Things that go BEEP in the night
Oh, I heard it.
I’m pretty sure I heard it.
Every hour. For seven hours straight.
I don’t remember the first six times it happened, but I do remember lying in bed on the seventh, to the sound of Bee-do-Bee-do-Bee-do echoing from beneath the sheets.
I remember lying restlessly in bed, trying to fall back to sleep in spite of the background noise.
I remember contemplating what that Godforsaken noise was, and remember trying to block it out of my mind.
Eventually, after it went on and on and on, I gave up on my desire to sleep, only to find my blood full of glucose and my urine full of ketones.
(Yes, that threshold-suspend Minion alarm is the same alarm that you get for a low or high Sensor Glucose alarm – it’s the last resort after different symphonies of beeps proves ineffective. Though in reality, it’s quite higher-pitched than Minion Carl‘s voice).
I must have listened it Bee-do for a good five minutes before doing anything about it. I’m not sure what happened the previous times; if I silenced it or if it eventually silenced itself; but I know it didn’t Bee-do-Bee-do Bee-do for seven hours straight or it would’ve been more than my meter giving me an angry response when I awoke.
But I’m sure I heard it. I can hear a quiet cough or a sniffle from my child’s room down the hall in my deepest of deep sleeps. Surely I could hear this sound from right next to me. Every time. I just tuned it out.
Some sounds are like that – we learn to tune them out. Like a fire engine in Manhattan, the high-pitched electronic beeps become white-noise in the background.
I didn’t grow up in Manhattan (I lived there for a month, but that doesn’t really matter). But I did grow up in the Casio Generation. That, for you young’ns, is the period of time in the 1980s where, every hour, on the hour, a high-pitched beep-boop would be emitted from black plastic wristwatches, slightly out-of-sync with one another, as far as the ear could hear.
As a society, I believe we’ve become completely desensitized to the ubiquitous high-pitched electronic beeps. They’re everywhere: car dashboard electronics, digital thermostats. music players. telephones. photocopiers. cameras. the world’s last Casio. dishwashers.
Contrary to many popular opinions, the Minimed Bee-do-Bee-do alarm may be loud enough, it’s just not unique enough. That’s why they get ignored. Whether it’s the Bee-do-Bee-do or Boop-beep-boop, of the insulin pump or the beeeep-beeeep-beeeep of the microwave oven, eventually it’s all the same. That, I believe, is why the alarms are so ineffective.
Maybe it takes a different kind of Despicable sound-bite to get one’s attention.
(Or if you really want to be effective, I still like the electric-shock-through-the-cannula idea)