A Letter to 4 a.m.

Dear 4 a.m.,

I can’t say that we enjoyed our time with you and 2 a.m. last night. We would rather sleep with you instead.

– Rachel & Brad

In a groggy haze, I woke up to my husband frantically shaking me around 2 a.m. Everything was quiet, but Brad was furiously shaking me. Then my hearing returned and I heard, “Rachel, wake up. Hey, wake up. Your Dexcom is going off.”

I leave my Dexcom on vibrate, face up on the night stand while we sleep so that it wakes me but not Brad. In the past, I always heard the vibrating and woke up to the light.

But not last night.

I snagged the receiver from my nightstand and saw a reading in the 220s. I can’t be high, I thought, remembering that before bed my blood sugar was 91 and I ate 4 dark chocolate covered blueberries to boost it a little before going to sleep. I tested and sure enough I came in at 234. I took insulin and looked at my graph, I wasn’t just high, I was holding high with a line showing 2ish hours over 180. I said to Brad, “Thanks for waking me, I’ve been high for awhile.”

“I know,” he responded then pulled the covers up over his head and promptly went back to sleep. I reluctantly set an alarm for 4 a.m. and laid back down. At 4 a.m. I hit snooze on my alarm and laid there in a haze trying to figure out why I was awake. At 4:15 it dawned on me, I need to test. I tested and came up with a result of 197. I let my PDM calculate a bolus and checked to see how much insulin was still active and I took the whole recommended bolus. I drifted off to sleep around 4:45 and reluctantly crawled out of bed at 6:30 this morning.


Not a pleasant graph

This morning while we were getting ready for work, Brad told me that the reason he knew I’d been high for awhile was because my Dexcom alerts had invaded his dreams. He remembered in a half-awake state wondering why his work BlackBerry kept going off. When he finally woke and realized it was my Dexcom, he also realized I wasn’t waking up. He said that he shook me for a few minutes worrying that I had gone low and was already planning what to do if he couldn’t wake me so I could take care of myself.

I’m not fond of these middle of the night diabetes interruptions. In fact they make me really mad, but being mad at diabetes is pretty pointless. I can say that I’ll be turning the sound alarm on when Brad is out on the West Coast for work next week.

4 thoughts on “A Letter to 4 a.m.

  1. Wow, how scary. Thanks so much for sharing – it’s been interesting to learn more about Type 1 Diabetes and how you’ve been living with it for the past year or so. And a belated congrats on your work anniversary – I can’t believe it’s been so long!

  2. Those middle-of-the-night awakenings have been killing me lately. I’ve been known to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock when it goes off, to press two buttons (any two buttons) on my pump/CGM to silence it — although if I don’t press the CORRECT two buttons, which is most of the time, it starts wailing again five minutes later. Between screaming CGM’s and crying babies, I think I’ve grown numb to the whole sleep thing. Tired, too.

  3. Been there, done that. 🙁 And like your husband, the beeping usually works its way into my dreams, too, before I wake up enough to realize it’s my cgm beeping at me. (Scott – I do the same thing – press ANY two buttons just to shut.it.up.)

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