Nazi Nightmare or Hypoglycemia?


I had a very scary night last night. It started out like most nights, nothing unusual.  I checked my blood sugar before eating dinner, it was 130,  I ate dinner, which included a nice portion of quinoa and some squash, and took 7 units of insulin. I cleaned up, did a bit of work, and watched a few minutes of TV (American Pie was on one of the movie channels).  At 11:00pm about 2½ hours after taking insulin I went to bed (I took 14 units of Lantus).

At around 1:30am I woke up in the middle of a terrible dream.   My heart was beating fast.  It was pounding.   I couldn’t relax.   I tried to turn over and go back to sleep,  but I couldn’t. I don’t remember much about my dream except that I was in a Nazi concentration camp.  Dreaming that is enough to make anyone’s heart race, but even in my dazed state I knew something else was wrong.

Though I didn’t feel any of the usual symptoms of hypoglycemia,  I decided to check my blood sugar. I usually keep my glucometer next to the bed, but I had forgotten it on the kitchen counter.  So I got up and walked through the dark house and checked my BS using the refrigerator light to see the blood on my finger and take my BS measurement.

It was 40. My heart was still pounding as I raided the refrigerator. I wasn’t really hungry since I had eaten more than enough at dinner,  but knowing I had no choice and being scared,  I managed to down  a persimmon and a few grapes before checking my BS again, it was 43. I don’t know how long all this took. I was panicked and I continued to eat dates, grapes and whatever else I could find. I don’t know why I didn’t eat anything with real sugar. I guess I’m so sold on the Paleo thing I can’t break the rules, even when panicking.

I stayed up a little after my feast, reading the news online and just waiting for my heart to stop pounding. It didn’t.  After more than an hour, I decided to go back to bed. I fell asleep and woke up only when the alarm went off despite the fact that my bed was full of kids jumping around.  I was so out of it, I didn’t even notice.  It was one of those terrible mornings when you feel you can’t get up. I did get up, of course. I took the kids to school, walked the dog and did a few more of the morning chores, and started to work.  At about 9:30am, unable to work, I had to go back to bed for an hour. It helped a bit. But you know things are not good when you step out of the apartment in the morning and everyone you know tells you you look bad. (My waking BS had been 214).

When I told Jessica about my night (I try not to wake her since Adam, our youngest, does that enough) she got scared and decided I need a CGM.  We started looking into it.  But I’m not sure I want it. I can’t imagine inserting things into my body. But maybe it’s not such a bad Idea.

I asked the doctor about the pounding heart issue, and she explained the phenomenon to me. Apparently it is caused by the hormones the liver releases when producing “sugar.”  And I’m sure the Nazis didn’t help.

I was supposed to run a 9-10 mile interval run this evening but I decided to put it off until tomorrow. I’m scared my HR will go crazy again, and I still feel like I was hit by a truck.

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Michelle S
Michelle S
12 years ago

Hope you feel better soon.  Nights are rough when sugars get too high or too low.  I set my alarm for the middle of the night to check my sugar for peace of mind, and also to correct problems before they get worse.  The pump helps because if my sugar is a little low before bed I can adjust my basal rates for the night, or if my sugar is high I can bolus at any time. I did get a CGM about 6 months ago, and have used it periodically.  When it is working well, I love it.  But… Read more »

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