Things that go Buzz (or Beep) in the Night

[From Dayle]

Buzz Buzzz

My CGM was being persistent at 4:45 in the morning.  I wanted to ignore it – couldn’t it be more polite? Shouldn’t it be?  I rolled over and went back to sleep.

BuzBeep BuzBeep

Okay, it was just being annoying now.  And my stomach wasn’t feeling great – maybe I should see what’s going on, or at least let it know I heard its cries for attention:


279?! How could that happen?


274. And that’s when a noise came not from pump or meter or CGM – it came from Dayle:


That’s where the nausea is coming from.  I checked the CGM again – arrow is facing Northeast, my blood glucose was still on the rise for no reason I could find. I started pushing buttons for a correction bolus, 4.35 units coming up. The pod gave me a reassuring

Beep beep

I laid back down and let myself relax again.

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee –

My pod had failed. Again, I make my own noise:


I turned on a light.

—  eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee —

I pushed the buttons to shut the damn thing up (my mood is officially sour at this point), this time getting an insincerely cheerful

Beep beep

A message flashes on the screen announcing an occlusion.  My first actual occlusion with the omnipod. Jackhole.

Chris is awake now. He’s tuned in to the various beeps and buzzes of my bionic life, so he knows what’s going on. What he doesn’t know, however, is that last weekend I had used the two backup pods in my backpack (one ran out, one failed to initiate)… and I hadn’t replaced them before coming out to his home, 45 minutes away.  I didn’t have a back-up pod, I was too nauseous to drive home and get one, my blood glucose was still rising and I just wanted to burst into tears.  Instead I started to babble.

“I don’t have a back-up with me. Can I borrow your car?  I’ll go to Arlington and drive back and be back before the sun is up.  My stomach hurts – not sure I can drive. But I need insulin quick.  It’s nearly 300 and still going up…”

In the meantime, I was trying to rip the now useless pod off my arm and suddenly there was blood everywhere. Chris got up immediately to get me tissues and took the stupid, ugly, blood-smeared pod out of my hands.  We sat in silence as I waited for my site to stop bleeding.  The entire cannula was filled with blood and there was clearly a jam somewhere in the pump itself.  Double jackhole.

“You’re not driving there.  I’ll drive you to Arlington” Chivalry is pushy sometimes. But I didn’t want to get in a car.  I wanted to go back to sleep.  If my blood glucose continued to go up, however, I wouldn’t be able to sleep and instead would spend the morning vomiting.

When the bleeding stopped, I reached for my phone to Google a few things, then switched to its calculator tool and try to estimate…

“Can I borrow 16 units of Lantus?  And about four or five units of your Humalog? That should at least get us into tomorrow afternoon…”

Chris reached for his insulin pens and pen needles.  I realized it had been nearly nine years since I’d used an insulin pen.  I had a prescription a few years ago, but the boxes took up too much space in the butter compartment, the co-pay was really high, and I never used them.  Way in the back of my closet there is still a box of old pen needles that I’ve held on to since 2002, despite Chris’ ridicule for how large the needle gauge is (but it was the smallest available back then).

As odd as the circumstances were, I was a little relieved.  Not because I have a boyfriend who had the supplies I needed in order to go back to sleep, but because I’d been thinking about taking a break from the pump and the opportunity had obviously presented itself.  I dialed up the Lantus dosage.  Back when I was on Lantus, it didn’t even come in pen-form.  Chris reminded me that I don’t need to pinch for needles this small.  I inject.  Then do the same with the Humalog to try to get my glucose levels back into range.

We didn’t rush back to Arlington as soon as we woke up later that morning.  Instead, I spent the majority of the day on Lantus and Humalog.  Every meal, Chris produced an insulin pen and needle from his pocket for me.  At one point he even said “ladies first” when we were waiting for the other to go first.  Chivalry is sweet sometimes.

A few lessons learned: at my next endo appointment, I will ask for a prescription for these back-up supplies – and an official conversion for my basal rates.  But I still don’t think I’ll use this much.  I was surprised by how much the injections stung.  I was annoyed that I couldn’t take fractions of a unit. And please spare me the “you shouldn’t share prescriptions” lecture – I know this all too well… but for the first time in a long time, I felt like someone else was taking care of me – someone I actually trusted to take care of me – and that was nice.

[Thanks Dayle 🙂 ]

8 thoughts on “Things that go Buzz (or Beep) in the Night

  1. Ladies First! How sweet! Back in my MDI days, I bailed my dad out of a tight spot or two with my back up pens, so I fully support sharing when the need arises. It’s a helluva lot better than the alternative!!


  2. A few years ago, I lived with a fellow person with diabetes. She was on MDI while I had a pump, but we still used the same type of insulin at times. One day we were out and she had left her new bottle of insulin at home accidentally, so I let her use a new syringe of hers and draw up a few units of insulin from my full pump reservoir. It may not have been what a doctor would recommend, but it let our day out last longer and we both were fine. 🙂


  3. Dayle, I have some lantus pens and novolog pens in my butter compartment. I am close to Chris’s house. You are welcome to them!

    Glad Chris was able to take care!:)




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