Well, that didn’t work out…

Last night, I got one of the most annoying lows you can get (I mean, they’re ALL annoying, but some are worse than others). This was the “I’m literally about to turn out the light and go to sleep” low. You’re tired, ready for bed, teeth are brushed and the last thing you want to do is get out of bed, eat a bunch of sugar, and then wait for your BG to come back up.

But this low had me freaked out enough to act quickly. The Dexcom showed a 65mg/dL with double arrows pointing down, and a finger stick confirmed it. I threw off the covers, headed to the fridge and then did exactly what you shouldn’t do right before bed: I over-treated the low.

The double arrows down made me nervous, and I knew I had bolused three units for dinner. Because we had eaten later than usual that evening, I knew my rapid-acting was still working and I was afraid it would continue to drive my numbers down. So I did what any not-thinking-rationally-because-she’s-low-and-scared gal would do: I shoveled double the amount of carbs needed to treat a low down my throat, waited until the arrow started going up on the Dexcom, and finally, shut off the bedside lamp to drift off to dreamland.

I woke up several times during the night to the buzz of the Dexcom telling me “High,” but now I was afraid to treat the high. I worried that because I’d been low before bed that even a small correction would drop me low again (by the way, this is also irrational thinking when it’s happening at 5am, a full seven hours after said low…being sleepy does not make for great judgement).

So I woke up to this:

Rough night

You can see the low where the line turns red around 10pm the night before. And then a steady, consistent high blood sugar all night long, thanks to the nearly 40 carbs I ingested right before sleep. These are the tough lows to treat rationally though. The lows that make you feel like something is really, really wrong and you need to fix it NOW. It’s a hard feeling to explain to someone who’s never been through it but it’s a primal, raw feeling of survival. You feel like there’s nothing you wouldn’t barrel through to get to some sugar, and the instinct is to eat until you feel better. But I will continue to try and resist over-treating these lows because they are NOT worth spending 7 hours over 200 for. Yuck.

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Perfect illustration of one of those sucky truths of diabetes – it take only minutes to raise your blood sugar 100 points but 4-5 hours to bring it back down.

It makes me wish there was a way to deliver insulin straight into a vein. I’d be more than happy to sign the “Hey – it’s really easy to kill yourself doing this” waiver if it were possible. 8 years ago I was in the hospital having just been diagnosed with primary adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s Disease). As part of the treatment to bring you out of crisis mode they pump you full of IV steroids…I’m talking huge amounts of steroids. You can imagine how high my blood sugar was – being in the 200s was good at that time – and how bad I was feeling as a result. Finally my treating endocrinologist ordered an IV bag of insulin (I was already in ICU so was being monitored constantly) and in about 15 minutes I could tell I was feeling better. It took about 30 minutes to drop me from the high 300s to 150.

JPE – how fascinating for you to experience having insulin sent straight to your vein with the IV drip – and what awesome results! I would imagine few, if any companies would look into this delivery method though primarily because of what you said about the waiver. Its such a drag though how much time we waste having high blood sugars and feeling crummy.

Oh I can totally relate. I’m horrible about over-correcting hypoglycemia. Here’s a photo of my Dexcom last night as a perfect example. And I vaguely remember waking up in the night to the sound of the alarms telling me I was over 200 mg/dL, but did I do anything about it? Nope. At least not until around 6am.


Hahah you get it David!

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