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Slammed.

So this was last night: 

It's like a big dipper.  Of shit.

Went to bed after a little bit of a spike, bolused it down conservatively because I was going to bed, but then woke up at 4 am and saw a steady, red line on my Dexcom graph, showing that I was not only in the blood sugar trenches, but had been there for a while.

The problem is, it wasn't the low alarm on the Dexcom that roused me from sleep.  It was the sound of my daughter yelling, "MOMMY AND DADDY!!!" through the baby monitor (which I will use until she's at least ten thousand years old) that vaulted me from the bed. 

This is a problem, and one I've always had with the Dexcom alarms.  They are great - and plenty loud - when I'm awake and driving, or playing in the garden, or on run.  I have no trouble responding to them when I'm wide awake and tuned in.  But when I'm asleep, and low, those alarms rattle on without a response from me.  And that unnerves the eff out of me, because nighttime lows are what I want the Dexcom protecting me from the most.  

I've done the Dexcom-in-a-glass routine, and I'll revisit that strategy again tonight (I took a break from it after switching to the G4, as the alarms were notably louder than the Seven Plus), but these kinds of lows make me nervous.  I don't respond to them as well as I used to - last night's low made me feel like every move my body was making was through a pool of thick, overcooked oatmeal, putting a definitive drag on my muscles and my mind.  Once I had a few glucose tabs (and confirmed the low at 49 mg/dL), I still needed a hit of juice to push that sloggy, thick feeling away from my synapses and give me the wherewithal to go back upstairs to bed.  (Where there was a three year old recovering, post-nightmare, and hanging out with her dad.)  And once the low is over, I don't bounce back the way I did years ago, either.  A blood sugar under 60 that makes a middle of the night visit wrecks me up a bit until I'm well into my second fifth coffee the following morning. 

This morning, thanks to lows and nightmares and the quiet of a house that isn't overrun by singing, springtime birds nesting outside of our bedroom window, the whole family managed to catch a little sleep-in.  But I feel slammed, and sometimes I wonder how many of my brain cells are surrendered during those graphed red lines. (As evidenced by the fact that it took me three minutes to remember how to make pancakes this morning, and it took me 30 full seconds to find my insulin pump, which was attached to me, what the eff.)

Comments

I have that same problem! The alarms on my Minimed Paradigm are way too quiet. They don't wake up me or my husband in the night. Medtronic has come up with a new device they are using for parents with T1 kids, but I would like it for myself. It's basically like connecting the CGMS sensor to an alarm clock that sits on your nightstand. But of course, insurance doesn't cover it yet and it's crazy pricey...so we just hope for the best for now! (Which doesn't give the best warm and fuzzy when it's time to go to bed at night.) http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/products/mysentry

I sleep with mine under my pillow. The vibration and noise usually makes me jump but doesn't wake my husband. Once I didn't wake up from the alarm but the dream I was having about the fly in my ear.

I'm a very light sleeper. I wake to a pin dropping. So I've have always waken up, even on vibrate, and if I do happen to miss the vibrate, I awake to the alarm below 55. Hopefully the Dex in a Glass route will help you!

I feel for you. I was exhausted yesterday after a night that involved consuming three juice boxes. i never crashed dramatically, but i also never slept soundly. And I have NO idea why my BG's were always dropping. I am ordering the new enlite CGM this week, the nights are so worrisome.

It sometimes takes me days or (even in one ridiculously scary low) weeks before I feel 100% normal. My short term memory and fine motor skills go down the toilet after a bad low. I feel your pain :-(

I've started putting my Dexcom under my pillow, which works most of the time in waking me up, but not all the time.

I, too, am noticing that I don't "bounce back" like I used to after a low, especially like one you had where you were low for so long.

I feel your pain. This is what really frustrates me about the FDA's concerns regarding the Artificial Pancreas project. While they worry about the hypothetical scenario that it could cause a dangerously low glucose level, one of could die from an ACTUAL dangerously low glucose level. I know I have the night time experience you described (followed by wading through oatmeal the next day) at least once a week. I also know I trust the engineers and scientists (like Dean Kamen and his crew at DEKA) behind the AP a lot more than bureaucrats, lawyers and lobbyists influencing/making decisions at the FDA. Ridiculous!

I don't have a CGM (it is on my wish list) but have to say that the morning after a nighttime low I generally feel like garbage for most of the morning. Hope you are feeling better and your day goes well!

Must have been a full moon or something last night. Mine came at about 1:00. My problem was that I heard the Dexcom alarm (set to Attentive), turned it off, and couldn't get myself out of bed for another five minutes. When it vibrated only. I don't get that.

Oh, and the older I get, the more refreshed and sprightly I feel in the morning after nighttime lows. I don't have any idea what you're talking about. As far as you know.

is there a test to measure how many brain cells are lost with a hypoglycemic episode?
We have billions of them, so I am sure it would take a while to lose them all !
you never know, though...=)

"Hit of juiceā€¦back upstairs to bed" --???

Why don't you keep some juice boxes by your bed? It's painful for me to even think of you dragging yourself downstairs in a low bg haze!

Yes, the longer you have a (night-time) low... the longer it takes the next day for us to recover. Getting older with this Chronic Degenerative disease sucks. I never got the memo when I was younger that 37 or 40 years old ~ is "OLD" - when you have Type I Diabetes. I feel that we are being cheated out of Life- and good Quality Qualaitive Parts of what still should be YOUNG Vibrant YEARS of our LIVES, Yuck!!!

My G4 wakes me up, but I silence it over and over and over again...just like the snooze button on my alarm. The other night I silenced the low alarm for hours...I'll blame it on hypo brain, but I'm pretty sure my laziness has a teensy bit more to do with it.

Me, the same. All of it. Except I store glucose and juice boxes by my bed. If I need food food, I'll have my boyfriend get up (he's likely half awake anyway from all the alerts). He's a keeper.

The FDA is said to be on the verge of approving Medtronic's Veo pump (now renamed the Medtronic MiniMed 530G) which has an automatic low-glucose suspend system. The 530G comes with a new and supposedly more accurate CGM sensor called Enlite, which would send glucose readings to the pump. Pumps with the low-glucose suspend feature have been available in Canada and Europe for some time. The fact that your basals, Kerri, were continuing during that multi-hour period when you didn't hear the CGM alarms is an extremely dangerous combination. Move faster FDA!

I store the receiver also under my pillow. Vibration normally does not wake me up but the standard alarm does - and if not my wife will wake me to stop the dexcom noise.
I store some gummi bears (Haribo Gold Bears to be precise) next to my bed. So I can get some sugar lying in bed, turn around and keep on spleeping.
Luckily no longer downtime from lows - no matter if during day or night.

I wanted to respond to this yesterday, but, at the time, I was in the middle of a low and my brain was too fuzzy to put a coherent thought together.

Refreshed and sprightly? I like that!

Hi Kerri,
For all the Dexcom G4 users: Have you installed the Dexcom Studio program. The reason I recently obtained the Dexcom unit was because of such evening lows. Setting the range of time can allow one to view the nighttime hypo state. AS a pump user, I do have different hourly basal patterns to attempt to keep my bg's in a normal range. What are your basal rates for the period between 10:00 pm and 7:00 am? Second what are your settings for your insulin to carbs ratio during the evening sleep period. Finally, how active was the daytime activity which is in advance of your evening lows? Hope the suggests help and as always have a great day.
Dan

Hi Kerri,
have a personal suggestion for a possible solution to the issue of "feeling" a low reading from you Dexcom G4. I wear sleep clothing which has one or two pockets on the shirt. When one feels their bones vibrate it can send a very strong message. A second options would be to attach the unit on one of your lower arms. This way you could awaken and use your other hand to "turn" the unit on to read the results. Hope the suggestions help and as always have a great day....with no lows.
Dan

Yes, yes. The alarms on the Medtronic Revel with CGMS are also not loud enough. I keep mine set on vibrate, but when I'm in a deep sleep I can't feel the vibrations, and only hear the alarm if I happen to kick off the covers. Apparently Medtronic's new My Sleep Sentry is the answer to this problem, but at quite a cost ($3,000 with only a one-year warranty.) At the price, who can afford one?

Kerri,

What kind of case is this?

Thanks!

Hey, I have a big shit dipper too! I slept through 2.5 hours of sub 55 mg/dl last night! I wonder if I'm a little dumber today...

I saw a Dateline article recently about how kids don't often wake up to smoke alarms in the house - you know those incredibly high pitched irritating monstrosities that go off when you're cooking. Yes, those. But those same kids woke up when they had a smoke alarm that could record mom or dads voice telling them to wake up and get out. Maybe Dexcom needs the ability to record the "alarm" and you can get Birdy to say "Mommy, wake up" for your low alarm!!

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