Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lows Happen - at Night

I love my friends!
I especially love my non-D friends who ask me questions and in turn inspire me to write about them. Often times I don't write simply because I have no ideas.

I forget that this blog reaches people I don't know. People like other non-D friends or family or strangers or monkeys. Or those nasty turds out there on the internet that try and hijack my comments with their bullsh*t junkspam (I hate you by the way).

My friend, she asked me about a facebook status I wrote about sinking a ship with the amount of peanut butter I ate post 2:30am low one night. For many years when I was on injections I would go severely low EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT. I would chug - yes chug - honey and syrup before bed and leave it beside me. I was literally drinking entire bottles of honey in less than a couple weeks. *gag* right?! It didn't seem to matter what time of the day or what dosage of my long acting insulin I took. My nights were always horrible severe lows. This was the primary reason I wanted to go on a pump. So I could finally customize my night time basal rates to my needs.

I stopped having nightmare lows. It was blissful!

I'm going somewhere with this, trust me.

I got used to night time lows being the norm. I got used to trusting my body to wake me up. My friend asked if it scares the crap out of me. It no longer does, ever. At first it did but after years I just learned to accept it. I would crawl out of bed so as not to wake my partner while I slumped on the couch in a sweaty shaky mess. It was NORMAL for me to do this nightly. So wrong.

For the past couple years I got into setting a 2 or 3am alarm to get up and just check in with my beeg. Sometimes I need a small correction bolus and sometimes I would prevent a low but most of the time it was peachy keen. So I stopped setting the alarm. Guess what happened? I naturally started waking up almost every single night between 2 and 3. What happens to a T1D who gets up for no reason in the middle of the night? Testing my beeg just became a thing. It's the first thing I think about no matter what time of the night I wake up. Test beeg, get on with it. Most of the time I have zero recollection of even doing this.

I do not fear lows. I don't fear them at night. Maybe being a light sleeper works to my advantage? Lows at night often need to get to a certain degree before they wake me up but I ALWAYS trust my body. Sometimes I wake up at a 3.8mmol/l (68mg/dl) and other times it takes a 2.0mmol/l (36mg/dl) but I always wake up. I know this isn't always the case for other D-folks. Sometimes I even go to bed knowing the exercise or the bolus I took will almost certainly cause my beeg to tank. Yet I won't bother to set an alarm or eat something just because I don't feel like it. I'll deal with it when I wake up low.

Back to my friends' questions. No it doesn't scare the crap out of me simply because I'm so used to it. The peanut butter? I always try to follow up a low with a spoonful of pb. Or as Reyna calls them, "peanut butter lollipops!". The fat and protein in a couple scoops of pb helps to level out the effects of the low. It keeps other subsequent lows from happening.

For the record, this particular night as I was stumbling while trying to grab a glucose gel from the shelf in my closet I knocked a box full of nail polish bottles from about 6' onto the wood floor. It was 2:30am. My poor house-mate-chick-friend is not used to my middle-of-the-night low shenanigans. I had to tell her the next morning and ease her suspicions that someone was not in fact breaking into the house. It was just a low-brained Scully.

By being asked this question it brought to my attention that I've been having lows almost nightly again. It's time to address which of the tons of factors it might be. Back to exercising regularly? Basals too high? Difference in air pressure from my house that I sold? I did move from on top of the escarpment to below it. You never know! Perhaps the sun rising from a different direction....? Could be anything but nightly lows are giving me regular morning hypo-hangovers.


  1. Scully, you are fearless. I don't have any advice (lucky for you), except that sometimes small basal adjustments go a long way.

    FYI, I'm a big honey, then PB user to treat lows too. And if I get a PB & honey sandwich? It's almost worth it. Almost.

  2. I also had a bad "hangover" this morning. I could barely function. I made it from bed to the couch. Really hit me hard. My thing is that I know I am high during the night because i get up to pee a lot but i'm so freakin' tired i don't fix the problem... need to rectify this behavior Stat!

  3. Waking up for lows is a good, good thing! Sometimes Bean does, sometimes not. Just glad that I either (a) wake up when my alarm goes off or (b)hear the alarm on her dexcom when it goes off.
    I can only imagine the learning curve for a roommate to hearing pantry disturbances in the middle of the night! Maybe you can blame it on the monkey! ;)

  4. Wow. I cannot imagine Joe ever waking up for a low...he sleeps like the dead. AND ... EWWWWWWWWWWW on straight-up honey. Good luck with the tweaking girl. I hope you get rid of the night lows soon. :)


Due to low life spam monkeys I am forced to moderate comments and I hate it (But I hate spam monkeys more)