I woke up last night at 2:10 AM and just felt off. My first thought of course was low blood sugar, even though my thoughts weren’t rising like scrambled eggs and my heart wasn’t beating out of my chest. I crept out of my bedroom into the kitchen, flicked the light and tested. Darn, a borderline 65 and it was only 2 A.M. I should have known when I was 123 before bed that I wouldn’t make it through the night.
Typically, when I have some wine with dinner my blood sugar needs to be about 140 before I go to sleep since I’ll drop about 60 points overnight, and there I was 20 points shy. I wore a CGM once for 3 days to see if my blood glucose followed any trends. What was revealed to me was that indeed it did–I drop significantly overnight. When I asked my diabetes educator, “Why?” and, “What can we do about this?” the answer was “We don’t know why, it’s just how your body responds” and “Let’s move your Lantus from before bed to the morning. The drop may be less severe.” And it is. So now I follow a fairly doable system knowing where my blood sugar needs to be before I go to sleep based on whether or not I’ve had two glasses of wine. I just have to be alert and make the effort even when it’s the last thing I’m in the mood to do at midnight.
Anyway, back to the kitchen. After discovering I was 65 I ate one glucose tablet, a few strawberries and a small bite of an Extend Bar. A few bites before bed help keep my blood sugar more level overnight. Then I tiptoed back into the bedroom. My husband who was now on the verge of wakefulness said, “Are you OK?” I said “Yes.” And I was, and I wasn’t. I don’t often have this thought but I did last night, How unfair and frustrating that this is how I have to live! How amazing that this is my life?! The thought that followed seconds later was a resigned acceptance, Well, if this is how I have to live then this is what I have to do. This is my life.
But there’s a second act to last night’s show. Now back in bed I lay there having a debate with myself whether my 1 glucose tablet, 2 strawberries and bite of Extend Bar was enough to get me through the next five hours. After a good ten minutes debate, because I really didn’t want to get up again, my sleepier side lost and I walked back into the darkened kitchen and retrieved and chomped down another glucose tablet.
This morning I woke up at a stellar 86. Yet I’ve been mulling all morning about how hard I work at managing my diabetes and the only reward is maybe I’ll get less complications, maybe they’ll be postponed, maybe I will make it to 80 years old and won’t have more than my share of heartache.
Of course now that the sun is making its way over to my living room window, my thoughts shift along with its brightness. Living side by side with my intermittent anguish is the hopeful expectation that within the next five to ten years there’ll be more advances in diabetes research, tools and procedures that will make managing diabetes almost effortless and ensure us much better control.
How odd that all that we do to manage diabetes, particularly for type 1s, just becomes mundane in an egregious life, and that we exist in a constant ebb and flow from fear to faith and night to day.