Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Beeping: The Good and The Bad

As I have mentioned, Vince wears a continuous glucose monitor that tracks his blood sugar levels and takes readings every 3 minutes. If his blood sugar rises or falls to quickly, an alarm will ring to let us know. This is a great tool for him, as he no longer feels his lows, and can get in a dangerous situation very quickly. Finger sticks do not give a diabetic the entire picture of what their blood sugars are doing throughout the day.
One of the most important times of the day to listen for the monitor is when we are sleeping. Of course since Vince is so drowsy from his medication, he tends to sleep very sound and does not wake up to easily, so I listen for the alarm in case it sounds. If the alarm goes off in the middle of the night, and says his sugar is dropping, I will take a look at the monitor to see what is going on. If the sugar looks to be “hovering” as we like to call it, around a low number, but is not dipping to low, I will clear the alarm and go back to sleep. Also, if I know he ate or drank something before going to bed, and I know his sugar will rise again, I tend to ignore it. The alarm will sound about every 15 minutes until his sugar rises above the point of normal. I normally just wake up each time and clear it out and continue on sleeping. This can be very annoying and there are many nights that the alarms beeps for hours. Although this is a little inconvenient, we much rather have to deal with the alarm going off, rather than not have the monitor, and have his sugar dip down to low to fast and not have any warning before an emergency happens. One thing I do need to be more cautious with, is if his sugar is dropping slowly, I should probably not go back to sleep and ignore it, even if it isn’t going dangerously low. It would be better safe than sorry to get him a drink or yogurt to boost him up. This is a very bad habit that I am working on J A lot of people hate the idea of this monitor and having it beep sometimes all night, but with what we have experienced in the past, we much rather put up with the beeping day and night, then have Vince get in a bad situation. He loves the monitor as it gives himself piece of mind when he is at home alone during the day without me there to watch him. Of course the monitor isn’t perfect and he still has episodes that it doesn’t catch, but we would never go back to the time when he didn’t have it. It is a great thing.

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