Another Night, Another Battle with the DMonster

3:15am.  I looked at the clock and began to do the math. How long was it since my son went to bed? What would his bg level have been? Do I really need to test yet or was it too soon? My bed was comfy.  It took me forever to fall asleep.  Did I need to get up or should I sleep another hour?
I figured that he had probably tested around 1am but something still made me drag my tired butt out of bed. I made sure to not be fully awake. No major movements to disturb the still sleeping parts of my body.  All would be fine. My mind would be appeased and I could go back to bed…or so I would have liked but the meter said differently.
He was 4.3 (77).  Not ideal for sleeping in my world.  I quickly woke the rest of my body and my brain began to fire on a few more cylinders.  It was time to find some glucose! I went to the fridge and for some reason it was filled with diet Pepsi, diet lemonade, and zero calorie flavored water.  Nothing with any decent amount of carbs in it! Okay no panic I had glucose somewhere. Eventually I found a bottle of liquid glucose.  I got my son up enough to drink and sat on the couch to wait.
I checked out the world of Twitter. I caught up on the latest happenings in the world of Facebook and read a few pages of my book.  Soon it was time to check him again.  Success…well sort of. He was now 4.6 (83).  It was still far from ideals but he was on his way up.  I scoured his room and found a bottle of glucose tablets. He would not be happy in the morning. He says that they leave a crappy taste in his mouth when he gets up but a glucose hangover it would be.  I fed him three tablets while he slept and returned to my own bed.
I wish I could say that I instantly fell asleep but I didn’t.  By 5:30 I was still staring at  the clock.  Thankfully its Saturday so I could sleep in a little bit but by 6 I checked one more time just to make sure all was still okay. He was a lovely 7(126) so I was happy to doze for a few more hours.
Diabetes may have kicked my sleep pattern to the curb for one night but we are ready to fight another day…and make a few changes to summer basal patterns!fight the d monster


One for Diabetes…Sleepless for me

Diabetes wins…but I put up a good fight!

This weekend was definitely one made for my youngest son.  Friday night he got to take his quad for a run.  He was able to check out a few new roads and race his machine over the snow.  An hour of activity, no real need to worry abut a drop in bg levels during the night.

Saturday saw him head out for another few runs.  He continued his exploration, following skidoo trails and finding amazing paths…until he hit a bog.  He found himself knee deep in mud with a quad that refused to budge.  There were no trees near enough for him to winch the bike out.  His phone had died thanks to the cold.  My young son and his friend began the trek back to the cabin with plans to return to the area in the daylight with reinforcements. 

He got back with a reading of 3.9 (70).  He was just in time to grab a juice before diabetes could cause him trouble.

Later that evening, fearing that someone else might remove the quad from the mud before morning, we headed back to get his machine.  After Mom ended up with mud in her boots and deftly avoided a near disastrous fall into the mud, the quad was free and back on the snow where it belonged. 

That night he ate…and he ate.  Mom was thinking however and under bolused his meals.  Diabetes was not going to ruin her night’s sleep! It didn’t. When I woke to test him, he was in a beautiful range and we both could continue to rest uneventfully. 

Sunday was another day of fun…without the mud.  My son headed off to re-explore a trail we had enjoyed in the spring.  We then packed up our belongings and headed for home.  Before my car was unpacked, he was off again but this time on skidoo.  Two hours of racing through powder I am sure topped off his weekend and made studying for exams that evening slightly more bearable.

I should have known that there would be trouble. I had dodged the bullet all weekend.  He had some hot chocolate as he studied.  He later came into my room announcing that I had failed in my carb counting and he was low.  I reminded him to be over 6(108) before heading to bed.  After a few more prompts of “did you test?”, we both headed off to sleep.

I planned to wake by 2 or 3 at the latest but those watching over my son knew better. I slept until 4am. I kicked myself as I got out of bed.  Somehow I knew that this night I was not going to be lucky. This was the night that he would be low.  

My premonition was dead on.  He wasn’t low…yet but my continuous glucose mom alarm said that he was probably dropping.  Two glucose tablets in his mouth and I headed back to bed to wait.  I knew I wouldn’t sleep. I hoped for a 15 minute nap at least but no, I stayed awake, watching the clock and reading about other mother’s also up with their children with diabetes.  After 15 minutes I checked my son’s blood again.  He had stayed the same.  More glucose tablets were required. I was not going to be able to sleep with him in the 4s (70s).

As the clock ticked down, I waited.  I tossed in my bed. I wondered if it would be possible to go back to sleep after all of this. I knew it would not be easy and that by 6am my upstairs neighbours would be banging around getting ready for work.  I was right on all counts.  My son was finally in range after 5am and I probably got another 30 minutes of sleep before I had to get up. 

Diabetes won this round…but I still have my son.

Why did I listen?

I could use some toothpicks to hold up my eyelids today.  First I tossed and turned in bed.  I finally fell asleep after one this morning and woke in a panic at 4am.  I wanted to test my son a little earlier than that but it was what it was. 

I dragged myself out of bed. Despite tweaks to his basal rate he was still running high. I wondered if it was a carb counting error because he simply eyeballs his cereal rather than weighing it.  Yes, he does normally get that right but still it bugs the control freak in me.  

I input the correction into his pump and waited.  Every night for the past two nights, the pump has complained of a blockage part way through the correction. Yes, that should have been a warning to me. I should have changed the site on one of those two times but his readings were pretty good at all other times.  

Foolishly, I mentioned the issue to my son and suggested that he may want to do a site change. He told me that it was all in my head. The site was fine. The reason for the alarm was that he was sleeping on his stomach when the correction was deliverying and that was causing the occlusion alarm.  

Why did that make sense to me? I have no idea.  I guess because its was a large dose of insulin versus the normal nightly basal delivery. For some reason I was okay with his reasoning…until the third time! 

Last night I once again waited. Once again I was not to be disappointed.  His pump swore that there was still a problem. I gave up.  A site change it was.  Four in the morning, weary but out came the supplies and up popped my son in his bed wondering what I was doing! I was relieving myself of further anxiety and stress. The site was moving! 

The correction worked perfectly in the new location and he swears that all is fine this morning.  I am still not sure why I bothered to listen to his logic the first time around but live and learn I guess! 

All in a night’s work

“Your correction didn’t work.” 

“What do you mean?  Did you fix it?”

My son looked at me a little strange. “There must have been a kink in the tubing or something.  The correction didn’t work. I fixed it when I got up.”

It was now my turn to be perplexed. “Why didn’t you just fix it last night when I corrected you?” For some reason I feared an occlusion alarm last night but really didn’t worry because my son was awake and would be able to deal with it. 

“Why would I fix it?” he asked. “I was asleep.” 

I told him that he was not asleep. He jumped up in his bed when I took his finger to test and then sat there staring at me.  When I did test him I asked him if he felt high.  He said no so I retested to make sure that the meter was accurate. I also asked him if he had been high before he went to bed but he didn’t think he had remembered to do that last test. 

My son continued to look at me like I was insane. “I did not wake up last night. I don’t remember you coming in to test me. I never talked to you after you went to bed until now.” 

The look on my son’s face when he jumped up in his bed did make me wonder if he was low or a little bit out of it.  My boys do talk in their sleep and have been known to climb walls while chasing someone in their dreams so the fact that my youngest failed to remember any of our conversation last night is not overly concerning.  The fact that he was high after being lower the night before is more likely attributed to the incredible amount of restaurant pizza than it is to a rebound. All in all, its just another night in our slightly odd life with diabetes! 

I often feel like the mother in Robert Munch’s “Love you forever

Waking up is a good thing

My son got off of the plane, stumbled towards me and yawned. He had to be up at 6am and for a teen who likes to sleep until noon, this was just way too early!

After our initial chatter he turned to me and said “You will be happy to know that I now wake up from my lows.”  

“You mean you woke up more than once?”

“Yeah, I wake up feeling starved. I hate it. It messes with my sleep.”

“Waking up is a good thing. The alternative is not waking up!” 

“I know but it wrecks my sleep. I would rather have uninterrupted sleep.” 

“That is not an option.  Waking up is a great thing. I hope you continue it!” 

“Sleep is a good thing. I would really rather just keep sleeping. That would be great.”

I shook my head and attempted to explain that an eternal sleep was not an ideal. My son grumbled some more. He is not nearly as enthused as his mother is.  He understands my relief but yet another glitch in his life thanks to Diabetes is not at all welcome.  

Oh well! Hopefully we are onto something that lasts! 

Sometimes your the bug

Originally posted in 2009 but the feelings remain the same….

Today I am definitely feeling like the bug. Its after midnight and of course I was dying to get to sleep. I set my alarm for early tomorrow morning…my son’s last day of school. I found a meter and a strip. I grabbed a lancet, waded through all of the junk that the boys had left on the stairs rather than putting away and was off to test. One last check for a few hours. One check and I could sleep! We had been out for pizza to celebrate good grades so my youngest son would still be high. He was 16 (288) earlier so you know I was going to be able to rest.

Wrong! I took the meter. I filled his finger with blood. The strip refused to suck. What the???? Okay, I cleaned the finger. I got more blood. I tried again. It just barely accepted the blood. I waited for the reading…E5. It was an error reading!! Not enough blood. Oh the lovely four letter words that were on the tip of my tongue as I headed back downstairs. Let me try this again.

New meter. This one had to be better. New strip. Same lancing device. Back up the stairs, this time grumbling and picking up items as I went. I threw the items off to the side for the boys to deal with tomorrow and headed to my son’s bed. Once again, I lance his finger. Once again, I get a large amount of blood. The strip sucks this time. I walk towards the stairs not even thinking about having to correct. Good thing…he was 3.2 (57). More choice words as I shuffle off to get some juice. I fill a glass, find a straw and do those stairs for a third time in less than five minutes. He is not keen on drinking. I finally get him to sip. He drinks it all except the last few drops. Those are sucked up into the straw and then fly all over his pillow. He is using my cream pillow cases and I have managed to get strawberry juice on them! I can’t even blame him but I am choked. I clean them as best as I can and now I wait. Why are 15 minutes a lifetime when you are dead tired and simply want this day to end?

Yeah! 5.5 (99) and I am off to bed for two hours. Oh the fun! Oh the joys! Oh where is my DexCom Seven Plus????

Twice in one year!

Last night I pulled out the log book we are keeping for our next d-clinic appointment (and I will probably try keeping it up for a while after).  I grabbed my son’s meter and began to write down the results.  

After our chat the day before about missed tests, everything was in a row.  Tests were done. Life was looking good. Readings were everywhere of course. There were highs that I thought I had taken care of and there was a low…where in the world did that come from!!! There was a low at 1am. I never dealt with that low. My son and I had watched a movie together that night and gone to bed at the same time! The lights were out in his room at midnight but there is a 2.6(47) at one in the morning!!!

I yelled out to my son. “Get out here!!!” I was trying to breathe and focus.  He was low at one in the morning.  He didn’t retest but he was okay. He was alive when I checked him at 3am.  He had woken up to a low??? He has only once in over twelve years of diabetes ever woke to a low. He woke to a low? 

My son came out of his room wondering what he had done wrong.  “I tested Mom.  You can see. I did all of my tests.”

“Yes and you did one at 1am and you were low.”

“I know and I was scared I would fall asleep before I could retest so I made sure that I had a really big glass of juice and followed it up with bread and jam.  I figured that that should keep me safe either way.”

I wanted to cry.  I was so very happy that he had woken up on his own. How did I miss this? I never even woke to hear him get up! He had done it all on his own.  He was okay! 

“You did perfectly.  I am so impressed that you woke up!”

“Me too.” he said in a sheepish voice. 

“Next time, wake me up.  I would have covered you in case you fell asleep. Don’t ever deal with a low by yourself if it can be helped.  Its better to have someone watch your back just in case you do fall asleep. Lows can make you tired at the best of times. Just come in and get me.  I will gladly give you a hand but you did a great job.  I am really impressed and so glad that you woke up!” 

I could see the relief in his face and again it made me want to cry.  He was growing. He was learning.  He had a few more years to get this on his own but he was working towards it and its is such a heavy burden.  I cannot begin to imagine what it is like to know, to grow up and know that if you don’t wake up at night when your body is low and if you don’t treat it properly…well you might not wake up.  No child, no adult for that matter should have to live with that knowledge in the back of their head. 

I am so glad he woke but boy do I hate diabetes!  

Angels and alarm clocks

“Mom, I am going out on bike for a bit!”

“Did you test?”

“Did I test? Mom, would I engage in strenuous physical activity without first testing my blood sugar levels? Of course I tested!”

Insert eye roll! “Yes you would!” I yelled to him as he headed out the door. I do have to admit however, that he is improving. He still forgets to test. He still is not keen on testing or showing his pump in public but he is getting better.

When he goes out, I still have moments of panic.  Will he deal with a low when he is with his friends or will he find himself in trouble? Did he remember all of his supplies? Are his pockets filled with glucose? Does he have his phone? The moments of panic are fading a little more quickly. I am starting to have a bit of confidence in his abilities but I am sure that I will never be 100% free of worry.

My son returned to the house after an hour, full of sweat and ready to jump in the shower. “Don’t forget to test!” I reminded him. It was his turn to give me the eye roll!

That night I went through his meter. I had been slack in checking but all had seemed good. I knew that with increased summer activity problems were soon going to arise but once again I debated…lower the night time basal and risk him going high or let it ride? He hadn’t been that active…or so I thought. Perhaps the day of studying and being a lump would offset the activity in the evening and he would be good to go. I left things alone reminding him to test before he went to bed.  His meter had shown that he was staying up a lot later than normal and was testing before he went to sleep so he should have had a good gauge of his night reading before he pulled up the sheets.

I went to bed, resetting my internal alarm clock to a little later than normal.  It didn’t work. I woke up at 1.  My son was still up. He had tested and was 6.8(120ish).  Why is it that you always assume that they will drop during the night? I liked 6.8. It was a nice reading but I didn’t trust it. He was going to drop. I reset my internal alarm until 3 or 4am and back to sleep I went. On cue, I was awake by 4.  On cue, he was 4.1(74). I gave him a large glass of apple juice and crawled back into my bed for 15 minutes.  A retest revealed….that his blood glucose level had not moved. CRAP and thank goodness I woke up! More juice, more waiting and finally, close to 6am, he was back in range. I drifted back to sleep with plans of changing his basal rates in the morning.

I hate diabetes but once again, I am so grateful that I have those guardian angels that wake me up before we reach extreme lows.

Update after…Hating Five

I was driving in the car with my youngest son. He yawned and I asked if he was tired. 


“Well, I thought you might be tired since I was up all night wondering when you were going to go low.  You hovered between 4 and 5 all night. I wasn’t sure what to do and didn’t want to send you high so I ended up awake for most of the night. You finally did go low, I gave you a juice and things eventually worked out.”

“Next time give me a sandwich.”


“Next time I’m low.  Don’t worry about the juice, I would rather have a sandwich.”

Oh my! Teen boys and food! Its not like I haven’t fed him a sandwich while he slept before but that was back in the days of injections and NPH. Nowadays its juice, gel or tablets and some sleep. 

After this nightmare night, as I mentioned, I had to decide if I should decrease the basal rate or give it one more shot.  We had a huge dumping of snow that day and my son had been out shoveling for a few hours. When the evening came, I had to decide what to do. I went with the wait and see approach. In hindsight, it wasn’t my most brilliant decision but this time he was over 7 (130ish) before going to bed so I thought I had a lot more wiggle room.

Wrong! Two o’clock in the morning saw him dropping again. There was no sandwich.  I found some regular pop and decreased his basal rate.  I also changed the previous rate back down to where it was to begin with. I was not taking any more chances!

Why I hate Five

Its been three Thursdays and we are still doing the “Reading Review Thursdays“! Yesterday was actually a bit of a fluke.  My son had been having high reading overnight for the past three days. I knew that it was time to make a change. I decided that it was easiest to look at the rest of his readings then as well.  As I was writing down dates, I realized that it was Thursday! I was right on schedule. Yeah me!

Yes, I need a life and am a little sleep deprived.  You see, despite being high for three nights (and I mean close to 20 or 360 for my American pals) my son was perfect to on the low side all night long last night. 

After our pump tweaking, we sat at the kitchen table and chatted while he drank a Tim Horton’s smoothie.  He was 4.5(81) before he started.  He then ate two Eggo’s as well.  I felt that he would soon be running a lot higher and my basal changes came just in time!

Erring on the side of caution however, about 20 minutes after he went to bed I had him test again. He was 4.2 (75)! Crap! I sent him to the kitchen to chug a glass of juice. 

“Should I stay up and retest because I am low?”
“Well, you aren’t technically low. You are just in a range that I really don’t like you to go to sleep at.  The juice should cover it. You have school tomorrow, get some rest and I will check later.”

I checked him a few hours later and he was right around 5 (90).  Was he going to go up or drop? I was not going to get any sleep.  I hate these nights–no clear low but clearly not safe yet either.  I didn’t want to add glucose and send him too high but was it safe to leave him? Would he stay around 5? Could I be that lucky? My mind would continue to race like this all night long.

I slept for another hour but I had to get up and check again. He was dropping.  At 4.2(75) I gave him juice, grabbed my book and waited.  By 4am, he was back up to 5.6 (101) and I could sleep for another couple of hours.  By 6am I was up again but he was finally up over my favorite number 6 and had climbed to 8.6(155).  A bit of peace at last!!

Today I have to decide if I keep the basal rates at their new higher level and risk a repeat performance (although with a little knowledge, a temporary basal would be added to the mix if things began to tank) or if I go back to the old settings and assume that the highs were site related. Decisions, decisions. Just another night on the Diabetes Roller coaster.