Category Archives: Diabetes
I removed my old CGM sensor this morning before my shower, and planned on inserting a new one afterwards.
Only, my inserter has gone missing. I tore the bedroom and bathroom apart trying to find it, and… nothing. (But there’s a lot of clutter, it still could be hiding somewhere).
And you can’t put these things in manually. So right now, I’m flying blind without a sensor.
I can’t state enough how terrifying it is, even though I lived for decades without one, and lived to tell about it. But times are different, and my level of control is tighter.
Looking back (all the way back to yesterday), every one of those thirteen vibrating alerts that grabbed my attention was a cue that I’m drifting. Those rumble strips* are the reason I took action and ended up steering my trends in a (relatively) straight line.
Without them, I might crash.
*”Rumble” strips are those indentations on the shoulder of a highway which cause a car to buzz and shake when a driver drifts out of lane. I first heard the metaphor of CGM thresholds as rumble strips from SixUntilMe’s Kerri, but she heard it from someone else…but I can’t remember who. I’d like to attribute proper credit, so if someone knows the source, please leave it in the comments. UPDATE: Gary Scheiner is the genius who came up with the metaphor. Thanks, Kim, for the credit and the link!
A little over a year ago, I wrote a post on How to build a better insulin pump, based on the Medtronic Revel. Since very little has changed from the Revel to the 530G, those wishes/recommendations still apply. But now that I’ve had some time to play around with Enlite, I’ve got some wishes/recommendations on how that can be improved upon as well. My reason for posting this is simple — if nobody knows, nothing will change; but if someone (or some-two, or some-many) makes noise, it’s more likely to be heard. With the goal of being taken seriously, I’m keeping my recommendations somewhat simple and realistic.
* * *
The new Enlite and Enlite “Serter” are a vast improvement over the predecessor. In nearly every way. That goes without saying.
When I first saw the Sofsensor, I concluded that this must have been designed in-house by Medtronic, and not by Unomedical, the Masters (and manufacturer)-of-all-things Infusion Set related (and whose website appears to be out-of-commission at the moment). Medtronic’s first CGM lacked the characteristics of something being designed by the Masters.
Enter Enlite. It’s better, and it took into account all the feedback received from Sofsensor users. It, too, has been designed in-house. And sadly, it too lacks some of the characteristics of something designed by the Masters.
Let me be clear: I do think the Enlite is a good product, and this in no way is meant to be criticism worthy of driving someone away from using it. My reason for writing it is so that Medtronic – or perhaps another manufacturer – can learn something and make improvements the next time around. My hope is that they’ll take a look at some of the “little things” that can leave a big impression. And maybe, just maybe, the current product can undergo minor improvements while still being the current product.
Allow me to explain.
When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I took one insulin injection a day: a little bit of Regular and a little bit of NPH mixed in a syringe before breakfast. That quickly shifted to twice a day: before breakfast and before dinner.
I had a glucose test kit that stayed in the school nurse’s office. In 1981 (1st grade, diagnosis), it was a urine test, in 1991 (11th-12th grade) it was a blood test. But it was there, not with me.
The only thing I carried around with me everywhere I went was a little box of Sun-Maid raisins, in case I felt low. Or maybe a roll of Life Savers, which always ended up permanently stuck to the paper wrapping (and each other) ensuring I had plenty of fiber with my low BG treatment.
At some point I switched to blood tests, first by holding the strip up to a color chart, and later by using a big, clunky meter. I took it with me on family outings, but I don’t remember ever taking it to school. All I took was the box of stale raisins to treat lows; or maybe a roll of Life-Savers, inseparably stuck to the foil wrapping and each other.
I don’t ever remember carrying a meter with me in school. In 9th grade, I had a late lunch period and consistently went low during my biology lab period before. But I fought through it like a
champ chump, traveling light.
I can’t remember if I carried a meter with me to class in college. Twelve years later after diagnosis, I was still on just two injections a day, each was a mix of Regular and NPH, taken before breakfast and dinner, with the Regular dose on a sliding scale that increased with my blood sugar. The scale matched the intervals on the old Chemstrip color chart: 180-240, add 1 unit. 240-300, add 2 units. 300-400, add 3 units, and so on.
The song “Blue” by Eiffel 65 is a close runner-up, but was redeemed by its potential to be used as a Blue Friday soundtrack.
* * *
Diet Coke is a hundred times better than Diet Pepsi. But I’d choose either of those before drinking a Coke Zero.
I can tolerate Diet Pepsi from a can, but from a fountain, I find it repulsive.
* * *
Dogs are awesome. I’m not particularly fond of cats.
My opinion was not at all influenced by this hysterical audition on AGT.
* * *
I’d rather take an hour-long circuitous drive through Westchester and Rockland County than sit in traffic for twenty minutes on the Cross Bronx.
Even better, avoid driving in New York altogether.
* * *
The DOC’s dying to know.
* * *
There’s no reason to keep a straight face in a Drivers License photo. A smile will never go out of style.
But a mullet will.
* * *
I’d prefer for you to leave a comment and tell me where my preferences may have gone astray.
But a simple Check! will suffice.
Suddenly, my diabetes – as I know it – has changed. I learned this when I saw what you see in this picture.
I am thankful that the CGM alerted me to several PREDICTED LOWs before the actual LOW (my low threshold is set to 80 mg/dl), and after those repeated nags (despite a manually suspended basal), that I finally pulled out the meter.
I learned that my blood sugar was not 79, but it was 48…
…and I feel fine.
And that scared the crap out of me.
I wasn’t too scared of the 48, but was scared that I didn’t feel a freakin’ thing. Previously, I’ve dipped into the 70s and even the 60s while being unaware of my hypoglycemia, but never the 40s.
I felt perfectly fine. As if I could have gotten behind the wheel and driven to the grocery store (thankfully I didn’t), or stopped what I was doing to change my son’s wet diaper (I did). I didn’t hesitate to snap the photo in real-time (notice its not going back in the meter history) just before popping five glucose tabs. Nothing could slow me down. Nothing but my own self-restraint, that is.
I felt absolutely NOTHING. Physically.
Mentally, I felt bad about not feeling bad. And that feeling is terrifying.
And I fear it could happen again.