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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Saved by the bell?

1:06 AM last night (today?). My pump had been vibrating for (it turns out) for about an hour, trying to get my attention. Blood glucose reminder.

I finally wake up enough to acknowledge the alert and get it to stop bothering me. But I realize that I'm really honking hungry. REALLY hungry. Hungry enough to pursued me to actually check my blood glucose.

I prop myself up on one elbow, fumble around until I've gathered my bottle of test strips, my lancing device, and my FreeStyle Flash meter (I love the light on the end). I get everything set, apply the blood to the strip, and almost before I was able to lick the blood off my finger the result was on the screen. 34 mg/dl.

Two thoughts cross my mind at almost the same time. 1) Yikes! 2) How the heck did that happen?

I chalked up the low BG to being really, really sloppy in my eating and counting and bolusing earlier in the evening. Really sloppy.

As I hoovered up everything I could find in the kitchen, I was really struck by the timing of everything.

When I take any type of bolus later in the evening, I try my best to remember to bypass the blood glucose reminder (by pressing the touch bolus button when "deliver" is above the right button) so that it doesn't wake me up a couple hours later.

In this case I obviously forgot to bypass that reminder. Good thing I did.

The reminder had been buzzing away for 59 minutes before I crawled out of whatever REM state I was in to acknowledge it. Most other nights that I'm disturbed by a pump alert I just press the button to silence it so I can go back to sleep. To say that I even wake up to silence it would be a stretch.

This time when I acknowledged the alert, I felt a strong sense of hunger, but not a single other symptom of being low. Nothing. I'm usually very able to sense my low BG's, even at night. I usually wake up feeling low WAY before I get down that far.

Was I dropping so rapidly that I didn't experience those familiar and uncomfortable feelings? Was I so overly tired that I just slept right through them? What happened?

I was really quite disturbed by not waking up feeling low, and not really even feeling low until I saw the number on my meter. And I was scared shitless about what might have happened if I hadn't forgotten to bypass the BG reminder some three or four hours earlier...

Thank God for the little things that sometimes make a very big difference.

9 Comments:

Anonymous in search of balance said...

Woah, Scott, that's scary! I'm so glad to hear that your pump alarm saved you from an even lower number. Sometimes I think shots and the pump are pretty similar, and then other times, like the one you just mentioned, it's very clear that they're NOT. And what a moment of providence when you forgot to cancel the alarm.

Glad you're okay. Hope you're feeling better and don't have the hypo-hangover. And thank heavens for your pump!!!!

1:15 AM  
Blogger Bernard said...

Scott

I'm glad you used the alarm by accident and were woken up. Thank God for watching over you.

I'm up in the middle of the night because I got a NO DELIVERY alarm. No idea why, but you can't ignore the combined beeping and buzzing. That's the subject for a diabetes365 photo later today.

Back to bed for me. Good to hear from you brother.

2:00 AM  
Blogger Amylia said...

Saved the bell, indeed. What a blessing that the alarm sounded. Sometimes our feelings of high/low readings are off and that is scary stuff.

So glad you were okay. I hope you are doing well. :)

2:59 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Scott, I'm glad you still had your senses about you to get up & not just go back to sleep. When I'm getting that low - especially in the middle of the night - it's pretty difficult to distinguish between low & dreamland. Thank God you were able to tell the difference!

6:20 AM  
Blogger Chrissie in Belgium said...

So glad you are OK!!!! It is spooky when you see a number in the 30s and you don't feel bad AT ALL! I think our heads ARE in a fog, but we don't know it. If we try and do something it soon hits us that something isn't working right...... Usually, when I don't believe the number I will do many tests, like five opr six. I will start thinking is that the average, which one is correct, the 32 or the 31 or the 30, i don't see the essential that they are all too low! I am SO glad you had that alarm! That was a close one. We always seem to manage.....do people really just die? We all have had so many close calls. It makes one wonder, but one cannnot go on worrying about it can we?! GLAD YOU ARE OK!!!!!

9:20 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

glad to hear you are okay. Those really low lows stink. I usually feel normal initially and then start to feel really bad while my blood sugar is rising. I don't know if it's a psychological thing or what, but as soon as I see the number, I start to feel much worse.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Scott, I think you once asked me how I could go that low ... well, welcome to the 30 mg/dL club, a club that much like the T1DM club, is involuntarily entered!

I cannot help but wonder why anyone should be blaming themselves (have we all been brainwashed?) for sloppy eating habits causing this -- the reality is that the very treatment we're expected to tolerate 24/7/365(366 in a leap year) is to blame for this -- we are, after all, only human, not a member of the SuperFriends (you're real name isn't Clark Kent or Peter Parker, is it?).

One other observation. You obviously do not have an Animas pump, as its impossible not to hear that one from down the street. The one alarm I got when I was wearing my pump was enough to deafen me. My hearing never recovered!

Seriously, though, I think we've all been saved by these unrelated gifts on occasion (I wonder how many of my cat's 9 lives I personally have used up?), and I have to believe that no one goes until their creator is ready for them. OK (or is that OJ?), I've prosthelized enough for today. Glad you lived to write about it!

7:26 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

So Screech woke you up, huh?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I'm glad you're OK.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Ann said...

I am very glad that you are doing well. and thank heaven.

7:47 AM  

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