For a few weeks, I had a tough run with the Dexcom. Out of the five sensors I’d used in the last three weeks, three of them had gone kaput on me. And by “kaput,” I mean that I’d put in a new sensor after Las Vegas and it instantly gave me “???” instead of blood sugar results. I’ve seen the triple question marks before, but usually the sensor synchs back up and rights itself.
But this time, the question marks hung out for ages. Like hours, and then when it would finally ask me to calibrate, it would work for about 45 minutes (“work” being a loose term here, because it had numbers that were over 180 points off from my actual blood sugar) and then the SENSOR FAILED error would come ringing up. Stupid error.
I thought it was just the one sensor, but it happened three different times in three different weeks. Using the Dexcom, it seems, has helped me get my A1C act together, and since becoming pregnant, the Dex has helped bail me out of many, many unpredictable low blood sugars. (Lows plagued me during the course of the first semester, relentlessly. 50s, 40s, and 30s coming to stay for a visit without calling first. No symptoms, no warning, and no predictable time frame. Without the Dexcom, I wouldn’t have woken up in time for those lows, and I don’t like to think about how far I could have dropped while sleeping. Whoops, digression. Sorry about that!)
So I called my contacts at Dexcom, because they are aware of my pregnancy and how paranoid I’ve become about things lately. (Actually, I emailed them at 2 in the morning because when the third sensor in a row kicked out on me, I flaked. I sent them one of those “Sorry I’m a lunatic, but …” emails, and thankfully they got back to me early the next day.)
After a few email threads, Dexcom decided to FedEx out new sensors and help get me back on track. And for some reason, these worked. I’d heard from the Twitter crew and from some comments here on SUM that there appeared to be a certain batch of sensors that just weren’t cutting it. I don’t have the “official word” on what the deal actually was, but I do know that a certain box of sensors just weren’t working right. And now that I’m cracked into a new box, things appear to be working okay now.
Which is a relief, because the Dex caught a 29 mg/dl as I was getting ready to leave the house the other day.
“Holy shit, I’m 29?”
Chris wasn’t home at the time, so I panicked a little bit. Not a single symptom was on board, and I was freaking out. I tested again to make sure, as I drank grape juice straight from the carton. Yup, 31 mg/dl. Dexcom was blaring its head off.
Weird things happen when you’re low and don’t realize it. Like you find yourself sitting at the kitchen counter, eating a whole bowl of Puffins cereal in one gulp. Chris came home as I was inhaling carbs.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah. I’m 29. No symptoms. This sucks. I seem fine, don’t I?”
“You do. You seem completely fine.” The Dexcom went off again.
“Good thing that’s working again. Did you have juice?”
“Drank it. I’m eating the whole box of Puffins now.” Grinned through a mouthful of carby goodness.
I’ve been wearing the Dexcom on and off for two years now, but almost 24/7 for the past six months. And not having it on, or having its integrity compromised through technical failure, etc. makes me feel absolutely naked. It’s not a cure, it’s not a guarantee for tighter blood sugar control, but it’s the safety net I was hoping for, and now that my basal rates, insulin:carb ratios, and blood sugar trends seem to be unpredictable during these months of pregnancy, I’m leaning on it more now than ever before.