Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dexcom: Teaching an old dog old tricks.

It’s the last day of Diabetes Awareness Month and I have come to tie up in a pretty pretty bow the rear of a month that can only be described as craptastic. (Thanks election.)

Regardless of who is President of the United States, Diabetes still lives in my house…and a new day has dawned, as we are now proud owners of three shiny Dexcom G5’s.  Which is awesome, and also craptastic in its own right.

Three teenagers. Three constant flows of numbers.

See Meri’s swelly brain.

See Meri’s swelly brain explode from information.

(Thanks to Cassie on Facebook for this one)

For the most part, I’ve embraced my new role as the pancreas switchboard. Texting “You need insulin” and then seeing the arrow dip down has been exhilarating. It’s the late nights that have been releasing my sanity from its cradle and essentially kicking it in the arse over and over and over again.

And over again still.

I’m not wired for nighttime checks anymore as I’m not the young, spunky mother I once was. I’m fickle, and I need sleep…which doesn’t matter because kids come first and diabetes doesn’t sleep, and a million other reasons. Thankfully, I’m pretty close to dialing in B and L’s basal rates and may not have to do nighttime checks for the eternities.  L went to sleep last night at 132 and woke up at 150. B went to sleep at 152 and woke up 121. I didn’t make any corrections for the first time in forever at my 1am check, and that’s no small feat for two boys in the throes of puberty. Don’t start feeling all inadequate though, their numbers generally aren’t so pretty...L’s correction ratio has been changed no less than three times this month. I’m grateful for the extra information Dexcom is providing, even if it is brain exploding.

I do realize I’m an old dog learning old tricks. I know a lot of my friends have been using Dexcom for YEARS and I’m just now jumping on that bandwagon. Medtronic broke us. Their first CGM hurt, and was inaccurate, and completely thwarted any positive thoughts about trying a different one. I’ve waited patiently for the day I could throw on CGM’s that would be accurate and comfortable. I feel a little stupid we waited this long, but I haven’t been in an appropriate space to begin such experiments until now.

Getting their numbers on my phone is a big plus, although completely erratic. My information depends greatly on three things: them keeping their phones charged, them keeping their apps open, and them actually calibrating. I probably see their numbers 50% of the time, which may sound unacceptable to you, but for me? I try hard to welcome the breaks. The information we do get is invaluable. I’ve made about thrity bajillion changes to their pump settings this month. I echo the sentiments of my fellow DOCers: Dexcom is worth its weight in gold.

And holy hell, it is accurate.

Also, lest I fail to mention: my boys love their Dexcoms. They don’t complain about insertion, and they like having their numbers at their fingertips. The arrows bring great peace of mind to my little L who suffers so from anxiety. At first I worried that the numbers would bring greater anxiety, but that hasn’t been the case at all.

Dexcom has been a bright light in a November that I think all of us would rather move on from. All in all, it’s been an awesome, if not eye-opening, if we could just lobby for the next Dexcom update to include a servant of sorts who would do the nighttime checks, that’d be great.

Here's to a happy December for all!


  1. Thank you! We started in Sept and it hasn't been all puppies and roses, BUT I love it. Of course she lost the receiver in less than a month and the iPhone isn't keeping the signal and she's not that wild about it... it took her 5 yrs to decide to try it, I'll give it a few more months... Missie

  2. I want the updated maid model, too!
    My son's skin breaks out to holy heck from the Dexcom and we've tried to many things to remedy it. I am hoping before middle school we find a good answer and he'll be locked and loaded for all that it will bring. Two more years to try and figure out a solution! Have a great day Meri :)

    1. Have you tried Coloplast barrier wipes yet? This was the golden ticket for us. You can get them on amazon.

  3. I love your posts, I love Dexcom (been using it for 4 years on my now 10 year old T1D), and I agree.. this month has made me question a lot about humanity.. but alas.. reading posts like this make me realize it isn't all bad with people like you in this world :-) You are a great human and kudos to you for being such an amazing mom on top of that. Happy Holiday's to you and yours.. I'll be asking Santa for that nighttime check maid too... or some really good under eye cream.

  4. Hooray for all of you! I recently followed my honorary daughter for four days on Dexcom and watching both girls' numbers was fascinating. I imagine your house every day is a science experiment. I'm glad you're getting the breaks. And, yes...I did think of YOU when I was only following two. Wow. Don't feel stupid. You all did it when the time was right for you. It's the least any of us can do in this life. Hugs.

  5. Please check out Facebook page "CGM in the cloud" for a more consistent way to keep Dexcom #s. The option is Nightscout; and it offers WAY more helpful info than just Dex.

  6. Howdy. I'm an adult (38 years old) who isn't officially diagnosed yet but all signs point to Type 1.5. I was hoping you could point me to some type 1.5 bloggers. I know this is a challenge, not a disaster, so I'm looking for others who have faced the challenge. Most of what I know, I know from having read your archives. My GP was honest enough to admit she's totally unprepared to help me with this so I'm on the waiting list at the nearest research hospital to get in to see their endocrinologists. She and her staff make daily calls to see if there are any openings yet. Any other suggestions or ideas you may have for me would be entirely welcome. Thanks.


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