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.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. Patient Success Manager, USA for mySugr (All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer).

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…