Wednesday, July 8, 2015

3am Math

The room temperature was perfect.

The sheets were cool and comfortable.

It was 3am, the room was quiet and we were both sound asleep.


Bloody Hell!

We were both jolted awake as if by a gunshot.

Rose was yelling at me that my blood sugar was below 3.1.

I took a look at her graph and saw that I had held steady in the low 4s for a few hours and then, in the space of five minutes, I dove from 4 to 3.1. Which means that I skipped right past the slightly less jarring vibration warning that I was below 4.0 and went straight into the extremely effective, heart-stopping BEEP BEEP BEEP!!!! that only happens when I drop below 3.1.

As I lay in bed, I quickly weighted my options.

I had Dex 4s by the bed, also known as glucose tablets.

Dex 4 pros: The pure sugar in those tablets causes my sugar to climb rapidly meaning that I would probably be back above 4.0 before the next blood sugar check that Rose was going to do. Meaning that we could fall right back to sleep without having to be jarred awake again by another one of her very helpful yet annoying warnings that I was still below 4.0.

Dex 4 cons: Dex 4s help me climb quickly into the safe zone but they don't keep me there. If I don't eat something of substance, I typically drop back down below 4.0 again within an hour or so. No thanks.

I also had a package of fig newtons by the bed. I mean doesn't everyone?

Pros: fig newtons help keep my blood sugar up. The combination of more complex carbs (versus pure sugar) and protein get me up and keep me there.

Cons: it can take a while to digest them and I usually have to wait out a good 30 minutes of Rose vibrating me awake before I climb back above 4.0.

I also had the option of lowering my basal rate.

Pros: with less insulin in my system, I would be at less risk of a second low.

Cons: lowering my basal rate is not an option for treating an immediate low. I can only help prevent a future one.

Did I mention that it was 3am and, not thirty-seconds earlier I had been having a lovely sleep?

I decided on the following combination:

I had two Dex 4s (a total of 8 carbs). The goal: get my sugar above 4.0 so Rose wouldn't vibrate and we could go back to sleep.

I had one fig newton (another 10 carbs). The goal: prevent my blood sugar from dropping back down again.

I also lowered my basal rate by 30% for 2 hours. The goal: make doubly sure I didn't drop back down.

I was conservative in the number of carbs I ate and the basal rate reduction I made so I wouldn't go from low to high, causing Rose to vibrate for an entirely different reason.

I ate my snack, changed my basal rate and, within a minute, I was floating back to sleep again.

When I woke up again at 6am, I saw that I had climbed from 3.1 to 7.0 and stayed there for the rest of the night.

Sometimes my 3am math works. Sometimes it doesn't.

This time it was bang on.

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