Another Round as the Dexcom Warrior.
After a whirlwind week of travel, eating sloppily, and missing a few crucial workouts, my blood sugars were in a tailspin of chaos and I needed to reign things in.
I grabbed my flashlight and sent out the Dexcom Signal.
Help me, Dexcom!
Dexcom responded with a shrill cry and leapt from the box. Within a few minutes, the sensor was making its first appearance on my outer thigh and I started the two hour calibration waiting game. (And why do I always start this thing at ten o'clock at night, forcing me to be fussing around with diabetes toys at the stroke of midnight?)
As I prepared for Round Two as the Dexcom Warrior, I noticed that I was very particular about where I chose to pop in the sensor. Last time, I wore the site on my abdomen and while it was accessible and easy to put in, it bumped up against every piece of clothing I wore and was visible underneath both my gym clothes and my work attire. As someone who prefers to keep all diabetes hardware relatively quiet, I opted for a thigh site this time.
I inserted the sensor, which pinched a bit but not to the point where I clenched my teeth, and pulled out the needle, leaving the hub attached and the wire inserted. (Yes, this sucker has a wire in there instead of a plastic cannula. If I think about it too much, it makes my stomach feel a bit queasy, but I couldn't feel it at all when it was in there.)
With my pump infusion set on my right thigh and my Dexcom sensor on my left, I felt like some kind of diabetic pack mule. My hips felt vulnerable, as though banging into any door jamb would send me into a robotic meltdown.
My euphoria wasn't as intense for this second round of testing. No Techno-Joy. (Cannot access printer? But it's here.) I wasn't obsessed with the new gadget, but instead treated it like it was "just another meter." I traveled with the receiver in my purse and kept it on my desk while I worked, instead of forcing myself to keep it clipped to my clothes. Not wearing the receiver felt liberating.
I noticed it physically, though, while I was at the gym. Lying on my side for an ab exercise, I felt my pump infusion set mashing against the floor. When I flipped to work out the other side, the Dexcom sensor was pressed hard on the floor. I remember back to when I had the sensor on my abdomen and I felt it pressing then for sit-ups. While I appreciate the technology of this device, I would appreciate it even more if it were smaller and less intrusive.
For anyone who thinks the Dexcom results are supposed to perfectly match the glucose meter results, that's not going to happen. While I had some very closely matching results, the Dexcom remained a bit higher, on the whole. Like here:
This reading of 146 mg/dl was countered by my meter as 101 mg/dl. Bit of a difference there. But the trending I saw was spot on. That 101 mg/dl (or 146 mg/dl according to Dexcom) was the upswing of a 72 mg/dl I had earlier in the morning.
And then I watched as the correction for the 146 mg/dl brought me back town towards 120 mg/dl. I like that positive reinforcement that my insulin is working and that my body is able to hold steady for a spell, despite the fact that I'm trying to compensate for a busted pancreas.
I gained a good feel for what times of the day I needed to pay more attention. (Can anyone say "late afternoon snacking tendency"?) I also noticed that wearing the site on my thigh instead of my abdomen made me less aware that I was sporting the site in the first place.