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Sleeping Through Beeping

Last week, I spent two days with three strangers (and one friend) in an unfamiliar city — Charleston, SC. Leading up to the friend’s bachelorette weekend, I was full of nerves. What if everyone hates me? What if I hate all of them? What if I forget to bring shoes? What if my pump dies and I have to spend the weekend in the hotel by myself, waiting for a replacement to arrive?

The one possibility I didn’t consider: What if my pump beeps in the middle of the night and wakes up the girl I’m sharing a hotel room with, and then when she tries to wake me up to see if I’m okay, I physically assault and yell at her?

See, all of us arrived on Friday night. We did the cheesy lingerie party thing, we had some pre-dinner champagne and mixed drinks with whipped cream flavored vodka (!), we dressed the bachelorette up in a couple of identifying garments. Then, we headed out for a kick-ass late dinner at Magnolia’s, where I filled up on fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, corn, biscuits and mashed potatoes. Delicious, but more than enough to send my blood sugars above the “high” threshold I’ve got my CGM set at.

Fast-forward several hours. I’d been bolusing my way down from the Southern-fried high, but was still hovering (barely) above 200, which meant the “High” alarm would go off every so often. By the time I climbed into bed, I figured I’d be under the alarm threshold in a matter of minutes. I guess I was wrong.

When we woke up the next morning, the girl I was sharing the room with turned to me groggily. “Hey, sorry I woke you up last night.”

“You woke me up?,” I asked. “I don’t even remember it.”

“Yeah. Your thingie was going crazy and I was worried. So I woke you up and then you tried to pull my arm off.”

She explained that my pump alarm had continued to sound, and that the longer I went without reacting to it, the more concerned she became. She was also, I’m sure, reluctant to spend the night next to someone whose random biotechnical machinery erupted in ear-piercing beeps every several minutes.

So she came to my bedside and tried to shake me awake. And that, apparently, is when I grabbed her arm and began trying to pull her into bed with me.

“Hey,” she said. “It’s me. We’re in Charleston, remember? For K’s thing? We’re in a hotel.”

According to reports, I opened my eyes, looked at her, and said “STOOOOOP! Just stop!” And then I grabbed my pump and silenced the alarm. Or, as she described it the next morning “You turned the glowy light on and went like this [pantomime flute-playing button-pushing action], and then you rolled over and went back to sleep.”

Of course, I was totally embarrassed. I’m lucky that my weekend roommate works for a medical device manufacturer, so she wasn’t altogether freaked out by my insulin pump. It helped, too, that she was nice and funny and understanding — and strong enough to fight me off.

As it turned out, all of us had a wonderful time. We got along swimmingly, had a laid-back time in a beautiful city, and got to celebrate with a friend that not all of us get to see very often. Looking back, I see how silly it was that I was nervous about sharing a room with someone else. After all, I’m the one with the loud machines and the crazy semi-conscious tendencies.

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