Tuesday, February 8, 2011
When the Alarm Sounds
Drowsiness and low blood sugar combined with an empty insulin pump all at 7:00AM isn’t what I call an ideal morning before going to work, but in my world, it happens sometimes. It starts with Vince’s sensor beeping to alert us his sugar is slowly dropping. I test his blood sugar and it is on the low side, in the 60’s, so I decide to give him some sugar to boost him up a little. I try to get him to drink some ice tea, but he is just to drowsy. The drowsiness from the medications he is taking for his neuropathy can be very overwhelming, so waking him up from his sleep with low blood sugar is nearly impossible. I decide a yogurt will do the job and will be easier to get him to eat. After helping him eat the yogurt, I realize his insulin pump doesn’t have enough insulin to get him through the day, so I tell my sleepy husband that I am going to change it, and not to be alarmed if he feels the stick of the infusion set. As he lies there sleeping, I change his infusion set, refill his pump and wake him enough to tell him I am going to work soon. After done getting myself ready to leave, I check his sensor one more time, and it says his sugar is slowly rising so I feel comfortable enough to leave for work. When I get to work, I give him a call and am able to wake him enough to take his AM medication and explain what I did earlier. He is a little more alert by this time, so I have him do one more blood glucose check, and he is finally above 100, so I know he is back to normal readings and can go back to sleep to get some rest. This sounds like a lot, but with some patience, it becomes routine to listen for the sensor alarm and to take action when needed.