Things that go BEEP in the night

Oh, I heard it.RepeatedHiAlarms

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.

Insulin pumps.


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)


Posted on June 9, 2014, in Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), Insulin pump. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Good point. Beeps galore are ruining the whole show.

    Now that everyone uses the crickets noise for a phone ring, I don’t even hear bugs.


  2. Just reading the “beedobeedo” gave me the worst heebie jeebies. I think you just poked my traumatized brain into remembering what traumatized it.
    I can hear the sound, billowing out from beneath the covers in a demonic nightmare.

    I’m kind of getting that way a little with my iphone alarm right now though but at least I can change the “song”


  3. I’m at a point now where I don’t hear my DexCom alarms at night and/or I hear them, but promptly ignore them. My husband is not desensitized yet, so he hears them and wakes me up, which means now neither one of us is sleeping.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The DexCom has a vibrate only option as well as 4 other “beeping” sounds that differ on volume and how many beeps they play. Regardless of the alert sound you select, the first notification you receive, once crossing your low or high threshold, is that the Dex will vibrate. If you don’t touch a button, 5 minute later then your sounds will sound. I think part of my problem is that I sense the “first round” vibrate while sleeping and, without even realizing it, touch a button to silence the vibrate. Therefore, my DexCom never gets to the “second round” alert, which is the sounds.

    Other times I know we’ve reached the “sound” stage because my husband hears it.


  5. When I used the Minimed sensors, the “bee-doo” alarms often wouldn’t wake me up in the middle of the night, but the vibrating pump would! (That’s the fourth alarm attempt – or at least it was.)

    You can actually change the Hi alarms to set off every 2 hours – but I’m not sure if the hour default is part of your trial. (That would drive me insane.)


  6. Interesting insight!


  7. I often don’t hear the alerts in the middle of the night, luckily they wake my hubby up so he let’s me know. I think I just don’t hear it because my alerts go off like 20 times a day so I definitely have gotten used to blocking them out



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s