My Silent Battle

Jiu jitsu has always had a positive ‘food as fuel’ because this sport is very physically demanding. A few years ago I began having symptoms and it wasnt until I competed in a tournament that my husband and I figured out what was happening. I only competed in one match about 9 am. I didnt eat any breakfast because I wanted to make sure I made weight. When I started the match I had no energy and was barely strong enough to walk off the mats. I sat down after the match and just didn’t feel right… confused, dizzy, my hands were sweaty and my vision was having blurry spots. We left the tournament knowing something was wrong but not sure what was happening or what to do to fix it. Once in the car my symptoms got worse and I started to have these tiny pinching sensations in my fingers. I looked down at my fingers and the tips were shriveled like raisins. To this day I always check my fingertips when I start to have symptoms.
I have hypoglycemia. I have had two major low blood sugar ‘crashes’, the most recent seriously affected my mental judgement. I used to get embarrased by it because I’m this big bad ass girl who wrestles and I’m tough… its hard to admit I have a weakness. Ok, I will be honest its hard for ME to admit to MYSELF that I have a weakness. I have to eat right and often, manage stress of family and marriage and sometimes I just cannot get all of my eggs into the basket.
Throw in my love of Jiu jitsu and I have to regulate and sometimes just step back from class. I have all day to get my blood sugar ready for war in class at night. I have to give myself time off, my body just wont keep up. Sometimes in class I will get ‘blind stares’, I know then that I need to take it easy. Recently I have has numbness in my toes and muscle tightness that makes me stop rolling. I take breaks between rolls. My team does not know about my condition and I do not want to tell them because I don’t want to be treated differently. As my condition gets worse and managing the symptoms is definately getting harder, I worry if I will ever be the competitor I once was.
I have all day to get my blood sugar to a level where I can work out and roll and recover the next day, every other day is all I can do with weekends off. When I compete its in the morning and the past two morning tournaments I have not done well. I have a tournament on the 15th and my husband and I are really trying to plan on what to bring how to maintain it with extreme loss of adrenalin. When I compete, I am not just fighting to win, I am fighying a silent battle against my own body.


One thought on “My Silent Battle

  1. I understand that all too well. My hypoglycemia knocked my early 20s in the head. Even though I am now stable, even though I manage it through diet, there is still always a fear there. That fear holds me back from doing more in fighting. I don’t know if that fear is justified anymore.

    People that give me shit about my occasional backing-down from training don’t know what it is like to get that warm, fuzzy sensation of consciousness leaving, or your judgment being more impaired than if you were drunk instead of just having an adrenaline/cortisol fallout.

    It’s not fun. But it is manageable.

    Some people stash Clif Bars as emergency sugar, I stash apples đŸ™‚

    Kill them all on the 15th!

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