When Q was first diagnosed, once her blood sugars were somewhat regulated after getting insulin to carb ratios and the bedtime dosage of Lantus figured out, we were told that we didn’t need to do overnight blood sugar checks. So we didn’t. If her blood sugar was fine at bedtime, she was good for the night.
I’m not sure if she was more “even” overnight when she was on injections or if it was because her blood sugar range at the time was higher (100-200), but if she went to bed fine, her morning BG was okay too.
Sometime after we started an insulin pump, we began checking blood sugars overnight. I can’t remember what made me start doing it. First it started with checking her at 10:00 or 11:00 pm before we went to bed. It has progressed into that late evening check and then setting my alarm sometime during the night, usually 2:00 am, to check her again.
Like I said, for the first couple of years after diagnosis, we weren’t checking in the middle of the night. But now we are. When I awake at 2:00 am, I can’t just roll over and fall back asleep and sometimes I’m up for hours, finally falling asleep close to 5:00 am. I know what you are saying: have my husband do the overnight checks. He does sometimes, but if he’s up and walking around it wakes me up, so I may as well do it myself.
So last night (I’m typing this at 2:46 am, by the way), I was tired. I laid down in bed after the kids went down and fell asleep sometime around 9:30 pm. I remember being tired at that time. I set the sleep timer on the TV’s remote to turn itself off in an hour. I contemplated setting my alarm to awake me at 10:00 pm, but thought that I would check on her if I was still awake, but that I’d let myself fall asleep early if my body would let me.
My eyes opened and I looked at the clock. It was exactly 2:00 am on the dot. Is my body trained or what?
I walked to the kids’ bathroom to grab the meter off of the counter where it’s placed each evening at bedtime. I fumbled a little in her room trying not to wake her brother who was having a “sleepover” with her.
Her blood sugar was 82.
I walked back to the bathroom and grabbed a juice from our overnight kit and returned to her, rubbing her back to partially wake her and whispered to her to drink the juice, which she can do in one giant gulp while still sleeping.
I went downstairs to pour her a glass of milk, thinking that I’d give her a little protein to keep her even through the rest of the night.
I checked her blood sugar again: 70.
How low would she have gone had I not awoken without my alarm?
I have no idea why she was low. She was 84 before bedtime and my husband gave her 15 uncovered carbs including protein for her bedtime snack, just like our plan dictates for a number between 80 and 100.
One of the biggest lessons learned is that her brother does not in fact function as a diabetic alert dog, despite spending the previous day insisting he be called “Ruffy” the puppy.