Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Nighttime Fitbit Blowup

I rolled over, positioning my knee up for satisfying comfortability. My eyes were heavy, stinging with tiredness, as my body sank blissfully into the mattress signaling its readiness for sleep. Then began the nightly random thoughts dancing through my mind. That night produced a list similar to:

Did we take the puppy out to do his business?
Do I have enough milk for the morning?
I need to work on Angry Birds Bubble Pop in the morning, Doug is catching up to me.
When was the last time the kids brought me towels to wash?
Wasn’t L high before bed?


L was high before bed.

“Get out of bed and check him, Meri.”

“Get OUT of bed.” Said my brain.

I lay there debating with myself, trying to negotiate another time to check blood sugars. It was already past eleven, which might as well have been 4am in my old-person book.

I fought the urge to sleep and got out of bed. I love him. There really was no other choice.

The boys came back from Spring Break in California with only one of the three monitors I sent with them. There might be more tucked away somewhere, but they swear they’ve looked everywhere for them. We had just switched to new monitors so we only had three to begin with. We are now surviving with only one house monitor at the moment, and it was downstairs at the time.

I tip toed the best I could. The wood floors creaked and I cringed with every step, whispering prayers under my breath that I wouldn’t wake the puppy.

I made it down and back to the top floor victorious. Meter in hand. Puppy still sleeping.

I checked L. He needed a little bolus chaser, and I was satisfied he’d be good for the night. Since B sleeps in the same room, I thought I’d check him to make sure all was kosher. Before bed he was 111-with-a-catch. He had insulin on board…a lot of insulin on board. He entered a temp basal and then ate a snack to satisfy the Low Blood Sugar Gods.

Regardless, I was surprised to see the 342 blinking back at me on the monitor after checking B. I went to enter the number on his pump and was especially surprised to see his reservoir was completely empty.

I bit my lip. I guess killing him would defeat the purpose of keeping him alive.

I knew I had to venture downstairs again to get the supplies needed to replenish his insulin, and my brows furrowed knowing my luck might not hold on the puppy front. This was only his third night in the crate, if I woke him he would whine--and if you remember--I was old-person tired.

I heard him stir as I hit the third stair. There was nothing I could do…B needed insulin…it was what it was.

Maybe there was an angel present, maybe it was so close to St. Patrick’s Day the luck of the Irish was with me, whatever it was…I made it downstairs and back up with only a small yelp and a whimper.

I stealthily changed his set and began to head back down the hallway to my room when the thought occurred to me I should check the 18 year old.

He was in the basement.

Two floors down.

“He’s fine.”

“He’s PROBABLY fine.” I reasoned with myself.


I made a U-turn to the basement.

When I got there I sat on J’s bed and exhaled. I made it.


Without the monitor.

“Son of a…”

I looked at his sweet sleeping face.

“He’s fine.” I whispered.

“He’s PROBABLY fine…”


I made the pilgrimage back up to the two flights of stairs. While there, I woke both B and L up and urged them to use the restroom. A little PTSD from their younger years and resulting wet beds from sustained highs.

I clutched the monitor in my hand and began to tread as lightly as I could down the stairs. It was too late. The dog was awake. He knew I was blowing up my Fitbit. He’s a puppy, not an idiot.

I got to J and checked his sugar, crossing my legs because I had to pee.

Aside: Why do I always have to pee when I’m checking blood sugars in the middle of the night? It’s a rule, not an exception.

J was 69.

“Son of a…”

Back upstairs for some juice, as the basement supply was depleted. Obviously.

After taking the dog outside to do his business, calming his cries and placing him back in the kennel, I made the last hike up the stairs to my bed.

Just because I don’t blog much anymore doesn’t mean our diabetic life doesn’t march on. I don’t write out my experiences as I feel like I’ve written everything before…

But isn’t that what diabetes is?

Everyone woke up alive, and all is well.

Later this week I’ll be attending a conference in Arizona and be meeting with Novo Nordisk, the company that makes the boys’ insulin. (Disclosure: They’re paying for my flight, my hotel, and some meals.) In a conference call last week they asked what I hoped for my boys 10 years down the line.

“I hope they’ll be able to go to sleep at night and know without a doubt that they’ll wake up in the morning. I guess what I’m really hoping for is some predictability.”

(Insert flipping of table here.)

And that’s all I have to say about that.


  1. Meri, A never ending Groundhog Day is right!
    When you go to meet with Norvo nordisk can you address with them the ever rising price of insulin and diabetes supplies for underinsured and Uninsured? As a community, people with T1&2 are (as you know) having real issues keeping their heads above the water. Would just like to know their thoughts. Thank you!

  2. So sorry you are dealing with the unpredictability of diabetes. You are my hero. If you are needing more things to address with Novo Nordisk (doubtful, I know) you can ask if they are working on an insulin with a faster integration so pre-bolusing can become a thing of the past. Safe travels, and may the monitor gods gift you with the recovery of at least one more....

  3. Meri - So sorry that diabetes' unpredictability is biting you....If you need more issues to address with Novo Nordisk (unlikely), ask if they have pursued research on an insulin that has a faster interaction time so that pre-bolusing can become a thing of the past. Safe travels and may the "monitor gods" gift you with at least one more found!

  4. You are amazing - When I am tired in the middle of the night checking my 1 and only T1 son I will think of this post and how you checked all three of your boys and helped the pup as well.

    Thanks for sharing your story. I hope you have a safe and fun trip to Arizona.

  5. How about creating a transdermal patch w/glucose (8-14 carb please!) we can slap on our kiddos arms or legs so we don't have to wake them up to drink those juice boxes at all hours of the night/early morning?!?!

  6. Wow! Your dedication is amazing and you are a great mom!
    I have a Meri myself. Plus I have a 21 year old daughter who is in love with a young man who after having a sudden stint in the hospital a few weeks ago, discovered that he has type 1. He is a huge slushie fan and that brought me to your site. Good to know there are a few sugar free slushies out there! He'll be thrilled!


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