Monday, December 5, 2011

Another Dexcom Pro and Another Con

I forgot something in my last post about the Dexcom Seven Plus. PRO: I love that I can wear the sensor for two weeks. Shhh! It's kinda a secret, but some folks I know get three weeks out of it if the glue holds.

However, CON: the receiver needs to be charged, so if you can remember to plug it in at night next to your bed, you are safe. Forget and the battery can go caput and you are out of luck until you can charge it again. I was out of town this weekend and forget the power cord, so it ran out of juice into day two and I was left hanging.

Not a huge issue, but a different one from the Minimed which has you charge the transmitter.

FYI- My site is getting hammered with comment spam. Hundreds of posts a week, so forgive me if I can't get them all deleted in a timely fashion. Don't click on them, it only encourages them. Blogger/Google, get your S*** together and stop this crazy madness!

Friday, November 18, 2011

I like Dexcom better than Minimed! Yeah, I said it!

Jury is in! I have worn the Dexcom 7 Plus off and on for a few months and also switched out with the Minimed CGM. Frankly, the Dexcom is just more user friendly for several reasons. It has cons too, so let me lay them out Pro and Con style:


Pros

  • Sensor is TINY and doesn't hurt (much) going in. Much like an infusion set.
  • Lasts at least 7 days
  • Very, very accurate. Only a couple times I've had it off the mark and it was after the seven days of wear. Often within one or two mg/dl.
  • Alarms are quite and unassuming, but you know they are there. This is a big one for me. I hate the alarms on Minimed. They are obnoxious and difficult to program. Not impossible, but it requires a lot of effort to shut the thing up. I would need a whole other post to talk about the difference it makes to have the alarms more like Dexcom, so I'll leave it here.
  • You still get readings after a calibration request. This is also huge. I press the button to check my numbers and a polite little message says "Check BG." I can't, so I don't, but the graph ticks along doing its best without my calibration. I get out of my meeting three hours later and it is still holding my numbers, but I know that I need to calibrate, so I check my blood sugar, see it is really close tot he Dexcom, but I forgot to enter it in the Dexcom before my next meeting. I check the unit half-way through my meeting and see my polite little reminder and think, Darn it! I forgot to plug in my reading. Oh! Well, I can do it when I'm through." AND get no annoying, blasting reminders every 30 minutes. Really, this is BIG for me.

Cons:

  • Separate unit, which I have lost and then found. Bad for me!
  • Doesn't talk to my pump.
  • Can't merge the data

Running out of steam, but that is it in a nut shell. Minimed better get off ther asses. I have been waiting for a VERY long time and upgraded to get their technology coming out. But they have always failed on UI and don't seem to listen to their market.

I still love my pump, but I desperately wish Medtronic Minimed would step it up A LOT!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Better Success with Accuracy

Well, the Dexcom caught a low in the middle of the night and it was right about the low, but 30 mg/dl off. But juice was administered.

I have to say, my daughter is being a champ with middle school schedules. Rough second day, but overall its been great.

For the first time I can remember, she is feeling self conscious about pulling out her meter and pump. She's worried, because the rules are so strict and kids think she is using a cell phone, which means an automatic detention. So many new kids she doesn't know, so the looks and questions like, "What's that?" get annoying.

Glad its Friday! Saturday, my girl is doing a roller derby camp all day. Should be fun!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Not Accurate, So Far: Dexcom 7 Plus

Last night I was awakened by an alarm that said 47. Actual blood sugar was 90.

Today, alarm says 401, actual reading is 234. Calibrated and its back to 254, but still.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Like trending arrows: Dexcom 7 Plus

I like the constant trending arrows; pointing east for level sugars and northeast/southeast for going up or down steadily, but not fast and of course, north or south, which is pretty way to figure out.

I know folks have been blogging about this product for years, but I might as well document mine.

Also, to clarify, I have great insurance, so this experiment is largely affordable. I still like my minimed cgm, but my daughter tried it once and that was the end of that. Harpoons don't play well with kids, do we are giving this a try.

My girl had never really cared about taking her blood sugar in front of folks, but 6th grade its so different. Eyes are on every move she makes and we need diabetes to be as discreet and private as possible.

Can't hear alarms on Dexcom 7

Well, accurate  readings, but the alarms and not loud enough and the vibrating is absolutely not strong enough.

Also, the receiver is easy to put down and walk away from. Potential problem.

Trying out Dexcom 7

We are trying out the Dexcom 7.  My daughter won't wear the Minimed, so we are giving this a try. She just started middle school and I really want her to have this technology, and I am furious that the FDA has held up the approval of the new, rumored improved, Minimed sensor.

First report of the day; couldn't feel the vibrating alarm to calibrate and it was very close to the body. Not a great sign, if you need alarms privately.

More later.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Disorienting Low and a Car


I had a doozy of a low this week. It has been a LONG time since I got low and felt out of control. When I was younger I had some lows that had me begging for help or caused amnesia, but it really has been years. Now, I usually get low, feel it, drink a juice and move along or more often than not my CGM catches me as I fall.


This week I have been dropping a lot. Don't know why, hormones or absence of them, who knows, but Thursday my CGM was giving me alarms about predicted lows and I was in full work mode. Trying to solve a problem and I just wouldn't stop until I had it fixed. The CGM was reading 70 and I really should know better, that 70 probably means 50, but I didn't stop to take care of myself.

On a mission, I drove home from work to pick up my daughter from school, dropped her off at the house and headed to the computer store to buy a cable. I had a problem to solve and I needed that damn cable.

In the car, I felt so out of sorts. Despondent, anxious, weird, but not so obviously that I recognized what was happening. I had been having a hard week, really under pressure and I was thinking to myself that maybe this feeling I had was a new normal. That I'd feel this way forever. It was weird.

I got to the store and I asked if this cable would fix my issues and they showed me the package and pointed to the info I needed, but I couldn't read it or focus and just asked them to be sure this is what I needed.

I got home (THANK GOD), sat down at the table with my hubby, pulled out my blood sugar kit and I was 37. I looked at the meter and said, "Wow...37." My man got me a juice box and I drank it, but as I sat there I felt strongly that I was supposed to be doing something. I asked him, "Am I supposed to be dong anything?" He said, no. Quiet. I asked if he was sure and he replied yes. Quiet. I said, "I am just supposed to sit here?" He said yes and so I sat there, waiting for the juice to hit.


This is the first time I can remember since I was in my 20s that I was actually "disoriented." I really didn't have a clue what was going on. My CGM was still saying 70, so it was just a little off (HA!), but I somehow instinctively got out my kit.

I am so grateful for adrenaline when I was on the road. Without that, I could have met a very sad and disoriented end.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My 10 Year Old is Now Hooked Up: CGM

Well, we pulled the trigger and got our daughter the upgrade for her Minimed insulin pump to a Revel with the Continuous Glucose Monitor. I warned her it was coming, but I was not prepared for the resistance to putting the sucker on her.

The pump is great, the CGM sensors, not so much. They are freakin' huge needles and it took me one hour to convince her to let me put it on her. We iced her bum, we talked, we cajoled, we pleaded, we reasoned, but the only reason she consented was because we had a birthday party to go to, the clock was ticking and I refused to back down.

We had to establish the rules of engagement. Three kisses, then I had to count to three, but I couldn't touch her with the inserter until three. Then I had to say "ok" before I pushed the button.

She did it and cried like a baby. Said it hurt like hell. It bled a little, but she said it hurt for a good 20 minutes, but she was fine by the time we reached the party.

We didn't start the sensor until after the party and the sensor had its wick wet, so calibration was immediate. She thought it was pretty cool when the blood sugar numbers finally popped up on the screen of her pump.

She watched it through the afternoon and into evening. We'd ask, "Have you taken your blood sugar lately?" with a smile and she would whip out her pump and tell us the number.

We calibrated at bedtime, but she lost the sensor around 11:00 pm. I positioned it closer to her Minilink Transmitter and she was fine, until 3:00 am. She came in and said she was high, so I wanted to check against her meter and it was off. CGM said 315, meter said 230. That was significant enough for me, because the calibration had about the same difference earlier in the evening. I sat in the dark and decided to turn off the CGM and restart the sensor.

By morning things seemed to match, but she was still running high. She took some Advair for breathing difficulties and I know that was shooting her blood sugars up. She called me from school and said the thing was beeping all morning. High blood sugars, missed bolus warnings, even though she bolused. I reminded her it is going to take time to balance her insulin levels to match what is happening in her body. When that happens, she hopefully won't hear any beeps at all .

More in my next post, but I'm not sure I will be able to convince her to put that sensor on again. We'll see. More later.