Question to self: Dude, am I trying to kill me?


I woke up at 1:41 in the morning and tested my blood sugar, all by myself. For that, I am indescribably grateful.

I grabbed some glucose tablets from my nightstand and stuffed them in my mouth. Then I tapped my wife on the shoulder, waking her, to let her know what’s going on (after some recent discussions, I figure this is one of the times that I should share my diabetes). She sprung to action and asked what she could get me, rattling off a few options: juice, and some other things I didn’t remember.

My mouth was dry and coated with glucose tablet dust, so I only asked for water. I know it seems odd to decline juice given that I was suddenly nursing a bad overnight low, but the thought in the forefront of my head was – due to past mistakes – DO NOT OVERTREAT! (I woke up in the morning at 272 mg/dL. So much for that).

I had already forgotten how many glucose tablets I’d eaten, but I know I had dipped into the jar more than once.

But here’s the real shocker. When I started to feel a little better, though my blood sugar was still stubbornly lingering in the mid-50s and I was desperately trying NOT to fall back to sleep, I decided to pass the time by doing some forensic investigation. First, I noticed that my active insulin (aka “Insulin On-Board”) was higher than expected. Then I found this:


An hour and twenty minutes earlier, I had – somehow – bolused for a 40-carb meal without first testing my sugar. (Scrolling backwards through the graph, my CGM at the time was reporting a perfect 104 mg/dL). Yes, I had put over three units of Novolog into my system for no reason. So, now realizing I needed to cover myself for a whole meal and not just a typical low-excursion, I reached for the glucose tabs one more time, then went downstairs to prepare a snack.

That’s why I woke up with a 272 mg/dL. This much I know.

But this I don’t know: why the hell did I bolus for 40 carbs in my sleep?? And did I … could I … really go through just the right motions and scroll to precisely 40 carbs without remembering it? Did my pump malfunction? (I seriously doubt it.) Was it sabotage?  (I seriously doubt that, too.) Did I press the right buttons coincidentally and accidentally? (I’ve mastered the art of silencing a CGM alert in my sleep, but I’m sure I’m not capable of this!)

Did I have a dream in which I was sitting down for a meal — and instead of bolusing in my dream, did I do it in real life? I can’t remember what I was dreaming and if it fits the theory, but right now it’s the least far-fetched explanation I can come up with.

And I’m scared as hell that it could happen again.

I’m just glad I woke up when I did.

* * *

I treated this low with a surprisingly stable mind (and slightly wobbly body) by eating glucose tablets alone. Although it crossed my mind, I never once entertained the thought of taking a shot of glucagon. What I did may not necessarily have been the best choice, and if you or a loved one are in a similar situation, please do not use my experience as guidance for what you should do. The best advice I could give is to come up with a plan beforehand, just in case.

The photo at the top of this page was taken hours later while scrolling through my meter’s history. I did not risk my well-being at 1am in order to take a picture for my blog. It’s not THAT important to me.

Posted on January 29, 2013, in Diabetes, Personal, Type 1 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Oi! That is scary stuff. Glad youc ame around. Even if it’s 272. Treat and move on with that 272, but a 40g cho bolus? my my.


  2. Wow – what a mystery.
    Glad you woke up!


  3. …And then one day, the machines turned against us. Seriously…. I’d call minimed on that one.

    But yeah, I’ve had a number of those crazy lows at 2:00 am before. I have enough of a mind to treat with a small cup of juice. However, the morning after is usually lost.


    • Just got off the phone with Medtronic. I’ll be returning the pump to them and they should be looking into it. I just hate to make people go crazy over something that, quite possibly, is my own fault.


  4. Whoa! That’s terrifying!

    It’s not like bolusing is a simple, one or two step process – it’s an exercise in … well, buttons even during the daytime!


    • Exactly. And the fact that it showed 40 carbs tells me that I (apparently) went through the Bolus Wizard, and didn’t do a manual/quick/easy/whatever bolus. I could see accidentally using an Easy Bolus and giving a few tenths of a unit. (Which reminds me… I should turn that feature off. I never use it anyway.)


  5. Oh great! If I start bolusing in my sleep its all over. Good call on waking your wife on this one. My husband wouldn’t have even asked what I wanted at 36. He would probably just hand me the whole juice bottle and make me chug it.


  6. My first thought when seeing that second photograph was… dude, you need a new battery.

    Seriously, I’m glad everything turned out well in the end. Smart of you to be so prepared.


    • I changed the battery a few hours after taking that picture.

      I wouldn’t say there’s much that I did to be prepared; just had my meter on my nightstand (which I always do before bed) and a jar of glucose tabs in the nightstand drawer (where it always is).


  7. hhwhhaaaat?
    no idea… whatsoever. dream bolusing?


  8. somethingexotic

    Something similar happened to me during my most recent trip to the ER. I think the varying big levels makes our imaginations stronger or something…


  1. Pingback: Another nighttime low? or no? « Rolling in the D

  2. Pingback: I have no recollection of that bolus, Senator | Rolling in the D


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