Friday, April 13, 2012

Bad Habit.

The whole point of me wearing a Dexcom is that it's supposed to alert me when bad things are happening, so I can take action on them.

The thing is, I've developed a bad habit over the past few months. While I am technically taking action based on the low alarms I get as I'm falling asleep (or when I'm ripped from my sleep in the middle of the night), I'm not taking the intended action of treating the downward trends with glucose tabs, juice, or the surplus of Peeps at my house.

Instead, I'm shutting down the Dexcom for a little naptime, and turning down my basal rate for a couple of hours.

Rationally, I know I shouldn't do this. I cringe about it a little bit when I think about it during my waking hours. But when I'm already partly (or was already fully) asleep, my brain's number one priority is shutting down - which lately has meant that my Dexcom follows suit. I'm in a haze, and the reaction is nearly involuntary at this point.

In my first several months of CGM use, I was grateful for those middle-of-the-night alarms. (Who knows how many lows I slept through prior to that?) But after that novelty wore off, it just got really tiresome and irritating.

"What do you mean I'm dropping? I JUST BRUSHED MY TEETH.", or "How can I be low? I ate sushi for dinner!!". (That was last night.) I get annoyed with diabetes' wicked games. I get tired of my blood sugar calling the shots; forcing me to do its will; messing up the minty goodness my teeth have going; making me leave the perfect blanket burrito I've encased myself in.

I just want to SLEEP, and I'm talking about the uninterrupted kind that I've almost forgotten about. The kind where you think you must have slept well, because all that you remember is laying down and then BAM! it's morning.

But instead of letting technology do its thing, I remove the safety net under my tightrope  - and am left to wonder how to stop myself from sabotaging the very mechanisms that are trying to help me.


  1. I get the same thing - go low RIGHT after brushing my teeth. Then I have to eat jellybeans and f*ck up all the minty freshness I just created. Not cool...

  2. Lows aren't fun at anytime especially when they wake you. Yesterday I went to the dentist, got my teeth cleaned & fluoride, they tell you don't eat for 30 minutes, well you know what happened, nothing like loading sugar on teeth that aren't supposed to see food for a while:/

  3. I have the same feeling sometimes. Just earlier this week, I settled down and went to bed extra early for some much needed sleep. In the next hour and a half, my pump gave me my 2-hour reminder and Dex beeped continually for being both too low and too high. I was tempted to just turn it off and sleep, but clearly something was going awry that needed my groggy attention.

  4. I do the same thing, or--even worse--sometimes I just ignore the Dex altogether if I'm not *that* low (say, 64) and have a steady arrow. But I'm sure this doesn't really do very good things for my sleep quality...

    1. This is my problem too. If I am not "dangerously" low or high, my sleepy brain decides that my pillow is wayyy more important.

  5. lows suck, no matter what time it is. i seem to waking up to highs more and more often and i know i should do some nightime basal testing, but i am sooooo tired that i sleep through my alarm, and i really need to get it together so i can find out if its lows i'm sleeping through causing my high mornings or if its just my overindulgence in potato chips!

  6. Kim, I understand your frustration, but I also want to ask if you think this might just be part of learning to work with the Dex? Recognizing trends is something we all try to do to better manage our health. It sounds like you're doing that. This happens a lot in our diabetes care: we start out with something, everything's great, then we have an issue. And we adjust. And often, we have to adjust again later. No shame in that. I know it sounds like Lucy from Peanuts fame: "The fact that you recognize you have a problem means you are not too far gone". But I don't think you have a problem. Sounds like you're on your way to a solution.

  7. My Dex keeps telling me I'm high in the middle of the night. I made the mistake of bolusing based on the Dex, only to discover that I was actually 119, NOT the 209 it was screaming about. (Nothing like having administered enough insulin to drop 100 points when you're normal.) So now I have to TEST after it wakes me up and for 3 nights now (NOT in a row, and NOT with the same sensor, that would be too easy) the Dex has been screaming I'm in the high range when I'm so not. I think the accuracy goes wonky at night - because it's been spot on in the days. I don't know what it is, but at night the Dex goes rogue....

    So I say next time, test...(I know, that TOTALLY wakes you up) and if you're noticing a trend of inaccuracies, feel free to shutdown until you wake up.

  8. Isn't it funny how we all get mad at our CGM when it does its job. And then we get mad at it when it's not doing its job. Poor thing can't win :)


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