Hypoglycemia Leads to HyperShopping

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Whatever you do, don’t go to the grocery store when your blood glucose is in the toilet.

All I wanted were some ingredients needed to make paczki. Prunes, flour, oranges, cream, and oil. When I checked out, the tab came to $164 and change. No, I didn’t spend all of that on paczki ingredients.

To interject an explanation here, paczki (pronounced PUNCH-key) are, basically, filled doughnuts, traditionally eaten in Poland on Fat Tuesday. No, I’m not Polish. Being Jewish, I don’t “do” Fat Tuesday, either. My endocrinologist is Polish, but not Jewish, and I’ve come to be his diabetic Jewish Polish pastry chef, ever since I showed him a picture of a giant challah (a braided egg bread) I made for a wedding. Turns out his grandmother made a yellow, braided bread — the Polish version of challah is chalka — and so it began.

Anyway, my chauffeur (grandson) and I were out running errands and, while he was busy inside the wireless phone store, I felt the need to check my glucose. Thirty-nine. When he came out to the car to get something (the store is inaccessible), I told him I needed something to eat. In the meantime, I found a bottle of something with 8 grams of carbohydrate in my scooter basket and a stale cough drop in the car’s console to tide me over.

If I’d had my purse with me, I would have had glucose tablets and stuff. But I didn’t have my purse with me: I’d just thrown my wallet in my scooter basket. If I’d had control of my car lately, I would have had emergency sugar in my console. But I haven’t driven since early November because it’s too difficult for me to get into the driver’s seat.

Finally, my grandson finished his business and we continued on to the grocery store, where I grabbed a Mocha Frappuccino from the chiller just inside the door and took a healthy chug while Grandson looked on, horrified, because I hadn’t paid for it first.

“Don’t worry,” I told him. “It’ll be OK.” Stores have had people — including me — pay for empty wrappers and bottles before. Just don’t forget to put the empties in the bascart so you’ll remember to put them on the belt at checkout to pay for them. Besides, I know the owner.

Even with the sugar hit, my monitor still said my glucose was in the mid-40s. I should have waited before turning into the bakery section.

“Oh, my,” I said to myself. “Peach flips. And look! There’s a cherry flip, too!” as I motioned to my grandson to pack ’em up.

The rice cake popper was one bag shorter after I passed it.

The deli was lighter by some broccoli salad, brownberry salad, and roast beef. And some soup. And stuff from the salad bar.

We won’t even mention what the candy aisle was missing after I went through there. Let’s just say it pretty much obliterated the fresh fruits and vegetables I also piled in the bascart.

Ya know, there’s just something different about plain ol’ hunger and the type where your brain is yelling “DANGER! DANGER! EAT! EAT!” It’s dangerous to enter a grocery store at either time, but especially so (I’ve discovered) when it’s the latter.

After I got home, I did throw some glucose drinks and tablets in my scooter basket so that (hopefully) won’t happen again. Then I put the groceries away.

You think I should call my husband and tell him not to bring any groceries home that need to go into the refrigerator or freezer? There’s no room!

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