Thursday, November 1, 2012

The other night

Okay so it wasn't really the other night, this was like a month ago.

The other night I had oatmeal before bed. Which is totally okay because oatmeal is probably my favourite food. It was late, I hadn't eaten much that day and had gone for a technical and difficult trail run that afternoon.

I was in bed by about 10:30pm with a BG of around 10.0mmol/l (180mg/dl) 1.5hours post oatmeal. I set an alarm for 12:30am to get up and test ye olde beeg as I do almost every single night.

As I lay there peering through one eye at the light on my meter a 15.7mmol/l (282mg/dl) is what glared back at me in my drunken state of sleep. I was not in fact drunk but I always feel drunk when I have to be coherent in the middle of the night. I grumbled and groaned and remember thinking, "not cool, yo. Not cool. Dang oatmeal. Oatmeal never messes with me, oh well, correct any way." I was appreciative that I set a check beeg alarm. I was appreciative that I was aware enough to bolus a 5-unit correction via my insulin pump. I promptly fell back asleep hardly aware of even waking up.

1:45am and I'm restless. What the eff? With a natural tendency to check the beeg again and it had me at 6.2mmol/l (112mg/dl). It was a bit over an hour since my correction which had me suddenly bolting upright to do math in the middle of the night. I was restless because my blood sugar was coming down quickly.

5 units of insulin. 4-hour active insulin time. 1 hour post correction. 5 divided by 4 is 1.25u/hour of correction bolus. 15.7mmol down to 6.2mmol is a drop of 9.5mmol/l over about an hour. This isn't right. My BG shouldn't even be dropping yet after an hour and certainly not by almost 10mmol! 

So I start going back... there's no way I was 15.7mmol at 12:30am. It just doesn't add up. I must have had some residue on the finger I used to test with. Maybe a bit of smear from the small handful of chocolate chips I put in my oatmeal hours earlier. Maybe I touched a sticky door knob or a spill on my pants. Sweetness is everywhere! I hang out on the side of my bed knocking my head and trying to figure this out all while being semi out of it.

Back to the math. By now I've been calculating half asleep for 5 minutes because that's what diabetics do. 1.25u of insulin/hour means I have 3.75u of insulin in my body. What the heck could my carb ratio be at 2am? I go back into my bolus wizard set-up to see because I have no idea what my ratios are. I choose something in between and end up at 1:10. 1 unit of insulin to every 10 grams of carbs. So, 3.75units if left in my body is going to smash my face into the ground. 3.75 x 10 = 37.5g of carbs. I need to consume that much in carbs in order to stay afloat.

I grab a juice box and a small box of raisins. 30g carbs. Consumed. I went back to sleep with an upset belly that was grumbling and groaning along with me.

Woke up at 5am with a 6.9mmol/l (124mg/dl).

Guess I made the right decisions but didn't get a whole lot of restful sleep.

It's not like I made a colossal mistake in fact I don't feel I made any mistake at all. I reacted properly, it was the meter reading that wasn't right. Insulin can be very VERY dangerous. So much power in such a wee little drop of liquid.


  1. Scary stuff! Glad that you had the ability to calculate and eat what you needed to. Insulin really is such powerful stuff and it is intimidating sometimes that we as diabetics have to be in charge of a potentially deadly substance every day of our lives!

  2. Eeek! I'm glad everything turned out okay. I think you're more of a math champ than I am in the wee hours of the night.

  3. I'm glad everything worked out ok for you!! Your math skills amaze me! I really need to start getting better at calculating this stuff!

  4. I totally had to read through your math calculations a couple of times to try to figure out if I realized the math that goes into figuring out the amount of carbs to cover IOB. I mean I 'know' what to give Bean to keep her from crashing from IOB, but I don't think I ever really thought about the math part of it.
    Makes this mama crazy to think of her doing it on her own one day...I know she will be more than able too, it just freaks me out a bit! :)

  5. Middle of the night math... love/hate it!

  6. Oatmeal is weird in that way. I generally only have it weekend mornings (when there's time to prepare it, and not the instant junk), but it always makes me spike REALLY high, above my "you-need-a-correction-despite-insulin-on-board" threshold, then crash lands really low. You'd think that the high-fiber would slow the BG rise a bit, but no.

    All that said, I'm glad you caught it in time, and that you did the math just right. I would've ended up in an endless "rage bolus-eat something" cycle all night...


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