Heard of it? If not, Web-MD tells us that…
… hypoglycemia occurs when the level of sugar in your blood drops too low to give your body energy.
The term itself actually means low blood sugar, which most of us have experienced at one time or another. However, for some of us, it is an ongoing battle that we must fend off daily. I have been hypoglycemic since I can remember – definitely pre-teens, maybe 10 or 11 years old. My sister, you know, the one who had a ‘temper from hell’ (I remember watching her ‘lose it’ when I was little and it scared me to death) has battled hypoglycemia her whole life, too.
Note: If you’ve read Black & White you will remember that I don’t throw stones at my sister’s glass house ’cause then she’ll throw them right back at mine – so let’s keep that whole ‘temper from hell’ comment between you and me!
I cannot think of any other way to describe what happened to my sister – and to me as I got a bit older – than tantrums. I won’t equate these outbursts to ‘meltdowns’ because total control was not lost and we generally saw them coming on so we could stop them before they happened. But if we were unable to stop them in time, we were at least able to calm ourselves relatively quickly so they didn’t last very long. However we did get to enjoy:
- Uncontrollable Shaking
- Crying (sometimes racking sobs if we didn’t catch it soon enough)
- Feelings of Sadness and Guilt
- Extreme Stress
- Embarrassment (if anyone were to see us)
- Shame (at our weakness)
Bring On The Peanut Butter Spoon!
That was what we used to treat hypoglycemia in our home as a kid. Once my sister or I started shaking like leaves and either tearing up or glaring at others, my Mom would come to the rescue with a jar of JIF and a great big spoon. Then she would sit with us while we ate it. It worked, too! Sometimes home remedies do the trick, right Ma Kettle?!
So What Does Hypoglycemia Have To Do With Autism?
I don’t know that it has anything to do with it, not for sure anyway. But, it has come to my attention through some brief mentions that people with autism experience hypoglycemia…
Not ALL People On The Spectrum I Am Guessing,
but enough for people to be talking and writing about it. So I’m going to look into it. Because I’m definitely autistic and I’m definitely hypoglycemic, so it’s most definitely worth looking into. I mean I love to research stuff, so why not? I’ve even seen mention of ‘hypoglycemic tantrums’ being equated to autistic meltdowns, and hypoglycemic episodes being mistaken for panic attacks. Well, hold the phone! I’ve experienced both hypoglycemic tantrums AND panic attacks.
Oh to be 20 years younger and experiencing this stuff again so there would actually be help for me! Something that would help me understand that it WAS NOT
All In My Head
… That there really was something (many things) at work, and I wasn’t just a hot mess incapable of healthily taking care of myself! That the only problems going on ‘In My Head’ were real neurological differences, not weakness in character!!
…I don’t really want to go through all that garbage again. I’m doin’ just fine ladies and gentlemen, and for the first time in over three decades I’m content… happy even!!
Everything happens for a reason.
I’m not a superstitious person, but I have always believed that things really do happen the way they are suppose to; that there is a rhyme and a reason to what transpires. So, what’s my reasoning? Everything I experienced growing up as an undiagnosed autistic person – the panic attacks, obsessive compulsive behavior, stress, anxiety, anger, confusion, chronic migraines, insomnia, fear, nervousness, sensory integration issues, auditory processing difficulties, poor comprehension, etc., etc… happened so I could:
- Be a better Mom to my autistic (and NT) kids
- Write, blog, and speak out about autism so the world can see past the diagnosis to the real people
- Educate families, friends, strangers, and whoever else, to bring about POSITIVE change
- Work towards ACCEPTANCE (awareness is great, but I want more)
And lastly, share my story and those of my kids, in hopes that people, little by little, can stop being afraid of ‘Autism.’