Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas to me: Dexcom

It's the holidays. It's the time of year that people with diabetes sometimes just say shag it and bolus and bolus and bolus, and sometimes forget if they had bolused and bolus again. There's treats and candy and chocolate everywhere, there are potluck meals with endless carbs and fats that last for hours, there's sleeping in and staying up late...and for those who partake there's alcohol.

So, naturally my new (to me) Dexcom 7+ system arrived on Christmas Eve. I was excited. I am a huge tech geek when it comes to diabetes management, and any thing that can give me more data to try and manage the better. 

I also haven't written much about it, but I have been having some pretty bad night time lows for the past 8 months. It seems any minor adjustments for my night time basals were fruitless...if I wasn't low I was running pretty high in the low teens (around 200s). So I started getting up 2-3 times a night to check and either treat a low or high. I don't remember one night in the past 6-8 months waking up to test and seeing a number I didn't either have to eat for or adjust a correction/basal increase for. And let me tell you, trying to figure out how much of a percentage to increase a basal for at 13.4 at 3:30 am when you have to be up at 6 and refreshed enough to drive 40 km to's hard. I missed the mark a lot. I would wake up at 2.0 some days, and 15.4 the others. It felt like no matter what adjustments I made were fruitless. I called for an appointment to my endocrinologist and CDE in June and was told I would get an appointment in the mail. Which I did.....for April 2013.

The wacky night time sugars usually evened off by 10 am and I would run around 6.0 all day, which was great until I was going to bed again. I started to get kind of edgy internally at night. I hated having to check in the dark, and even more I hated eating in the middle of the night. That's so many calories I just didn't have the opportunity to burn off which could have lead to weight gain. It didn't, I didn't lose a pound despite my efforts....but I definitely didn't gain. Math was never my strong suit but the last 8 months have definitely improved that with having to guess as how much my temp basal would lower me by what percentage at what time.

Anyway, I put a call out on twitter for a Dexcom 7+. I offered to pay a small amount for someones used Dexcom and a few sensors. Within an hour I had given my address to a very special friend for her system and another offered to send me a sensor.  So as of now I have three sensors and the system. I do need more sensors but for the time being this should give me about a month to adjust and sleep a little more soundly.

Note: I am still looking for sensors, if you or someone you know would like to sell me some at a small price please let me know.

Anyway, here is my first 24 hours with a Dexcom:

Um yeah. I was advised to wait until after the holidays to start, however my Christmas was extremely low key this year. No alcohol, not a whole lot of treats, I spent most of yesterday (blissfully) alone with my dog, we even went for a hike in the woods, cooked a low key dinner and enjoyed opening presents with Todd in the evening. In a word: It was fabulous. In another word it was typical for me. So yes, if I had family gatherings, a big party, lots of food to snack on...I probably would have waited, but yesterday's only difference was there was a blissful gift exchange and an extra set of foot rubs for.

The first night (Christmas eve) was awful. I had 4 low blood sugars and two more alarms for double down arrows. It was exactly what I needed to start. Yesterday morning I adjusted my night time basals according to the handy graph. So last night....well you can see last night...that's the giant clump that's hovering between 220 (12.2) and 300 (16.6). So I needed a site change and will try some basals out tonight.

The biggest thing this has done for me is provided me peace of mind. I now have warnings for my lows any time. Before I usually would start to feel a low around 2.5 and I would feel incredibly high at 8.5. So I can start to get in touch with what my lows feel like as they approach and same with my highs.

It will take some tweaking and adjusting but there was absolutely no better way to spend my Christmas. I am so happy to have a bit of peace of mind.

I will update maybe in a week or so on my progress, but for now: let the addiction to the data begin.

Also: Merry Christmas if you celebrate :)


  1. Hooray for peace of mind! :)

  2. So glad to hear that you have a new tool to help figure out what's happening. Your nights sound miserable. I'm sorry you've been having to go through all of that. Here's to hoping you can figure something out!

  3. So happy for you that you were able to get your hands on a Dexcom! My wish this year is that we can finally purchase CGM's in Canada. Would make such a huge difference in D management.

    Can't wait to hear more about your adventure with this and crossing my fingers that you get things sorted out so you can sleep peacefully.