I am not the kind of person to pull an all-nighter. You might scoff at that, considering I’m a college student and 21 years old. I’m not saying this means I don’t procrastinate (trust me, I do) or that I don’t have a social life that sometimes makes me stay up later than I’d like (ugh, you want to go out to the bars at what time?!). I’m merely saying that I’m a girl who likes her sleep. Actually, “cherishes” is a more accurate word than “like” in this case. So when I found out I had to wake up at 3:30 A.M. this past Monday, I wasn’t pleased about it. I was downright pissed by the end of the day when I saw the toll it took on my diabetes.
But I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. My boyfriend was shipping off to a month-long army training exercise and needed someone to bring him to the airport for an early morning flight. Truthfully, I wasn’t all that put out when he asked me to do it because it meant I could say goodbye in person.
Plus, we had everything figured out: we would spend the day before hanging out together and get to bed by 9 P.M. to ensure we’d have a decent night of sleep. Sounds simple enough, but it was far too ambitious for a couple of night owls like us. At 8 P.M. we decided it was necessary to make a run to Dairy Queen to get a couple of blizzards that we could down while we finished watching Starship Troopers, a movie we had started to watch together a few days before.
I was a smidgen concerned about the affect ice cream would have on my blood sugar, but I did my homework by checking the amount of carbohydrates in a miniature-sized “strawberry cheesequake” blizzard (47 grams! The smallest size they offer! What the heck do they put in this ice cream?!). I assumed I was reasonably prepared for my snack until I actually received it. A friend who works at Dairy Queen gave my boyfriend and I our treats for free – and doubled the sizes. I stared at the monstrosity before me and began to protest, but our friend insisted. It was (literally) a sweet gesture, but how on earth would I be able to restrain myself from eating the entire cup?
As it turns out, I have far more self-control than I thought I did. I stopped after eating only a third of the delicious treat and put the rest in the freezer. My thoughts drifted away from blood sugars as we watched our movie and passed out sometime between 10 and 11 o’clock.
A few hours later, I woke up with a full bladder that I desperately needed to relieve. Before heading to the bathroom, I glanced at my CGM and was startled to see I had climbed to the upper 200s. After checking this on my meter, I took a small bolus and assumed that my Lantus would kick in at some point and aid in the effort to get back down to a better number. I stumbled back into bed dreading the alarm that was to come a mere hour later.
Expectedly, time sped up from that point. We were awake at 3:30 and on our way to the airport by 4:15. My blood sugar remained stagnant in the 250s. At 5:55, I was making the lonely trip home after bidding farewell to Patrick. I was back at my parents’ house at 7 with a blood sugar floating in the 200s. From 7 A.M. to 10 P.M., time trudged onward slowly as I battled higher blood sugars that stubbornly stuck in the 180-220 range the entire day. Looking back on it, I’m sure I can attribute it to a combination of the stress I felt from the ordeal, the lack of sleep, and my body’s confusion at being forced to function at such an early hour. It’s another lesson learned the hard way about factors other than food, exercise, or illness coming into play concerning my blood sugars. Needless to say, I’m now in recovery mode and relishing my return to a normal night of sleep.