Most nights before I go to sleep I set a diabetes alarm (a timer) to wake me after an hour or two so I can check my blood sugar. I set diabetes alarms when I‘m worried about going low, have a lot of insulin on board or if I have a big run the next morning and I don’t want surprises.
The problem is that I usually don’t hear my diabetes alarms and I don’t wake up to check my blood sugar. I don’t know why that is since I always hear my regular alarm that wakes me up at around 4:15 a.m. at least three mornings a week.
Last night I fell asleep quite early. At around 10:00 p.m. I was reading in bed and suddenly felt very tired. I didn’t know if it was a result of a drop or spike in my blood sugar levels or just a result of being tired. I checked my blood sugar, which didn’t tell me much with a reading of 112 and a half a unit of insulin on board.
I decided not to fight it the need to sleep. I set a 4:01 a.m. alarm and a back up for 4:11, since I was meeting a friend at 5:00 for a 11 mile run, and to be on the safe side, I set an alarm to wake me an hour later to check my blood sugar.
I heard my alarm go off and hit it quickly so as not to wake Jess. I must have dosed off because the next thing I remember is looking at the clock and seeing a 14.
“Shit, I over slept,” I said, waking Jess as I got out of bed.
I quickly got my morning routine going, making sandwiches for three boys, drinking coffee, getting dressed and ready to run, checking my blood sugar (it was 124) and reducing my basal rate.
I felt very tired but also very wired. I was running a little late and hurried to get myself out the door.
As I was walking down the stairs, feeling bad about being late, I glanced at my pump to see what the time was. It read 00:07 (I keep my clocks on military time).
That’s strange, I thought to myself. I took a better look at my pump this time unhooking it from my pants and turning on the backlight. It still read 00:07.
Next I checked my Garmin for the time. It said 00:05.
I stopped on the stairs feeling a little crazy and then went back up to our apartment. I walked in to the kitchen and looked at the clock on the oven it read 00:07.
I suddenly realized what had happened. It wasn’t my morning alarm that had woken me. It was my diabetes alarm that had gone off at 11:00 p.m. not 4:01 a.m. Ridiculous and frustrating, but at least I woke up and checked my blood sugar this time.
For a second I considered going out and running but then figured it would ruin the next day. And I had set to meet friends anyway.
I checked my blood sugar again after cancelling my temporary basal rate. It was up to 145. Perfect for running, not so much for sleeping. I took a little bolus and feeling totally awake I went back to bed. I woke Jess again and told her the whole story. It took me a while to relax, but I finally fell asleep until my real alarm woke me at 4:01 a.m.