal.
My husband begged me to go to the doctor, but I felt that if it had already passed, there was nothing a doctor could do. I assured him that I would keep a check on it and pursue it if it occurred again. I think I was scared to know the answer. Had my seizure disorder returned?
A week or two later, my husband and I were going to visit family. He decided to go ahead of me, an hour away, to hunt early that morning and the kids and I would come later. I had just gotten out of the shower, about to blow-dry my hair when that unforgettable feeling hit me again. I started sweating and shaking, followed by nausea and an extreme faint-feeling. I was home alone with no one but the kids there to help me. I fumbled for my phone, laid down on my bed and called my momma, who lives directly behind me. When she answered my call, It was then that I realized I could barely speak but I managed to muster-up enough words to give her an idea as to what was going on. My Aunt happened to be visiting my momma at the time and being a severe diabetic, she recognized my symptoms and rushed over with her blood glucose meter. My sugar levels had dropped extremely low due to me not taking the time to eat breakfast that morning. It had never been a big deal before, I’d just eat when I got a chance but not this morning. My body couldn’t handle my procrastination this time. After drinking some coke and eating peanut butter, I slowly felt normal again. This time it couldn’t be ignored.
After, once again, getting a definite diagnosis from my physician of having Hypoglycemia, fifteen years later, I now eat on a regular schedule and keep my blood glucose meter close by. I no longer ignore my body’s warning signs and am prepared to act on them. It seems that my sporadic nausea was my first warning sign. My doctor believes that I spontaneously recovered form my first ‘bad’ episode on the couch because my body had finally had enough time to distribute the meal I had eaten just prior to that. There is a good possibility that if my momma and Aunt hadn’t been there that day, I could have slipped into a hypoglycemic coma. Now, I know what to watch for and how to treat it, and though I will probably not outgrow it this time, with prayer and discipline, hopefully it won’t progress.