Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I *heart* cleaning bathrooms.  Yep.  There is something about the pure gratification of seeing something once grimy and filthy becoming shiny and clean and sparkly.  Well, maybe not sparkly, but you get the point.  The point is, I appreciate seeing results and I get motivated by seeing good things happen.
I welcome anything that will help me take a fresh look at my diabetes.  After almost 10 years with diabetes, everything starts to mush together and days of diabetes start becoming one long mathematical equation (carbs+insulin-exercise+stress+illness+blah blah blah).

Enter, Dexcom.  Or Dexie, for short.  Even though I got it a few weeks ago, I have only been wearing it for a week and a half.  But I think it's the best thing sinced low-carb sliced bread.

I never realized how much I would be motivated to action by seeing a clear graph and trend of what my blood sugar was doing.  If the line is steady and in a good range I am less likely to want to mess that up by eating some unknown amount of carbs (even if they are covered in chocolate).  When the line is trending upward I am more likely to pay attention so I can bring it down before it gets too high.

The pros outweigh the cons so far.

  • I have cut my testing in half.  Most of the time I was testing to see where my blood sugar was at - now I just take a look at Dex and see if my sugar is stable or dropping or whatever and go from there.
  • I have a better idea of why I feel like crap some mornings (eating fatty meals/snacks before bed makes for quite a blood sugar graph and lets me know why I feel like I didn't sleep at all).
  • I have an accurate view of my blood sugar trends.  I appreciated the graph on my finger-stick meter which showed me where the numbers were that day - but it always looked disjointed and like it wasn't telling the whole story.
  • I am justifying snacks less easily.   Before Dex, I wouldn't think twice about grabbing a small snack and figuring my sugar was fine.  Now I can see where it's at and I am much less likely to eat without thinking.
  • I am using less insulin.  A) I am more conscious of what I eat and how often I snack, and B) I am catching high blood sugars before they are completely out of whack.
  • I feel proactive instead of reactive.  Without Dex, I felt like it was a circle of test-react-test-react.  High sugar - take insulin - low sugar - eat - repeat.  I didn't focus on trends or prevention - I was just reacting to the present moment and moving on.  Now if I see a trend heading low I watch it and treat before it becomes a problem.  A trend moving upward - keep and eye on it and make sure I do what I can to minimize how high it gets.
  • Discrete. I was performing at a cafe and though I wanted to know where my blood sugar was hovering during the show, I didn't have to test - I just checked the Dex. Super discrete.
  • One more thing to carry around.  Meter, pump, Dexcom, phone.  I am ready for the CGM to integrate with a pump so that the screen of the pump shows the CGM stuff.
  • It's not perfect.  I got a low alarm (ideally goes off when I hit 70) when my blood sugar was 98 (always verified with the meter before treating) and then I got a low alarm (70) when my meter read 56.  youch.
  • Um, . . . yeah, those are all the cons I have right now.

The beauty is that Dexcom has just announced the release of their Gen4 version (more accurate, transmits to a farther distance to the receiver, and includes a cute color screen on a smaller receiver). Since I ordered mine in September I am eligible for a free upgrade - sweet!

So I look forward to a more proactive life with Dex, and seeing how the next generation of diabetes treatment technology advances - hopefully towards simplicity of weaving life with Diabetes into real living.

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