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Posts tagged ‘dexcom’

Walking in No-Hitter Wonderland

Dexcom rings
Are you listening?
On the graph
Lows are blistering.
A beautiful sight
Is an overnight
Walking in no-hitter* wonderland

Gone away
Are my betas
Here to stay
Is the data.
My Dexcom alarms
Protect me from harm.
Searching for no-hitter wonderland

In the meadow we can build an organ
And pretend that he’s a pancreas.
He’ll say I’m so useful
We’ll say no man
But I will do your job
You pain in the ass.

Later on
We’ll check BGs
As we dream of a cure, please.
To face unafraid
The plans that we’ve made
Waiting for no-hitter wonderland

Dexcom rings
And I’m tuned in
On my graph
I’m improving.
A beautiful sight
I’m happy tonight
Watching my no-hitter wonderland.

 

(* A no-hitter is a CGM graph that stays within the lines for 24 hours)

A Sobering Experience

“Do you mind ringing out this orange juice first?”  I asked the lady who was working the cash register.

“No problem,” and she went bip with the scanner against the bottle’s bar code while my Dexcom screamed BEEP BEEP BEEP! from my phone.

I opened the bottle and downed the majority of it in one, open-throated gulp.  My son, strapped into the front of the shopping cart, reached over to the conveyor belt as the groceries were unloaded, one by one, by his mother with the bird hands.

“Hang on, little guy.  Here, play with this,” I said, handing him a crinkly toy elephant that was peeking out of my purse.  I ran my sleeve against my forehead to catch the beads of sweat that threatened to run down my face.  My ankles felt weak and I know I stumbled a little when I went to unload the contents of my carriage onto the conveyor belt.

“Miss, do you have a Stop & Shop card?” the cashier asked, sizing me up.  She was my mother’s age.  She watched me fumble with my wallet in search of the card, and I dropped it instead of landing it into her hand.

“Hang on a second,” I said, carefully bending over and plucking the card from the floor.   My son yelled, “YEAH!!!” and then “HEY!” from the carriage.  My blood sugar was still dropping and the Dexcom kept hollering.  Clumsy hands and the fog of hypoglycemia made my every movement look ridiculously awkward.

And I knew, knew, knew that the cashier thought I was drunk.

I read Riva’s article about hypoglycemic episodes looking like drunk moments and shook my head in recognition of the concept, but honestly hadn’t ever been mistaken as drunk when low before.  In college, I had this credit-card sized placard in my wallet that said something like, “I have type 1 diabetes.  If I seem drunk, please allow me to check my blood sugar to make sure I am not experiencing low blood sugar.”  I never had to use it, and my college roommates and I giggled at it once in a while, probably because we were actually drunk.

But yesterday at the grocery store, I wished that card had been in my wallet.  I would have handed it to the cashier and pointed sheepishly at the orange juice.

Instead, in the fog of my low, I gracelessly unloaded and paid for my groceries while wrangling my one year old.  Running my debit card for the purchase, I said to the cashier, “I have diabetes.  My blood sugar is low,” but I’m not sure she believed me.  My brain wasn’t sweetened enough to really care.  I was more concerned with pushing through to the other side of this low.

After we paid, I moved the carriage over to a row of benches just inside the main door of the grocery store and we sat there.  I finished my orange juice.  A few minutes later, the arrow on my CGM graph started pointing in a more respectable direction.  I almost went back to the cashier to explain myself more lucidly but decided against it.  Maybe next time I see her, I’ll explain.  For now, it was time to go home.

“Mama?  Mamamamamamamama …” rambled my little man.

“Okay, sweet boy.  We’re good to go.  Let’s go.”

Free Shower.

(to the tune of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Free Fallin’)

He’s a good pump, does his job well
Loves priming and bolusing too.
He’s a good pump, crazy ‘bout islets
Gives insulin when those islets don’t come through.

It’s a long week being my Dex sensor
There’s adhesive workin’ while I play
And I’m a happy girl cause I don’t even miss them
I’m a happy girl on site change day

And I’m free, free showerin’
Yeah I’m free, free showerin’

All devices are sitting on my counter
Going nowhere until I put them on my bod.
And all the good pumps are taking their short leave
And all the good sensors are still in plastic sleeves

‘Cause I’m free, free showerin’
Yeah I’m free, free showerin’

Free showerin’, now I’m free showerin’
Now I’m free showerin’, now I’m free showerin’

I’m gonna dry off and refill my cartridge
I’m gonna peel back adhesive tapey rings
I’m gonna free shower but then when it’s over
I’ll reconnect with these live-saving things.

For now I’m free, free showerin’
Yeah I’m free, free showerin’

Yeah I’m free, free showerin’
Oh! Free showerin’
Now I’m free
Oh!
Free showerin’

Dexcom Adhesive, Activated!

Nothing to see here, especially if you’re looking for an adhesive-related Dexcom rash. Because ever since switching to the sensors that expire after 8/17/17, the rash is a thing of the past.

Now I can wear my sensors for the recommended seven days (sometimes stretching it a day or two here and there, if I’m feeling bold), and my skin is fine when I remove the thing.

Great joy! YAY!!!!

However, if I add any Opsite Flexifix tape, that’s suddenly causing an irritation. It’s like the reverse of what was happening for years.  So.  Close.

But it’s awesome to be adhesive itch-free after almost five years of scratchy-scratch.  Life without blistering skin reactions, Toughpads, and welts that last for over a week is so much nicer.

The only downside to the new post-08/15/17 expiration sensors is that the adhesive itself seems to be weaker.  For the first time in years, I had a sensor go loose and yawn off my skin after 10 hours of wear.

A quick call to the Dexcom customer care team was quick to replace this sensor, thankfully.  And I learned something random on the phone call.

“Are you pressing down on the sensor adhesive after application?” the customer service guy asked.

“Yes, I am.”

“Oh good.  That helps activate the sensor adhesive,” he said.

“It activates it?”

“Yes, and that’s what helps it stay stuck.”

Huh.  I’d only heard that once before (earlier in the day, from Abby in the instagram comments section), but apparently it’s true.  In order to DEXCOM ADHESIVE, ACTIVATE!, you need to press down on the adhesive part.  Is that common knowledge or just instinctively done by most Dexcom users?  For me, it was just something I did without thinking, kind of like riding a bike.

tl;dr – The rash is gone. Make sure you press on your sensor adhesive.  Write a blog post about it once in a while to confirm that the rash is still MIA.  And long live sensors that expire after 08/15/17!

Your moop or mine?

The first flight out was jumbly, with the plane riding into some kind of air pocket right after takeoff, eliciting audible screams from some of us.  (No, not from me.  Turns out that, if things get scary, I resort to frantically saying the F word under my breath whilst clutching the arm rest.)  Once the plane hit some smooth air, everyone breathed a little easier and tried to mellow out.

In the silence of folks calming down, I heard that low, moop sound that the Dexcom G5 app makes when it is ready to be calibrated, like the sonar ping from a submarine.  It’s subtle but unmistakable.

Moop.

My sensor was fine when I boarded the plane.  I pulled out my phone anyway, just to make sure my CGM wasn’t crying for attention.  Huh.  Not me.  Sliding the phone back into my purse, my peripheral vision caught the movements of the woman next to me, who had her phone in hand and I could see the little pigeon head I knew by heart.

“Type 1?”

She grinned.  “Yeah.”

“Me, too.  Since I was seven.”

“I was 13.”

“I thought it was my CGM that needed to be calibrated,” I said, gesturing towards my phone.  “But it was you this time.”


It’s the thread that runs through all of us, that instant and unfettered understanding of the thing that simmers on the back burner some days and threatens to burn the house down on others.  I know that feeling. So did the woman next to me.

Instantly, she became familiar. I didn’t know her name or where she lived or what kind of history she brought on board with her, but there was an instant connection of, “Yeah, me too. I know that thing you have. I also moop.  And beep. And check. And worry. And celebrate. And dose. And fight. And laugh. And keep perspective. And move on.”

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