June 15, 2009

If Only I Remembered the Night to Forget

Filed under: Blood Sugar,CGMS — Tags: , — Lee Ann @ 12:39 pm
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Well, it happened again. After going ten years without any severe lows, since last November, I’ve now had four. At least I think the tally is now four – I’m starting to lose track. I know this was the second time since January that Jason called 911, although luckily, I was lucid by the time they arrived this time.

Jason awoke about 3:30AM Saturday morning because I was restless. He touched my arm, and felt that I was drenched in sweat. His account was a little unclear because at some point during the ordeal, he started to lose it. He got me some juice, but he was having some difficulty getting me to drink it so he got a straw. I was acting weird by then though, and Jason said my tongue was sticking out and looked swollen so even with a straw, getting me to drink juice was presenting a challenge.

Somewhere amidst the chore of managing me, Jason found himself with another issue on his hands though. You see, we’ve been battling a somewhat minor ant problem the last couple of summers. We had been using bait to eradicate the little boogers, the kind they supposedly take back to their nest so the nest is killed. Last summer it seemed to work, so Jason got the same stuff, and had been using it this past week. It seemed to work, but they appeared again Friday evening, albeit, not to the extent we’d seen them the previous weekend, so Jason applied more of the bait. Following up on the ants was put on the endless To-Do list that comes with a 50+ year old house.

So one of the times Jason came downstairs to get juice, a straw or possibly a glucagon kit, he noticed some flying bugs on the front door. Then he started looking, and noticed a swarm of them on the outside of the window screen that’s adjacent to the front door. Flying ants. He went to the basement to get the jug of insect spray he sprays on the outside perimeter of the house as needed, and then he went to work, at 4AM, trying to kill the unexpected intruders.

When he thought he’d gotten them, he returned to find me precariously on the edge of his side of the bed. He rolled me back to my side, and in light of my continued state, he decided it was time for the glucagon. He prepared it, and then held me steady as best he could while he jabbed my thigh. Then it was a matter of making sure I didn’t roll out of bed, periodically interrupted by running downstairs to kill any straggling ants. When my moaning and whatever I was doing with my body – not a seizure in the more conventional sense, but I don’t know what else to call it – didn’t appear to be subsiding despite the glucagon, Jason called 911.

We live in a tiny borough so it doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes before someone shows up. I started to emerge from my state of unawareness right after Jason called though. I was still out of it, but I was lucid enough that I wanted to put on more clothes before emergency personnel arrived. No sooner did Jason help me put on a shirt when the police officer arrived at our door, followed moments later by the paramedics. The paramedics verified I knew who I was and where I was, and that my BG was headed in the right direction before insisting that Jason feed me some peanut butter to make sure my BG stayed up. I didn’t feel like arguing, and in light of the fact that I buy the low sugar peanut butter with only 5 carbs per serving, I wasn’t overly concerned that a spoon of peanut butter was going to wreak havoc on my BG later. As I licked peanut butter off a spoon, I signed the form declining a ride to the hospital, and just like that, they were gone.

Jason explained everything that had happened, including the flying ants. He indicated to me that he almost had a break down in the middle of the chaos. He changed the sheets which were soaking wet as usual, we got showers, and then we climbed back into bed. He was still running on adrenaline so he got on his laptop, and concluded that we have carpenter ants. The queens like to emerge and swarm, especially after lots of rain – which is all we get anymore – so they can mate and establish new colonies. Or something like that. Since we think we know what kind of ants they are, we have to figure out how to get rid of them since it seems most ant baits aren’t effective on carpenter ants. That’s a whole other issue though.

Despite my expectation that I’d be chasing a fierce high on Saturday, when I awoke later Saturday morning, I was “only” 249mg/dL. All things considered, I was relatively happy with that reading. As for why I had the low in the first place, the only thing I can think of is that I took too much insulin with the snack I had later Friday evening.

I did check my CGM once the paramedics had left, and it had held steady at 70mg/dL throughout the ordeal. Overall, my complaints about the Minimed CGM have been nominal, but THIS was the primary reason I wanted one, and this is not the first time it’s proven to be inaccurate at a rather critical time. The more I use it, and the more I hear more favorable things about Dexcom from those who use it and have had the opportunity to compare both devices, the more irritated I am that my insurance company only approved the Minimed version.

I am having a lot of thoughts and feelings about this latest incident – beyond my current disappointment with the MM CGM – but I’m still mentally working through it. You can probably expect a post or two to come from this once I organize my thoughts better though.

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17 Responses to “If Only I Remembered the Night to Forget”

  1. Bethany says:

    extreme lows and bugs in the house are my two biggest fears! looks like you had *my* nightmare!!

  2. Cara says:

    I’m so sorry you had to deal with this AGAIN! It’s not fair that we should have to go through this. :(
    I rarely have really bad lows in the night and MiniMed CGMS seems to catch the ones I’ve had lately before they get too bad. But if Dexcom will work better for you, I say fight for the coverage!
    Poor Jason.

  3. Chris says:

    I guess I’m still early enough that I can still *feel* my lows coming and am able enough to act on them before it gets too late. (knocks on wood) I can only imagine the frustration in having technology that is designed to manage situations like that let you down. Scary stuff.

    Glad you’re ok.

  4. Sara says:

    Lows and ants are my two biggest pet peeves too! And hey, I tend to overtreat both!! :)

  5. Kathy says:

    There must have been something in the air last night, I went down to 40 mg/dL out of nowhere myself. Glad you’re OK today (:-X

    Hate ants!

  6. Lyrehca says:

    Oy, sorry to hear about this. Any way you can complain to Medtronic and maybe they’ll replace your CGM?

  7. BarbraW says:

    Nothing at all like your ordeal, but I woke up to my first nighttime low last night (I’m new to all this – only Dx’d 6 months ago), AND there was a millipede on the bathroom wall. It must be a low & bug night for all of us.

    Glad to hear it worked out all right, and hope that you figure out the ant problem AND the lows.

  8. Major suckage. So sorry to hear that you & Jason had to deal with another one of these things. I am glad that you are alright.

  9. Allison says:

    I pray that someday I will have a man like Jason in my life. I am so glad that you are OK now. It was a wakeup call for me. I haven’t had a “bad low” in six years (though I HAVE had lots of bad highs!) and you remind me that though it is easy for me to become comfortable and complacent with my diabetes management and to put so many other things first, my life is in danger all the time. I know that may sound dramatic, but since I tend to minimize my diabetes, this is a good reminder. Please continue to take care of yourself. You inspire so many.

  10. Colleen says:

    Very glad to read that you’re okay!

    Give Jason an extra hug for “doing the right thing!”

  11. Harry says:

    Sorry to hear about your troubles, glad you’re ok. I understand your frustration with the MM CGM, even though I’ve only been using mine for a couple of weeks, it has missed a couple of pretty big highs and lows. Unfortunately, the CGM thinks I’m doing a much better job than I actually am. Maybe I should just send it to my next endo appointment.

  12. CALpumper says:

    Oh Lee Ann. My heart was breaking for you both.
    I have not had a low like that since I was a kid.
    I Hate lows. I Fear them.

    I am so with Allison on Every point. And as Colleen wrote, (((BIG hugs))) to Jason for hanging in there!

    SO glad you are ok. So glad.
    Hope all works out and you figure out the CGMS issue. Bleh, technology can be such a pain.

    Best to you Always!!

  13. Suzanne says:

    Sending big hugs to you and to your wonderful husband. I hate that you had to deal with this, I can relate. I can’t feel lows anymore, no matter what I do. I can tell you that my experience for the last few months on the DexCom has been WONDERFUL! It has only missed one night time low and that was when the sensor was on its 13th day. Granted I get frustrated sometimes when it won’t stop alarming for lows in the middle of the night when I am not really super low, but it does warn me of them before I get to the point where I can’t treat myself. That was the whole point of getting one, so my husband won’t have to pull out the glucagon kit. See if your endo’s office will let you try one for a week (or ask a DexCom rep, make sure you mention your blog). Then you will know if you want to fight with the insurance company and make the switch.

  14. K2 says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that you had to deal with a severe low – as Scott said,”Major Suckage!”
    You and Jason are so lucky to have one another!
    Lows and flying Queen Carpenter ants – you guys deserve a medal! Can’t help you there, but I can send big hugs and positive vibes to you both!!!
    Kelly K

  15. Katie says:

    Oof that’s terrifying – I’m so relieved to hear you are okay in the end!

  16. Amylia Grace says:

    EIEY! How awful, Lee Ann!

    One of the things my endo said to me when I asked her about a MM CGMS was that she has two patients on it who went into serious reactions (one while driving) while on the CGMS and that these occurrences are not anomalies. I decided against having one, though I’m not advocating this nor saying that is the point of this post. I’m just sayin’…

  17. Amylia Grace says:

    hah, that sounded funny. I didn’t mean to imply I “decided against having one = having a reaction! I meant I decided against having/being on a CGMS right now!

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