Sleep Is For Wimps Anyway, Right?

I harsh on the complications associated with Diabetes a LOT, and usually with good reason. There’s a whole bunch of shit that usually happens when a person has Type-1 Diabetes, especially if it’s uncontrolled. Even when it IS controlled, there can be a number of obstacles that keep you from having a smooth day, night, sleep or whatever. I’m ridiculously grateful for the miracle that is insulin pump therapy, but I would be lying if I said that I don’t have days where I’d like to throw the damn thing across the room. A week ago was one of those nights…

My pump has a number of nifty alarm functions built in, designed to alert me in the event of an extreme high or low blood sugar level and asking for calibrations every twelve hours. For the most part, I can control these alarms through proper blood sugar control and by making sure I perform my calibration tests at proper twelve hour intervals that don’t include the 8-hour period that I try to sleep. But there are certain conditions where the pump will pester me, even when it shouldn’t.

If my blood sugars are level for too long, an alarm will go off because the pump is wondering why there’s no variation. BG is required. If the pump hasn’t had to provide micro-bolusing for four hours or more, an alarm will go off. BG is required. If my blood happens to be running a touch on the higher side and the pump has had to micro-bolus for too long, an alarm will sound. BG is required. If I roll over in my sleep and happen to put pressure on the CGM sensor, it’ll interfere with the signal and BG is required. Are you shitting me, pump? Really?

So my point is, how many of those alarms do you think take place while I’m sleeping? It’s a genuine issue. Sleep escapes me at the best of times… One of the disadvantages of having ADHD, OCD, PTSD and a host of acronyms too annoying to get into. But the Diabetic equation just makes it all that much worse. On the night in question, I had a request fro calibration in the middle of the night. This usually doesn’t happen, if I’m organized enough. But since I had installed a new sensor, the 12-hour cycle started at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon. So… 3 o’clock in the morning came a’calling!

Calibration is worse than “BG required,” because you can just enter the sensor glucose for “BG required.” But a calibration request actually gets you out of bed to test with an actual glucometer, which really sucks in the middle of the night. I did the calibration and went back to bed. All’s good, right? Two hours later, “minimum insulin provided for 2.5 hours. BG require to continue on Auto Mode.” Fuck you, insulin pump. Just keep doing your thing.

At 5 o’clock, the damn thing tells me that “BG is required.” No reason. No explanation. What the hell!? I ignored it until it became an audible alarm and entered the sensor glucose. At 6 o’clock, the same damn thing happened. Entered the sensor glucose again. Damned brutal. My alarm (actual alarm) went off at 6:30. So I got about four hours’ sleep before my pump started going all “Russian Sleep Experiment” on me.

My point to all of this, and maybe it’s just my day to be bitchy about life, is that despite the beauties of technology there are always some downfalls. This is DESPITE the benefits I’ve seen in the last year in relation to insulin pump therapy. But technology is only as good as the user who controls it. There are still some ups and downs that I have to deal with, but I’ve come a long way from the brick-shaped glucometer I had in 1982, or the one-a-day BG test and multiple comas. All things are relative. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get some sleep… ☯

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

7 thoughts on “Sleep Is For Wimps Anyway, Right?”

    1. Yeah, I wake up some mornings with what feels like a wicked hangover, but it’s all Diabetes-related. But yes, I have the newest pump released by the manufacturer in question. The issue comes from the pump actually TRYING to do it’s job. Hasn’t needed to give me insulin for a couple of hours? Something might be wrong, etc… It micromanages, which during the day is not so bad. But when you’re trying to get your 8 hours, it’s a real pain in the ass.

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      1. Definitely sounds like it. Still with tech being at the level it is nowadays, you’d think there’d be some sort of adaptive learning built into the thing. Not every diabetic is as bad at taking care of themselves as my ex sister-in-law or my “aunt” (mom’s friend)

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      2. Perhaps the next model will have a way of turning off these “alarms.” Or maybe five years from now, I’ll see that so-called cure being developed in Alberta, take hold. Who knows?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s a whole different discussion, but I’m cynical about cures. Has one come along for anything since Polio? There’s too much money to be made treating the symptoms, especially when they keep hiking the prices of those treatments.

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      4. I’m inclined to agree. They’ve been talking about being “close” to a cure since I was diagnosed and that was 38 years ago! Considering I use almost $800/month on insulin pump supplies (I have insurance, thank the Light) they no doubt prefer to milk the cash cow than cure everyone.

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