The other night I had a nypo.
For those of you who don’t know, nypo = nighttime hypo (i.e. low bloodsugar). I didn’t make up this catchy little term, and I don’t know who did, so I can’t give credit where credit is due. If I could, I would. It’s a great word.
For some reason, a nypo is so much worse than a daytime hypo. I actually handle daytime hypos quite well, for the most part – but a nypo turns me into a shaky, frantic, carb-inhaling lunatic.
I hadn’t had a nypo in a while. I’ve actually been having more trouble with nighttime highs than lows for a while now (I still don’t have it totally figured out, but it’s improving), so this one was a surprise.
I woke up with my heart racing and the familiar weak/shaky/hungry feeling. My first inclination was to just go back to sleep and let someone else take care of it.
Mmm….I’m sure it’ll go away on its own if I can just close my eyes for a bit longer….
Thankfully I don’t fall back asleep well during a nypo, so I dragged my ass out of bed and into the bathroom (so as not to wake my sleeping husband, baby, or dog) to test. I was shaking and seeing spots and the frantic hunger was kicking in already.
2.6 mmol/l (47 mg/dl).
Popping a couple of glucose tabs, I stumbled downstairs to the kitchen, opened the pantry and flicked on the light. I’m sure I heard angels singing at the sight of all that food.
Normally I eat fairly low-carb. As a result, I don’t take a ton of insulin. And as a result of that, it doesn’t take much to bring my bloodsugar back up from a hypo (or a nypo, as the case may be).
But during a nypo every cell in my body is saying “FEED ME!”, and I want to ingest everything in sight! I am completely incapable of putting on the brakes until I feel better. And during a nypo it takes a while before I feel better. So I typically end up eating a lot more than I should.
Thankfully, even in my nypo stupor I’ve learned to trick my sugar-starved self by switching to low- or no-carb snacks part way through the ravenous rampage. It sounds pointless and kind of stupid – and it is, really – but hey, whatever works, right?
So, leaving a trail of honey, cracker crumbs, and cheese, I climbed back into bed and thought, “I should probably bolus for that….” just before I nodded off.
When I woke up the next morning, that last thought came back to me and I pulled out the meter again.
14.4 mmol/l (260 mg/dl). Damn.
I guess it could have been worse if I hadn’t made the switch to cheese at about 2:41 am, but still…a bolus definitely would have come in handy.
So, once again the nypo won – making a feasting fool out of a perfectly rational and well-managed person with diabetes….