Bzzzzzz. Bzzzzzz. Bzzzzzz.

I woke to the sound of my insulin pump vibrating a few nights ago, alerting my that my blood sugar had dipped below my low threshold of 4.4. I didn’t have much insulin on board, and hoped I could just suspend my way out of it. If there’s one time of day where, more than ever, I don’t want to treat a hypo, it would have to be in the middle of the night.

Bzzzzzz. Bzzzzzz. Bzzzzzz.

In-between having just nodded off, but not yet being peacefully asleep, my pump woke me up 30 minutes later to remind me that my blood sugar still hadn’t risen above 4.4.

I fumbled for my bedside lamp, switched it on and reached for my meter, curious to see whether there was any lag from my pump’s reading of 3.6. 3.1. Yikes. I was too tired to worry about how clean my hands were and whether it was accurate. I’d have to do exactly what I did not want to do.

I reached for my tube of glucose tabs, popped two out and instantly felt the horrid orange chalkiness invade my mouth. Made worse by the fact that I’d be left with a horrid aftertaste stuck to the walls of my mouth and my tongue.

Bzzzzzz. Bzzzzzz. Bzzzzzz.

An hour or two had passed. As I reached to silence my pump for the third time, I registered the steady descent after the bump from the glucose tabs that had ended at this 4.4.

I popped another glucose tab in my mouth, even getting some of that orange chalkiness caught in my throat this time. I set a temp rate of 90% for another four hours, which would hopefully steady me until I woke up.

As I eventually woke up and went about my day, with the orange taste that would not escape my tongue, I was left with a lasting reminder of the night that had gone.

Hypos happen. I laugh every time a doctor asks me how many hypos I’m having, because after a decade of living with diabetes it’s not something that I can easily count on the palm of my hand. They’re just something I deal with, in exactly the same way that I check my blood sugar, count my carbs or give insulin.

After living through a decade of lows, it’s no longer the physical feeling of going low that bothers me so much any more.

It’s the fact that I need to find the urgency to treat them every time I register a downward trend arrow. It’s the need to mentally convince myself to pop a disgustingly orange glucose tab into my mouth every time I clock in at 4.4. Or being disturbed in the middle of the night or right after I’ve brushed my teeth.

If I had to describe how I feel about living with lows in just one word, it would have to be inconvenient.


  1. Howdy Guys, I only use Glucose tabs when I need a fast recovery, Jelly Beans are my choice of taste. The plain Glucose tabs are the only way to go, the flavored one’s are complete shit.

  2. HB

    I keep a small bottle of apple juice on my bedside to treat those annoying wakeup calls I find it works as fast as the glucose tablets. You have to figure out how much a swallow raises your glucose.

  3. I use this glucose powder, that is either cherry or fruit. I like the fruit. All the glucose but no chalk. I always suggest avoiding chalk.

    but I also hate waking up to mess with these darn alarms. Grrrr.


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