The ugly truth about my hypoglycemia and sugar addiction
I was walking our dogs one day recently. We have two semi-large dogs: one is about 70 pounds and the other is 80-85 pounds. We were on the rail trail in our neighborhood and I started having momentary foggy feelings, kind of like vertigo. It was uncomfortable. Fortunately I had brought a Luna snack bar with me on the walk. I put both leashes in one hand and tore the wrapper open with my teeth; my hand was a little shaky, I realized as it had been relieved of the tension from the dog’s leash.
I ate the bar in about three bites. Quickly.
We still had about ¾ of a mile to go before we got home and I felt waves of heat washing over me. I had a sweatshirt on. I told myself, “It’s just warm out. You’re fine.” And it sure wasn’t like I was exerting myself or anything. Both dogs are boys who have to stop, sniff, and pee on everything. They even go through the leg lifting ritual when the well has run dry. So, needless to say, we do not move at a very fast pace.
I felt impatient, agitated. “C’mon boys, let’s go. This way,” I kept urging them as they competed over who could pee on a branch or bush first, or one pulled in one direction (where is that smell coming from?) and the other in another (what’s that noise?).
I crave sugar compulsively
We finally made it home and I was compelled to find something else to eat. This is what WebMD says about low-blood sugar attacks, also known as hypoglycemia.
If you have signs of low blood sugar, eat or drink something that has sugar in it. Some things you can eat are hard candy, sugar-sweetened soda, orange juice, or a glass of milk. Always have some of these items handy at home or with you when you go out in case your blood sugar drops too low. After treating a low blood sugar reaction, eat a small snack like half a sandwich, a glass of milk, or some crackers if your next meal is more than 30 minutes away.
A small snack. Yeah, right. I prowled through our snack cabinet for something quasi-wholesome. I found some Nature Valley Granola Bars. I ate two or three of them in quick succession, compulsively. I still felt hollow and had a headache. I tore open the Tupperware container that contained brownies and ate three. Yes, I actually ate all this food and still felt like crap, not just physically, but also psychologically (because it’s rather gluttonous). But I was shaky and jonesing for the sugar and could.Not.Stop.
Then I have a sugar hangover
I don’t remember what I did next but I do remember that I was very tired that night and turned in early. The next day I felt hung over.
I heard on the radio yesterday that it is possible to overdose on sugar. The morning show people were saying that an average-sized man would need to eat something like 151 snack-size Snickers bars and that would kill him. Thrillist says “262 fun-size candy bars in one sitting would be plenty to kill off an otherwise healthy, 180 lb. human person. That’s about $30 worth of candy, 20,000 calories, or 5.5 lbs. of sugar.”
I am a sugar addict
Sugar is the devil and the bane of my existence. A long time ago I took at test to find out if I was hypoglycemic. The test was for me to drink a crap ton of flavored glucose and then have my blood drawn every hour for like four hours. This was probably almost 18 years ago so I don’t recall what any of the numbers were, all I know at the conclusion of the four hours, I didn’t find out anything I didn’t already know, I needed some more sugar, and then crashed and took a long nap. All afternoon. Oh, yeah, and of course was hungover the next day.
I got off track at some point recently (likely when the kids started back to school and my peaceful summer routine was disrupted) and now I am fighting this addiction again daily. Today it was frosted mini wheats out of the box mid-afternoon. If I stay up any later, I know I will be prowling around for something else. So that’s it. End of story. Good night.