It occurred to me the other morning when my husband woke me at 7:03 AM that diabetes is stealing my sleep.
No, not because I worry about complications. Not because I wake in the middle of the night with a low. Not because I wake through the night to pee. No, because I have to wake up early enough to blunt the rise of my blood sugar in the early morning. That pesky “Dawn Phenomena,” where the liver throws sugar into your bloodstream to get you ready for the day, is the bane of my existence. With MDI I have no insulin on board to not rise. My 24-hour long-acting insulin doesn’t go the stretch.
Since I got a CGM, it’s on the hush-hush but “Pinkie”, my beloved Dexcom receiver, doesn’t sleep with me. I know, I know, the whole point of a CGM is to wake me in the middle of the night if my blood sugar goes too low.
But this is what I know after many data collections of what my blood sugar does overnight. It typically drops to 55 mg/dl and then starts coming up. It’s just my pattern. Trust me, I’ve asked several CDEs about this and pretty much get the response, “That’s just what your body does.”
So I don’t need Pinkie to alert me and I don’t want Pinkie disturbing my sleep. So she sleeps in the living room in the top drawer of my tansu in my checkbook box. C’mon, she’s very comfy cozy there and if she peeps, we don’t hear it.
That said, my husband the early riser, has orders to check Pinkie for my number at 7 AM and if she’s barreling up beyond 100 mg/dl, he’s been instructed to wake me so I can take my first shot of rapid acting insulin to blunt the rise.
That’s how I found myself awakened the other day from a deep, deep sleep. Now that I think about it, the dream I was immersed in was about two old friends…hmmm…let’s just say it was just as well I was awakened.
My husband told me it pained him to wake me. He walked into the room, turned on the light, stood over me for minutes with no response on my part and then began lightly stroking my arm.
And so I thought later that day I have an illness that disturbs my sleep and makes my husband sad he has to wake me when we keep hearing that sleep is a health necessity and predictor.
So here’s my happy dream – when longer-acting insulins arrive I’ll be able to make up for years of sleep deprivation.