Relax. Don’t Do It.

I consider myself a cyclical sleeper.  That is I go through phases of sleeping like a normal person and hopefully getting balanced sleep and then phases of extremely interrupted sleep or just a pretty acute lack ‘o sleep.

2 weeks ago I was visiting my parents.  I have a truly beautiful and happy-go-lucky little nephew.  I am pretty sure my nephew would love to get to know my dog better.  My dog seems quite determined to bark like crazy every time my nephew makes a peep.  My otherwise awesome dog woke my nephew up once within hours of his being there.  My awesome dog is a jerk at my parent’s house.

pop tongue

My happy-go-lucky nephew’s crib is in the room next to where I sleep.  If you are not used to the Dexcom high or low beeps, they are fairly loud in a not so densely walled house.  I decided to switch from my overnight Dexcom audio to vibrate.  I even slept in PJ’s with a pocket so I would feel the alarm.  The Dexcom ended-up out of my pocket and under my ribs while I slept.  I had run earlier that day and the weather had been quite hot (anyone else see the low bg coming in this story?).  My vibrating ribs woke me up (If I’m ever in a band I will call it Vibrating Ribs).  Glucosticks to the rescue, back to sleep.  More vibrating, more Glucosticks, back to sleep.

This formula worked pretty well (not counting going low in my sleep twice… ahhhh running).  The vibration woke me up both times.  Great.  Dex rocks and no one else woke up.

So I got lackadaisical.  Who me?  Lazy?  No, say it isn’t so.  Careless?  Say What?

Yes, me.  I have probably put my Dex on audio overnight 2 times since visiting my parents.  Both times it was on days I did killer workouts.  Otherwise, it was a nice break to not hear the beeping at 171 when my HIGH beep starts at 170.  I have been sleeping with Dex on my pillow.  Sometimes Dex slides off and is under my arm, but I haven’t been running too low so yes, I thought all was well.

I spend a lot of time worrying that I will be another statistic of Dead In Bed Syndrome.  I worry that I will miss vital medical treatment because no one will know I’m unconscious in my bed.  I worry that if these scenarios happen on a weekend, my office won’t know to look for me until Monday and by then my body will stink and my dog will have possibly eaten my fingers (if you are squeamish, I absolutely should have warned you that I love shows like Criminal Minds and Dexter.  Oops.  Sorry.  Walk away from the blog now).  I got a Dexcom 7+ a year and half ago for EXACTLY these scenarios.  Every time I read of a case of Dead In Bed, I thank my lucky stars I have my Dex G4 and that on quite a few occasions Dex wakes me up, NOT my own body.  So why, WHY, would I relax about the audio on the Dexcom?  Why would I trust vibrate?  Because it worked before and therefore would absolutely do the trick again?

Diabetes dummy.  There is no relaxing.  I’m not a rookie.  I am however someone who’s been waking up with perfect bgs at 3am and finding myself unable to fall back asleep for hours.  Oh sleep, I need a good night’s sleep.  I didn’t turn off Dex, I just switched to vibrate.  That’s OK, right?

LOW bg

This morning I woke up and immediately felt the fuzz of being low.  I laid there feeling low.  My phone alarm would be going off in 5 minutes.  Oh I should hit snooze.  The alarm hadn’t gone off yet though.  There was no snooze to press.  Then what’s that noise?  Wait, I feel low, not like emergency low, but I-am-not-quite-right low.  Oh Dexcom.  Under my arm.  Dexcom.  Maybe I went low overnight.  No, I’m low right now.  65.  On the other side of me, in my bed, glucose tablets.  Grabbed them.  Ate 2.  Phone alarm went off.  Hit snooze.  Dexcom kept beeping.  66.

66 bg

Ate another glucose tablet.  Sat up in bed.  Fuzzy headache.  Looked at Dex.  Still too low.  Been low for awhile.  Scrolled back.  Horror.  I’d been low since shortly after 2am.  Took pics of Dexcom screen.  I should blog about this.  THIS is MY fault.  Sit up.  Dog is awake and burying head in pillow.  I am exhausted.  Head still hurts.  I am not shaky.  I don’t feel great.  Ask dog to make me coffee.  Nope.  He still won’t learn to do it.  He flat out ignores me.  Turn on TV.  Dexcom is buzzing.  It’s now under pillow.  Pillow keeps buzzing.  Still in 70s.  Check meter.  Yep, 70s.  Dog is back to sleep.  He’s not making me coffee.  Go make myself coffee.  Sit on bed.  Dex keeps beeping.  Under 90 pic (my low setting).  This is my fault.  Tweet pic of Dexcom.  Think back on my evening.  Didn’t each much.  Didn’t bolus much either.  Strolled 30 blocks after while I chatted with my Mom on the phone.  Was in 180s pre-bed.  Took conservative correction.  Hours later I dropped.  I never turned on the audio.  I know better.  No one would know I was dead or unconscious.  Drink coffee in shower.  Listen to Beyonce.  “I’m a Survivor”.  Rub-A-dub-dub.  No crying.  Things happen.  I am fine.  Get dressed.  I love this dress.  No one would have known I was dead.  Double arrow up on Dexcom.  Bg is too high now.  Take correction.  Walk out front door.  Eyes get misty in hallway.  Fight back tears in elevator.  I am tired.  I finally slept through the night.

THIS was my fault.

Turn Dexcom audio on.


12 thoughts on “Relax. Don’t Do It.

  1. oh sucky Alecia! Sorry to see/hear that. For some reason, the high beep is NOT waking me up, soi I have taken to putting it on the string around my neck even when i sleep and then putting it in my shirt….if I don’t hear it, i do feel it….for I do fear that dead in bed thing…but NO ONE would know for weeks. I mean that is how long it would be before someone wanted the rent, or an answer from me…my boss is in NYC…he’d just think i was ignoring him…..your range is awfully tight though 90 – 170? i couldn’t be that good. i am on 70 – 200 and that is as good as I want right now….sigh….well hang in there chica!

  2. Ugh. Glad you’re okay and pushed through the morning. That sucks that sleeping through night often means something went wrong. I’m at a point where if I do wake up feeling like I slept well my immediate next thought is, great, my bg went to hell. Do you always drink coffee in the shower?

  3. I find vibrate mode to be completely useless at night. Fortunately, if you continue to ignore the Medtronic vibrating alerts, it graduates to subtle beeps and then full “siren” mode (more like the British police “bee-boo-bee-boo” and not the American wailing/stuttering/car-alarm sound). That’s usually when I wake up. (True, the last two days I woke in the 60s and the CGM said I was in the 90s, but let’s not go there.)

    I’m really glad you didn’t wake up dead. That would have really been upsetting. Let’s hope that never happens.

    The post ended up with Beyonce and started with Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Interesting…

  4. Alecia, don’t beat yourself up so much. We are human with human tendencies. One of those tendencies is to sleep. It’s scary to think of what could have happened but that will drive you insane for sure. At least you didn’t ignore it knowingly like I’ve heard other people do 😉 Take it as a lesson learned and keep the sound on starting today if that will make you feel safer. I could always set up a daily check in with you if you’d like 🙂

    • Awwww thx Stacey. I shared a room with my college roomie this weekend. I went up to 175 the second night about 2 hours after I fell asleep. I switched Dex to vibrate and even though I corrected, I hovered between 198 and 165 the rest of the night. I woke up at 1am with a bad dream and was crying, my Dex kept vibrating, and I forgot to turn off my alarm which went off at 7am. She pointed out to me, that she now knows why I’m tired. 😉

What do you think?