« Three! | Main | Invisible Macy's Parade. »

3 am Paralysis.

Sticky sweet, from his head to his feet yeah.No sound woke me up.  I'm not sure how long I was lying there awake and staring off into nothingness, but eventually my shirt felt too sticky and my hands weren't responding to my commands.  Flat on my back and listening to the sounds of Chris's even breathing next to me, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do.  Did I want to go back to sleep?  Did I want to try and get out of bed myself?  Did I want to flip on the lamp and finish reading my book?

I knew I was low.  I needed juice so badly and my torso was damp from panic, but I still couldn't stop thinking these completely ridiculous thoughts.  Was I ready to call the church tomorrow morning and confirm the readings we'd selected for our wedding service?  Was that the sound of one of the cats picking at the couch?  I really wanted to just read my book.  Or go back to sleep.  Could not focus on the task at hand.  My brain just wasn't operating.

My eyes slipped shut and I fell into a nervous few moments of sleep, waking to feel those waves of nausea and lethargy wrapping around my body like a snake. 

"Wake up, Kerri.  Wake him up.  Get some help.  Now is not the best time to finish your book."  Internal Motivational Speaker piped up in my ear, yawning.  It was 3 am and she was irritated I had woken her up.  "You're low, kiddo.  Wake him up and ask for help." 

"Chris."  

He woke up instantly, as though he had been waiting for me to say his name.

"Chris.  I need juice.  It's right there on the table but I can't get it.  Please?"  I sound so rational, like I'm in control but inside my body is rattling.

Seconds later, I've drained the bottle and am lying back down, the covers tossed aside and Abby prowling nervously at the foot of the bed.

"I'm dizzy."  My voice felt like it was stuck at the back of my throat, too timid to venture out in full.  "I feel very dizzy, baby.  I'm nervous I might pass out.  Okay?  I need you to know that."

He turned on the light and sat beside me.  "Stay awake, okay?  You drank the juice.  It's going to be better in just a minute."

All I could think about was that damn book, sitting on the bedside table.  I was about 20 pages away from finishing it and it seemed a lot easier to immerse myself in someone else's fictional life than to attend to this low blood sugar.

A few minutes pass.  Chris reaches for my meter and clumsily unzips it.  I can tell just from the sounds that he's not loading up the strip the same way I do, or clicking back the lancet device with the same cadence. Setting up the meter and testing has become autonomic for me and I do it without thinking.  I could hear him struggling, so familiar with the sights but not as fluid when he does it himself.

Shunk.

43 mg/dl.  After juice.  

"Whoa.  I must have been low.  That's after juice."  My brain works rationally, my sentences sound slow, deliberate, but not tangled.   "I can't lift my arms.  My fingers aren't working."  These are not complaints.  These are matter-of-fact statements, spoken to my fiance and hanging there in the air.  "I still feel dizzy.  Can you get the honey?"

Instantly, he's back with that little jar shaped like a bear.  I open the top and wait clumsily for the honey to trickle to the top of the spout.  I take a long pull, my mouth recoiling at the sticky sweetness. 

"Can I sleep?  I've eaten so much.  I'll end up at 300 no problem.   How about we sleep now?"

"How about you lay down and I'll stay awake with you."

I think about that book again.

"Okay.  Just a few minutes.  Then we'll go back to sleep."

Twenty minutes pass.  I regain control of my hands and they reach over to rub his shoulder.

"Thank you, baby.  I feel much better now.  It's okay to sleep now.  I'm better."

This morning, 108 mg/dl.  After all that juice and the honey, I should have been upwards of 270 mg/dl.

I have no idea what causes these late night lows.  Ive only had the Dexcom off for a few days but it seems that this high-stress time is the best time to be wearing it.  I'm dealing with the insurance companies tomorrow. 

(But, for the record, I finished reading the book while I was blow-drying my hair this morning, the little honey bear sitting on the bathroom counter, watching me.)

Comments

I don't usually wait to test after I have a middle of the night low. I just drink my juice and go back to sleep. One time though, I was so low that my body wouldn't let me go back to sleep. I was awake for about twenty minutes waiting to fall back asleep and I eventually had to get up, test, was still low, and went and had more to eat. Then I fell back asleep.

I have tried in the past to stay awake long enough to know I'm back up, but I always end up just falling asleep, so I guess I just gave up trying.

Just the stress in general makes my blood sugar do crazy things. One time it's really really low and the next in the 200's or worse. I did the "see-saw" with blood sugars all weekend this weekend with being in my friend's wedding. Between that and my emotional mood swings (related to my best friend moving 4 hours away :'( ) I was nearly impossible to live with.
It's a good thing my friends love me.

Hmmm...We've had in-synch nights. I never wake up from a low (as in, I wake up to find the paramedics staring down at me), but last night my DH got up to use the bathroom and I woke up feeling funky, decided to test and was 25.

Me, dreamily: I didn't know the meter went that low.
DH: What? Turn on the light. How low are you?
I show him the meter, and he jumps out of bed. Why didn't you tell me?
Me (speaking to the empty room as he jogs to the kitchen): I'm completely lucid and my sugar's 25. Am I amazing or what?

As I guzzled down the juice, I didn't feel grateful for my husband's small bladder, or think about what might've happened if I hadn't woken up. All I felt was weirdly, inordinately proud that my brain was still working.

Super scary, nighttime lows are the worst. I'm dying know what book had such a pull on you at 3am! What was it?

Holy crap that's scary! I always tell Daniel to wake me in the middle of the night when he goes low, but he's getting all teenager on me and doesn't want any help. But he tends to eat sugar & then go back to sleep without testing again, so I wish he would wake me. Time to find him a motivational speaker!

i never test after a middle of the night low, i just drain the juiceboxes every twenty minutes until i feel better and then i zonk out again. i dont know why, it's not like it takes so long to load a strip, stab and wait five seconds.. i just don't want to wait for my head to hit the pillow again.

I've been able to fly solo when low since I was 8. These posts scare the crap out of me. I'm so glad that you have someone there to help you get out of that fog.

I'm wondering what you ate for dinner, how you bolused, and what your sugar was before you went to bed?

Yikes Kerri

That's a scary sounding low. Sounds like you need to get back on the CGM for the night times.

It's amazing that you're so looking forward to the wedding and it's such a source of stress. That's perfectly normal, but it doesn't seem like it should be. Have you prepared for this wedding by watching Father of the Bride with Steve Martin? Somehow I think it'll help put things in perspective. :-)

Hang in there Kerri. And Thank You Chris! So glad you have one another. So sorry you had to go through this. Those lows are simply the worst, the scariest. After 15 years I still can't get my cat to get me juice. ;-)

wow...must have been pretty scary. im always afraid that I may not wake up one morning...cause I'm by myself obviously in my room..but usually my body will wake me up in the middle of the night if im low..usually around 55 I'll wake up. its pretty weird sometimes how my body knows im low and all of sudden I'll just wake up.
hope you don't have another night time low..i hate them!

would love to know what book it was too!!!That is really scary! I hope your night is better tonight...

Hoo boy Kerri. That was a bad one. Thanks for sharing, but I sure hope it doesn't happen again for a LONG time.

Lyrehca - We went to the movies, so I had turkey roll-ups and cottage cheese (104 mg/dl, no bolus) before we left, then had some popcorn at the movies (2.0u, blood sugar was 79 mg/dl). When I came home, I was 212 mg/dl (underbolused for the popcorn), took a 1.2u correction, and went to bed. My correction bolus was conservative, too, and I still plummeted. I was on the off-week of my birth control pills, though, so I'm wondering if that played any role.

Jillian - I can almost always fly solo. I have a pretty high tolerance for lows. But I don't know what causes me to not react appropriately at night sometimes. I think I rely on Chris subconsciously a bit too much.

Oh, and the book was some serious chick-lit: Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster. I picked it up on a whim and turns out this lady is a blogger, too! :) But I have no clue why I was intent on reading it while low.

Ugh, hate those scary lows - which are even more scary during the night. I'm so glad you have Chris there to help you. He sounds a lot like my husband. Hang in there, and good luck with the insurance company. Please do let us know how it goes with them!

Kerri,

Scary episode, for sure. It seems like you have night time lows pretty frequently, and I'm going to apologize in advance for being preachy and telling you things you already know.

Sounds like maybe you need to get a second opinion on your overnight basal rates. You may like your endo, but it wouldn't hurt to have another endo or CDE look at your patterns and your rates.

We ALWAYS test our 16.5 yo daughter at night three hours after the last bolus (our particular insulin duration time for Novolog). When she exercises hard late in the day, we usually set a temp basal that lasts till morning to avoid lows during the night. Different times of the day can also have an effect on how long it takes for carbs to get to the bloodstream, and how long it takes for your insulin to begin to work.

You've been managing this disease a lot longer than we have, and I'm not the one who has it in our family. But, I'm worried about you and I want to be able to keep reading your blog every day, so that's why I'm maybe 'stating the obvious' a little here.

With sincere apologies for being a know-it-all,

Brent

Hi Kerri,
Good gawd! Honey? I puke from the thought of it.LOL. If I am crazy crashing I dump sugar by the bowl full in a glass of water. But to each their own. . .
I will say that Chris is competent in his role to help you, can't ask for a better mate than that! Way to go Chris!
Mark

My own highs and lows never feel this dramatic or scary, and I even live alone.

For some reason though, every time I read one of your low experiences it brings tears to my eyes.

I guess it's a reminder of how bad things CAN be, and a reminder to be extra careful since I live alone.

Why don't you use glucose tabs? They raise BGs an exact number, no danger of going too high later. Easy to carry, don't taste bad at all.

kerry, wow. i so know how you feel. exactly, down to feeling so lucky that John wakes up so instantly, down to the HUGE desire just to go back to sleep and avoid it all. thank you again for making me see the waves of our condition ... hard waves, for anyone.

That Chris is OK. I don't care what you say about him. :)


"I have no idea what causes these late night lows."

LOL

"Was I ready to call the church tomorrow morning and confirm the readings we'd selected for our wedding service?"

YDMV


Brent - Excellent suggestions, and I appreciate all of your input! The crappy thing is, my overnights are very stable. After wearing the Dexcom, I was able to see that I flat-line all night long. I think what's gaffing up the works lately is the amount of stress I'm working through for the wedding and at work. I'm hoping this low, and the other ones this week, and pre-wedding blips on the radar. But if they persist on the honeymoon, I'll be tweaking basals for damn sure. :)

Whimsy2 - Glucose tabs work great for me during the day, when I'm awake. But at night, they are too dry and chalky for me to consume. I used them in college and had a choking fit one night while treating a low. Even though it's sort of old school, juice goes down smoothly. So I'm sticking with it because it works for me. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

I have late nite lows to and they are scary,i have been as low as 19 and it is just me and my three yr old at home,but she is a smart little whip she knows what to do when i tell her mommy is low she will say i go get juice mommy and brings it to me and says you be ok mommy she is my guardian angel.

Post a comment

(All comments are moderated. Thanks for your patience!)