Once Upon a Christmas Night…..A Diabetes Tale

Peacefully asleep on Christmas night, I roll over in a routine manner for me. This time, I feel a tug in my stomach. My insulin pump has slipped out of the waistband in my pants and wrapped around my abdomen. 

Almost without waking up, my hand jumps to the area of the tug. I had intended to check to be sure it was still inserted, and my fingers feel an intact infusion set, but I wake up enough to realize my fingers were wet. Something isn’t right here. 

I wake up nearly fully now, and in the light of the TV I’d fallen asleep watching, I reach for my pump to check the time while ripping the infusion set from my body. 3:36 am. My TV is playing an infomercial. I ignore it. I realize that my head is pounding and my mouth is dry. I grab my monitor and stick the test strip in. I can’t find the lancing device. It’s buried somewhere in my purse. I come across an unused lancet. I pull the top off and attempt to stab my finger without the aid of the pokey-thingy. 


It takes two or three attempts, but finally I am able to jab the sharp needle into my finger. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. Finally the screen shows 336. It casually crosses my mind that my blood sugar is the same as the time. I am ready to pass out and go back to sleep, but I know I must reinsert an infusion set into my skin. Another needle. 

I dig into the side table drawer where I keep my supplies. I’m out of cartridges. I get up from my bed and pull out another box from my “stash”. Infusion set. Insulin. What am I missing? Ah, alcohol wipe. I dig until I find a solitary one at the bottom of the drawer. I don’t know where I put the box, but at this point, I don’t care. I just want to finish this and get back to sleep. 


I rewind the pump while filling the cartridge. It doesn’t take as long and I stare at the pump while it finishes its business. After what feels like forever, I finish the process by shoving a needle under my skin and then taking it out, leaving a thin plastic cannula to deliver the insulin into my body. I bolus for the high blood sugar and turn off my light. 

But I can’t sleep. I keep thinking that I might be dehydrated, or have ketones, and that I should really get up and check them and drink some water. At this point, I’m fully awake. I check my ketones using a urine strip. This is more difficult than it sounds and typically messy. They are negative. I am relieved. I head to the kitchen and drink an entire 16 oz glass of water in about ten seconds. That’s how thirsty I feel. 

Once I make it back to my bed, I still can’t sleep. I get my computer out to blog my experience. Why do I choose to share this with others? I don’t want sympathy. I don’t need attention. I simply want to promote awareness and let you know…..


What It’s Like.


2 thoughts on “Once Upon a Christmas Night…..A Diabetes Tale

  1. Babs

    I had a similar experience, only I must’ve had a low alarm on my CGM at some point and unplugged in my sleep. I woke up with a high alarm of 370, reached for my pump, couldn’t find it and panicked! I was so disoriented and it took me a minute to realize what I had done. Geesh, the foibles of being bionic.


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