Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Those of us in the DOC have been dealing with the recent loss of six PWDs (people with diabetes) around the world for the last few weeks.  Six people whose lives were cut short by D.  There have been some beautiful, and quite moving, posts about it by Kelly, Scott, Lindsey, and Lexi.

But the one that really got me was Scott's follow-up post, Chillingly Familiar Graphs.  You should read it, really.  Because it deals with the one thing that scares the living daylight out of me.

When someone asks me what my greatest fear is, that's what I tell them--night time lows.  And I'm not exaggerating.  Just thinking about it makes me break out in a cold sweat, so I try to to really ever think about it.

But after reading Scott's post, how could I not think about it?  Lows during the night happen to all T1s.  And usually we wake-up and we're fine.

But sometimes we don't wake up.  I myself have had three occasions where I did not wake up.

When I was 12, I had three low-induced seizures in the middle of the night.  Two were at home, and the third was at an overnight camping trip with a church group.  Paramedics were called for the two I had at home.  Somehow, someway, my parents woke up when I could not.

And the one at camp succeeded in traumatizing my Sunday school leaders (good family friends whom I adore).  I was in a cabin full of girls, so someone must have woken up and gotten the grown-ups.

I don't really remember much about any of them.  The one thing I do remember about all three--throwing up afterwards! Did I mention I HATE vomit?

The seizures were quite traumatic for my parents too.  They remember it.  I don't.  As I've mentioned before, aftter the seizures, my mom woke me up every night at 2-3 am to check my blood sugar.  Check, eat, back to bed.  All to prevent another seizure.

My pediatric endo determined that my long-acting insulin was peaking in the middle of the night and causing me to drop like a rock.  Remember NPH and Ultra-Lente?  Anyone?

This led to me getting an insulin pump less than one month after I turned 14.  They didn't stick pumps on kids back then like they do now. Pumps just weren't as common overall.  But my parents and my endo fought the insurance company tooth and nail to get that pump for me.  It was epic.

So it's not an exaggeration to say that my pump saved my life, not to mention my sanity (and my mom's).     Not that I don't still have lows at night.  Because I do.

And that's what scares me.  I may not remember the seizures, but I know they have affected me.  Because there's few things I can think of that scare me more than the thought of having another seizure...or worse...

It's not like I think about it all the time, but all it takes is a night time low here and there to send my mind reeling.  Since I've gotten the CGM, I do feel a little better about it.  My CGM has woken me up for a few lows already, so it provides a certain level of security.

But still.  I'm trying to retrain myself not to be nervous about a bedtime bg of under 150 if I'm holding steady.  The fear is always there, buried in my subconscious, lurking.

What's your greatest fear?


  1. Great post Jess!

    I think this is the one thing we all fear. I seriously go to bed every night wondering if I'll wake up in the morning.
    MY DH travels alot, so while he's home I feel a bit more secure knowing that if I go low, I'll thrash around or do something that might wake him up. But, when he's traveling. . .I have a really hard time going to sleep at night. I make sure I'm in the 150 range before nodding off, just in case.

    I'm hoping to get a CGM some time this year. Until then. . I pray. . Now I lay me down to sleep. . .

  2. Wonderful post. My fear too. When I see a 120 flatline on dex and 116 on his meter I want so much to just go back to bed but I cant. I either give something or get in bed with him. My hand on his chest and check every 2 hrs. All the while grasping dex.

    I fear losing him in his sleep. Or at school cause someone didnt act fast enough.

    Thank you for sharing your fears too. ((hug))

  3. Brave post Jess. It's sometimes hard for us to talk about these scary things. In many ways I feel that it's best to let these things alone - but when I think about it, it is probably good to talk about them.

    Thanks for sharing, and being brave enough to talk about it.

  4. DIB is my greatest fear for Joe...followed in a close second by "depression" due to "D" and followed by Joe letting "D" stand in his way in attaining his dreams.

    I LOVE you and YOUR MOM! She sounds like a "D" Super Hero to me Jess. (((HUGS)))

  5. DIB is my fear too and I remember when it wasn't. I miss when it wasn't (ignorance may actually be bliss?). It's hard to believe after having D for 33+ yrs that I had no clue what DIB was until a few years ago. I also see how dependent I am on the Dexcom sleeping on the pillow beside me and that dependency scares me too. I agree with Scott, brave post! Well done. xo