In case you didn’t know I’m a type 1 diabetic, that means I need to take insulin to regulate my blood sugar. Which is frankly a bit of a pain!
I’ve had the disorder since I was 22 months old (that equals a lot of years. One of the pitfalls of diabetes is the possibility that your blood sugar can drop too low, technically referred to as hypoglycaemia. What that actually means is you don’t have enough energy to actually control your body (or your mind, if it’s one of those sort of hypos).
Before I started planning my “proper” novel I had an idea for one in which the protagonist was a diabetic guitarist, after all they say you should write about what you know. I only ever got as far as 6,000 words, but may go back at some point and see if I can reinvigorate the idea.
This is how I started it off.
The first thing I notice is that the back of my hand feels warm and sort of slimy. I look down. My vision tries to follow the movement of my eyeballs after a couple of seconds. It’s my left hand and its red, the hair on my arm is stuck to my skin. I think the phrase I’d be looking for is “caked with sweat”, but currently I don’t seem to be geared up for thinking.
My temples are throbbing. As my brain starts to restart I realise that I’ve had a hypo, it must have been quite a bad one otherwise there wouldn’t be blood.
The sweat is fairly normal but I must have cut something or there wouldn’t be platelets and leukocytes, either on my hand or…bloody hell, on the carpet. That’s going to be a bugger to clean up when I’ve come round properly.
There’s a slightly more immediate problem though. I’m lying on the floor in my bedroom but none of my limbs seem to be coordinated enough to actually carry me towards the kitchen.
I’m thinking the only reason I’ve come round is because of the adrenalin pumping round my body, from whatever injury it is I’ve given myself.
I can reach the drawers from where I’m lying. I manage to turn myself over enough that I can use both my arms and my legs to lever myself into an unsteady upright position.
I’m definitely not stable but thankfully the kitchen is just down the corridor and the corridor isn’t too wide!
I make my way along by propping myself up with my arms on either side of the passageway. I’m sure I look pretty dumb, but for one thing there’s no one here to see me and for another I wouldn’t care if there was. In fact I wouldn’t be like this if there was somebody else here!
I meander through to the kitchen. The adrenalin seems to be doing its job because by the time I get there I can almost stand of my own accord again.
I reach into the fridge, while supporting myself with one hand on the bench. I take the orange juice out with the other hand and tip the carton back so it pours into my mouth.
I never like the feeling of the raw cardboard against my lips. I should probably cut the container so the top layer of waterproofing doesn’t rip off like that.
I don’t know how much I drink, I finish it though. ‘Ah crap!’ My first words after hypos tend to be colourful metaphors of the four letter variety.
I put some bread in to the toaster and push the knob down, guess I need to wait until it’s done…