So whoa! Much woe.
Posts tagged ‘CGM’
Sharing, because that’s what friends do.
Brian Bosh, living with type 1 diabetes and also apparently a very clever guy, found a workaround for uploading Dexcom G4 data to a Mac computer. Yes, you read that correctly.
— brian bosh (@bosh) August 12, 2014
“I created Chromadex because I was trying #DIYPS but hated carrying around a second phone. I figured I was close enough to a computer enough of the time that I could run an uploader on there and it would work well enough. There already is an uploader for Windows and Android, but no way to do it on the Mac. (Or Linux for that matter.) Once the uploader was built, though, I thought it really ought to do some of the same things Dexcom Studio did, since that’s not available on Mac either: If I had the data, I might as well offer their reports too. At this point it will upload to #DIYPS, NightScout and run three reports. It still takes a little bit of wrenching to get it to upload and I’d like to make that easier. Had a few people ask if I could make it work with MMOL. I’d like to get more reports working.”
I haven’t downloaded my data yet via this application, but others have:
— Chris | Just Talking (@iam_spartacus) August 11, 2014
If you want to try it for yourself, visit the Chrome web store and download Chromadex for free. And if you like how it works, please thank Brian.
The itch started back in July 2012, when I pulled off a Dexcom sensor and saw a prickly, hive-ish rash underneath where the sensor and transmitter had been placed. Blaming it on the summer heat and the recycled, dry air of airplane cabins, I figured it was a one-time thing and I’d be sorted out on the following sensor placement.
Which ended up being an “oh hell no – here’s a big, fat rash from the adhesive” experience instead. I don’t know what changed (the adhesive? my body’s chemistry? my skin sloughed off overnight and was replaced by Super Sensitive Skin?), but I do know that I need to take some extra precautions to this day in order to comfortably wear my Dexcom sensor.
A search phrase that leads folks to SUM is often “Dexcom rash,” so I wanted to make sure that information was easily findable. Not being able to wear the Dexcom due to adhesive reaction/allergy was frustrating, so if this information can help make life easier for PWD who want CGM data, I’m all in.
Here is some decidedly NON-MEDICAL, ANECDOTAL (talk to your doctor before making any changes to your medical regimen, please and thank you) solutions aimed at avoiding the Dexcom rash.
I’ve used a few different methods to help keep the Dexcom stuck, or to avoid the rash, but the regimen that has been tried-and-true and actually working for the last year and a half is this:
- After showering, make sure the skin is completely dry.
- In the colder months, when the air is dry and the heat in the house makes my skin particularly sensitive, I spray a blast or two of steroid inhaler on my skin where the sensor is to be placed. This is a method I learned about from a reader, and discussed with my endocrinologist before trying. She thought I was bananas, but she gave me the go-ahead anyway.
- After applying the inhaler blast (but in mild weather, without applying it), I placed a Johnson & Johnson Tough Pad against my skin. (It’s like a thick, gel-ish bandaid.)
- I stick the Dexcom sensor over the Tough Pad (so that none of the sensor adhesive is touching my skin) and insert the sensor straight through the Tough Pad.
- Then it’s business as usual – stick the transmitter in and start up the receiver!
Usually I can get the recommended seven days without having any kind of skin flare up, and when the sensor starts to peel away prematurely, I stick some Opsite Flexifix tape onto the loose bits to keep things stuck.
And that’s it. It’s not medical advice, but it is a way to bypass the potential rash and to continue use of a medical device I rely on to help keep me safe. I hate itching … unless it’s that advocacy itch.
My purse start vibrating in a panic.
79 mg/dL and two arrows down – how the hell did that happen? I just dropped my daughter off at preschool. My blood sugar was 139 mg/dL before leaving the house with a steady, easterly arrow.
I pulled the car over and put on my hazard lights so I could bust out my glucose meter. (Oh hell yes I treat low blood sugars purely based on a Dexcom reading from a trusted sensor, but this sensor is on Day 14 and due to be changed this afternoon, so my trust was getting rusty. Trusty? Rustworthy. Bah.) Meter said 68 mg/dL.
The symptoms, which weren’t strong when I pulled over, were starting to edge in. Shaky hands and blurred vision (almost wrote “blurred bison,” which sounds like a band name) paved the way for clammy skin, which let the fog of hypoglycemia settle into my brain.
Fine then. I reached into the glove compartment for the ubiquitous jar of glucose tabs. Chomp, chomp on four of them only to realize they aren’t Glucolift but instead the generic chalkified glucose tabs from CVS and became grossed out. The low symptoms were intensifying as I sat on the side of the road, so being picky about my glucose sources wasn’t an option. Chomp, chomp on another tab, wishing I could somehow keep a soft-serve ice cream machine in the glove compartment instead.
Moments pass. I’m still buckled into my car, eating snacks, watching cars whiz by. The Dexcom finally shows an upward climbing arrow. My hairline feels less clammy. The shape of the steering wheel and the radio control knobs come back into sharp focus. Better.
“Did you check your GPS?” my mom asks me whenever we’re about to get into the car together.
“Mom, it’s a CGM. And yes, I did check it,” I reply, usually laughing because no matter how many times I tell her it’s a “CGM,” she still calls it a “GPS.”
But as I think about what may have happened if the low symptoms hit in full while I was driving instead of after I had pulled over, GPS might me just as accurate, giving me the location, in context, of what the hell my blood sugars are doing.
When the “circle” popped off my Dexcom receiver last week, a thread in the discussion on that post highlighted the mystery of the “right button.” As in, what the hell does it do?
And it’s taken me until today to realize that I use the right button all the time, or at least have the option to use the right button: when calibrating the sensor.
If I enter the wrong blood sugar number, the right button (affectionately known as “Easterly”) allows me to cancel that calibration and start over.
See, Harry? It does do something!!!