My pump saved my life last night

(technically, the combination of my pump + CGM saved my life, but that isn’t as good of a title, now is it?)

I had been battling highs throughout the day yesterday. It was a bad diabetes day, and I was frustrated. We were having orange chicken and rice for dinner, and I knew that I was going to be fighting high blood sugar for the entire night because of it.

After dinner, my sugar barely popped over my 175 limit. And came right back down. And stayed down, even 4-5 hours later (usually I have a residual spike later after most of the insulin has worked its way through me). When it was 11pm and I was about to head to bed, my sugar was drifting into the low 80’s. Normally my sugar rises at that time of night, so I was pleasantly surprised. I grabbed a juice out of the fridge, chugged it down, and went to sleep, believing that tonight like every other night, I’d be just fine.

I don’t know if it was me or my husband who woke up first, but at 3am, my pump was emitting a horrendous sound. In my half-asleep delirium, I read the screen and reread it and read it one more time before I finally realized that it was suspended.

I use the Minimed 530g, the first insulin pump approved by the FDA in the USA to have the ability to, when used with the CGM, suspend the delivery of basal insulin if the blood glucose reading falls below a certain level, to prevent it from goi even lower. I’ve had my pump suspend before, but it was always either erroneous or during the day when I was awake and wanted to see what would happen.

I got out of bed and went to find food since my pump suspends when my sugar hits 60. I pulled something out of the fridge but realized we didn’t have any clean spoons. It frustrated me so I decided to use the bathroom and then try to find something else. I was dealing with major “low brain.” My blood sugar had been so low for so long that I couldn’t focus or think rationally at all. While in the bathroom, my hands began to shake so badly that I couldn’t get a grip on the toilet paper, and I wanted to start crying because I was so frustrated (when I have low brain, I get very frustrated).

You have no idea how dehumanized and pathetic you feel when you’re confused and frustrated at 3am when you can’t unwind the toilet paper from the roll because your brain and limbs aren’t working together.

I finally got back into the kitchen and found a granola bar, and collapsed onto the couch. My husband called to me from the bedroom asking if I was okay, and I of course yelled that I was low. He asked “how low?” and I said “I don’t know.”

He immediately ran out to me, bringing my testing kit and running to the kitchen to get me something to eat. The shaking was finally going down. My CGM read 60 still, but my blood tested at 83. I checked again and got 82. I then checked and my pump had been in suspended mode for over an hour before I woke up, so being 20 points above the CGM is normal. I had finished my granola bar, and I was finally starting to feel normal, so my husband went back to bed. I decided to eat a fiberone brownie, to make sure I wouldn’t go low again, and finally went to bed.

After this horrific, scary experience, I am SO grateful that I got this pump over others I had considered. I truly believe it kept something very bad from happening.


You can see in the middle of the graph where my line went below the lower horizontal straight line which represents the low of my target range (85). Then the high I had the rest of the night, better that than the awful low I guess.

I’m so thankful. So grateful. So lucky. So blessed.

1 Comment

Filed under CGM, low blood sugar

One response to “My pump saved my life last night

  1. Phyllis (mom T1D 15 yo son)

    Your article is a good read and I was especially touched by this line: ” You have no idea how dehumanized and pathetic you feel when you’re confused and frustrated at 3am when you can’t unwind the toilet paper from the roll because your brain and limbs aren’t working together.” Nice job putting into words what my T1D son probably wishes he could explain to me.

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