Monday, February 20, 2012

Dexcom Trial: Week In Review

It's been a week since I got to test drive a Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor. I've learned a lot about what happens between those finger sticks. According to my meter, yesterday’s readings were:

Before breakfast 106
After breakfast 156
Before Lunch 100
After Lunch 174
Before Dinner 100
After Dinner 126
Before bedtime snack 98

All of those readings are below the 180 threshold. Should I be congratulating myself? Let’s see what Dexcom has to say about that. Ahem...


Yes, it is true, I woke up at 106. Only, before I had breakfast my liver generously donated a bucket of glucose as a wake up gift. According to the Dexcom my blood sugar shot up to 174 and I hadn't even eaten yet. (Insert swearing.)

I gave myself insulin and had a protein only breakfast to compensate. Then I took Honey for a walk. Dexcom alerted HIGH, but five minutes later my blood sugar was already going down. Two hours later, my finger stick read 156.

By lunch I was 100. I gave myself some more insulin. I had stir fried beef and broccoli over noodles for lunch. I looked at the noodle label and counted the carbs, only something went wrong. Dexcom alerted that my blood sugar was taking off like a rocket. Double arrows up. I'd never seen that before.  Dexcom alerted HIGH. (Insert swearing) So, I went for another walk and that brought things down to 179.

By dinner I was 100 again. Yay! Dinner was eggs and bacon, a Smith family weekend tradition. Only eggs and bacon are mostly protein. I goofed again. This time I had too much insulin and not enough carbs. While eating dinner my blood sugar dropped and Dexcom went off LOW! (Insert more swearing) I had a high alarms and low alarms in the same day. I swear my 24 hour graph looked like an electrocardiogram.

How did I do? According to my meter, I did fine. That graph tells a different, and far more accurate, story. Unlike people, all carbs are not created equal. If I only had my finger stick data to go on, I'd have no idea which foods to eat and which ones to run away from. I had a rapid rise followed by an equally rapid drop from 209 to 62. The graph on my Dexcom looked like a straight downward line. It felt like this:



Only it was scarier. Dexcom alerted me to lows in the afternoon. It woke me during lows in my sleep. In one week I have learned so much about how the combinations of insulin, exercise, food and emotions impact me. It’s been an amazing week.

Now it is over and I have to give the Dexcom back to the doctor's office.

I don’t want to give it back. I want to keep it. It’s my security blanket and guardian angel. I never want to be without it. But, I have be, for a little while anyway.

My insurance company already approved a Dexcom for me, so it’s just a matter of paperwork before I get one. I feel so glad that my insurance approved it so quickly. It was hassle free and easy. I know it was approved because so many PWD’s fought battles for coverage and won. I am aware of their hard work, and grateful. All of those hours on the phone, and letters you mailed, opened doors for yourselves and every PWD behind you, including me. Those efforts mattered. They still matter.

I am grateful that my dad and step-mom Louise stepped in to help pay the deductible so I don't have to stress about making payments. Their gift makes me feel loved and supported. And I am grateful for the Dexcom, the little gadget that changed my life one buzz and beep at a time.



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I am not a doctor. I do not have a medical degree. Nothing on this site qualifies as medical advice. These are lessons I'm learning at the University of Catastrophe. What I find to be correct answers in my classes may not be the right answers for you.

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