Tuesday, May 15, 2012

D Blog Week: Diagnosis M.C.A.F.

Today's topic for D Blog Week is "One thing you need to work on."

Sharing my secret shame:  That's what I get for blowin' my own SWAG-nificent horn yesterday...

 I get put in my place.

I've written about it before.  But it's bad.  It's real bad. 

I have M.C.A.F.

Midnight Check Alarm Fatigue.

If you aren't familiar with this condition, here is an excerpt from Web MD:  The deterioration of certain ear parts, and subconscious elimination of alarm sound in the wee hours of the night.

In other words...I don't wake up to my alarm anymore.

(FYI:  That isn't on Web MD.  I made it up...except I didn't .  It's really real.)

I'm so far progressed in this condition that I honestly don't know if the alarm blares music at 10 million decibels, or if it just doesn't go off at all.  There is also a scenario that it  gets turned off by the angels, or Satan....or me. 

I have no recollection of it in the morning, and I'm not happy about it.

Maybe it is years and years and years of me waking up multiple times a night.  Maybe my body is rebelling.  Maybe my brain has to completely check out at night to survive these days.  I don't know. 

I WANT so badly to hear it.

 But since I don't...I have no choice but to stay up.

Lately if things are awry, I'll stay up until 12:30.  If things are really bad I'll ask Ryan to get up for me after that.   Sometimes I set RYAN's alarm, have him wake up, so he can shake me, so I'll get up.

It's one thing that has fallen apart in my diabetes management.  I'm not writing here to argue the merits of a the nighttime check...I believe in it for a million reasons I won't write out today. 

But it is what it is.

Something I need to work on, or rather, something I need to find a solution for.

Luckily, the mySentry alarm DOES wake me. 


Classic diabetes conundrum.  Diabetes management never makes perfect sense.

Maybe if I start a M.C.A.F. support group, I'll be able to work through my problem.

I'll be the President.  I'm opening up the floor to nominations for VP.

Wait...do support groups have Presidents? 

Let's make it a club instead...

See how I made my problem fun???  Clubs are fun!  Here is a pic of me in one of my first clubs...
The Starlets!

And how dare you accuse me of using a cute pic of me in a Garfield shirt to distract you from my secret shame!  Well, I NEVER!


  1. This is AWESOME... but really, really - should I be surprised? Absolutely not. Great post, Meri (as always)! I'd love to join your club, if you'd allow crazy adult PWDs who may also suffer from said M.C.A.F. I must warn you, though, I apparently have a more advanced stage since mine usually prevents me from hearing the alarms in the 3 a.m. hour. So what's that called? M.C.A.F., Stage 3? Huh. I don't know. Anyhow, I'd love to be a part of your club. We just shouldn't stay out late, since that's apparently not our prime times to be checking on anything.

  2. If you are allowing crazy adult PWDs, I would like to join the M.C.A.F. club also. I have a conspiracy theory though that something silences alarms between 11 PM and 5 AM in my house because I never hear them go off during those times.

  3. Ha!!! CLUBS R' Fun!!! I want in.

  4. You're one of the coolest moms EVER.

  5. I'm in! I went through a spell (well, several over the years!) back in February/March/April where I wasnt hearing any alarms till around 4am..YIKES! Talk about a higher A1c! I now move the alarm (my phone) around the room to different places and change the ringtone every few days. -Sigh- Our swelly brains REALLY need a break I guess!

  6. I'm in. I have a case of potty nodding. (Nodded off while on the potty.)

  7. OH. MY. GOD. i can't get over that photo of the starlets! i mean, there are clearly many stories to be told from that one image alone. the combination of the clothing and houses behind you make it look like you guys were neighbors to the brady bunch. why didn't sherwood schwartz write you in to an episode or ten? OMG!

  8. OMG!! This just happened to me AGAIN last night. I KNOW I set that damn alarm for 2:30. I have proof. I can see it there on the phone. During the day I can hear that alarm from my room all the way into the living room, so there is no way I don't hear it during the night. I don't put it close to the bed anymore. I put it where I have to get up out of bed to turn it off. So I had to have gotten up and turned it off and gotten back into bed. And yet I have absolutely NO memory of any of that. Now my 5:30 alarm, I DO remember. A whole conversation with myself where I reasoned that I could text my husband who was awake and have him do the check. And even though I heard his phone beep IN THE BEDROOM while he was out in the kitchen, I reasoned with myself that he would come get his phone soon and do the check. All this while semi-conscious. And of course, yes, I do realize how important these checks are. Normally I spring up and do them no problem. But some nights my brain, ears, and body just work against me and won't let me get up. And that really scares me. Because when are those two roulette wheels gonna hit red on the same night? Maybe we could invent an alarm that administers electric shocks? Sign me up for the club. I'll take a life-time membership.

  9. Sign me up. I am amazed by you. I know how I struggle taking care of myself and 1 type 1 child. Three? I would be asleep at work everyday!

  10. I'm in! Someone/thing turns my 2am alarm off everynight (yeah, it's me) and I wake up in a cold sweat, heart pounding around 4:30am and tear up the stairs with glucometer in hand. Oh yeah, I'm all about this club! Seriously, when I read your blog, it's like you are writing all my thoughts. Scary!:)

  11. I'm so glad there's a club for this (and an acronym.) MM-caf. Could be a yummy drink.

    I wonder what the other Starlets are sleeping through these days!

  12. PSSSTTTT...another shameful member here. I swear there is NO alarm that could ring between 1-4 am that will wake me, EVER! That is why I don't go to bed until midnight, then TJ checks at 4, I check at 6 and then it's wake up time. I'm glad there is a club in the wings for me to join :)

  13. last night i switched from "robot" (walla-walla-rrrm-walla-walla) to a really annoying guitar riff. i hated it! 2AM. i heard it. but i still didn't get up. i pushed my husband out of the bed with my feet and told him to do the check. he was confused and thought he was just up to pee. when he came back to bed, i asked what the # was. he was just like "hhwah?" back out of bed. beep. prick. beep. 150. OK.

  14. honestly i put forward my nomination to be secretary of your esteemed organisation. i always prefer to stay up (watching americas next top model and other such awesome shows to kill time). i never seem to wake to an alarm. i guess i also get into such a deep sleep, either i miss the alarm or i turn it off while asleep! i go to bed about midnight, and hubby gets up at 5. we seem to be able to catch hypos this way.

  15. Well weren't you just the cutest thing in your Garfield shirt! I think I had the same shirt!! Wait...are you trying to distract me?? Uh, I forgot my real comment...

  16. My husband suffers from this disorder. And it sucks because that means all night-time goings-on fall on me. And I have the opposite affliction, the "I hear every bump in the night so I might as well not even try to sleep and instead just lay here and watch the number on the MySentry change every 5 minutes" disorder. I am only 3 months in to the harrowing new world of getting up all night long to stab my child though, so I very well could develop this affliction as time goes on. With so many eager to join, it looks like there might be a wait list so just go ahead and put me on it, since apparently this is going to happen to me too!

  17. LOVE THIS!!! You are the cutest Garfield Starlet EVER!!!

    I snooze the alarms. I hear them, and acknowledge them by blatantly ignoring them. It takes 2 or 20 snooze sessions before my brain makes the connection that it's going off for a reason.

    I'd like to be the fundraising coordinator, please. Our club needs some revenue so we can have real life playdates.

  18. I too suffer from M.C.A.F.! Mine lasts for quite a stretch from 11pm-6am. Thankfully my husband is a night owl who manages a check at 12am and 2am. I take the 4am one, which turns into a 5:30 check when I wake up in a panic because it's an hour and a half later than it was suppose to be. Wish none of us had to be in this club but at least we are all in good company.

  19. I also have MCAF. I will set alarms specifically to do basal testing and then sleep through about half of them. And the Dexcom alarms... forget about it!

  20. I do not really understand exactly what the situation is, but I had an issue back in high school where I would turn off my alarm in my sleep and not wake up in time for school. When I talked with one of my youth leaders at church about it, he told me he used to have the same problem, but he found a solution. He sets two separate alarms to wake him up. One of the alarms he places on the far side of his room across from the bed so that he has to wake up to turn it off (making sure the power cord is not in sleep grabbing range, otherwise it can end up unplugged). The next one, he sets inside the bathroom, causing him to have to walk even further to turn it off. By the time he's in the bathroom he realizes he needs to use it, and by the time he urinates and washes his hands, he's usually awake enough to function mentally.

    Again, I do not know your situation, but that was what worked for him. His advice helped me, though I did not use the double alarm system since I did not have a bathroom within my bedroom. I just set an alarm on the other side of my room.


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