Category Archives: CGM

As 2016 Closes Out

For many people, 2016 was a horrible, no good, very bad year. So many celebrities died. Brexit happened. A very strange US election happened. All among other things.

But for me? 2016 was honestly amazing.

It feels almost like a bad thing for me to be saying that because so many people around me had such a terrible year, but it’s true. 2016 was great in so many ways for me.

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Apple Watch vs Pebble Time vs …Softball??

I recently joined a softball league that my work is sponsoring. I am NOT sporty/athletic but I had played in middle school on a league and we were really good (we won the city championships both years, the first year as underdogs!) plus my best friend Katie is the one who started assembling the league. 


Of course, things were way different when I played in middle school. I was 12/13 years old – it was literally half my life ago. I was in better shape and I was not diabetic at that time. 

Today is our first game. I’ve been struggling with finding the perfect bg balance during practices. Most times I’m running ultra high even though it’s been 90 degrees and super humid, but one practice I did crash low and had to sit and smash a few rolls of smarties while everyone else kept practicing. That sucked. 


As much as I LOVE my Apple Watch for monitoring my bg during various activities, I have to do what’s best for me out on the field so I can perform at my best. That’s why I made this decision: I will be wearing my Pebble Time while playing softball. Here’s why!


1) Constant display! The Simple CGM Spark watchface updates every time my Dexcom does meaning I have live readings at a glance! 

1a) I have to sidebar and note that the WatchSugar app I have on my Apple Watch is great, but it only updates every 20 minutes or so. This is an issue on Apples side of not updating Complications. It will be changed in WatchOS3 coming out next week where we can have timely Dexcom updates on the watchface. 

1b) Also note, the native Dexcom app gives live updates but it is not ON the watchface. I have to navigate to it. And then wait for it to update. I can’t use that much time staring at my watch while on the ball field!

2) I will be a LOT less devastated if my Pebble gets destroyed by a line drive than if my Apple Watch did. 

2a) The Pebble is pretty rugged. It has a couple scratches on the face, sure, but overall it’s pretty tough! Sadly I feel like my Apple Watch wouldn’t take the abuse as well. 

3) Since I’m only using it for softball, I shut off all the extra stuff on my pebble. I don’t need my calendar, or text message notifications, etc while I’m on the field. That’s a lot easier to do than switching those settings on and off all the time on my Apple Watch!

4) Battery life. The Pebble lasts way longer than the Apple Watch. Plus it charges so fast, I could throw it on the charger 10 minutes before a game and probably have enough juice for the whole game. Not the case with my Apple Watch. 


One of the big Cons to this setup is that my Move goals on the Apple Watch won’t be accurate. Of course I’m gonna be moving during the games and since I’m not wearing my Apple Watch, my “rings” won’t catch that movement and I’ll look super lazy on those days 😉 But it’s a small trade for the benefits of using my Pebble on the field!

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Call it Magic

I can never say enough about how grateful I am for the Dexcom Share technology, which is a direct result of the Nightscout developers and the #WeAreNotWaiting movement. They made wizardry with diabetes supplies and pressured companies to make data more accessible. I don’t know how they did it, other than some kind of tech magic. 


I had an engagement session today and I watched my blood sugar on my Pebble watch throughout it. Nothing major happened at this shoot. My life wasn’t in danger due to a rapidly rising or falling blood sugar. 


However, simply HAVING the technology and KNOWING that I was fine the entire time? It’s so beyond the thanks I could ever say. The peace of mind is truly priceless, because when I’m not distracted by wondering what my BG is, I’m able to give 150% of myself into what I’m doing. And that’s when the magic happens. 

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I never realized I’d have to give insulin for…

Cold medicine! 

I’ve been sick for like, forever. (Okay, I’m exaggerating. Realistically, it’s been a week and a half. But that feels like forever!) And it seems like no matter how much Robitussin and Sudafed I take, I’ve yet to really start feeling better. 

Luckily, my blood sugar levels have been very normal throughout the entire sickness (which usually isn’t the case!). Instead I’ve faced a new quirk in diabetes-land: most cold medicines contain things like high fructose corn syrup, which is in other words, sugar! And I’ve seen noticeable blood sugar changes after having a dose of medicine. 


The black line above my graph shows my blood sugar before taking my nightly dose of Robitussin. The blue line is the peak of the increase after taking it, when I finally bolused for the rise. 

All is well now that I know this medicine causes a rise in my blood sugar, and I’ll be paying closer attention to the ingredient listings in the future!

Fellow diabetics, what is something you never even thought to give yourself insulin for?

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Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk – Unless You’re Low

I reached a new level of low blood sugar last night – not in terms of actual mg/dl number, but in the events that transpired. 

When I went to bed last night, my blood sugar was a little high but on its way down. I woke up twice to correct for the low in the night, eating a total of three rolls of smarties. 

Then at 3am, my husband rolled over and woke me up, complaining that both my Dexcom and my Enlite cgms were alarming (because I’m running both at the moment for a future blog post). In my low and half-asleep stupor, I yelled at him that I had already eaten a bunch of smarties, before I finally rolled out of bed to get a glass of milk. 

I made it to the kitchen, tested my blood sugar (72) and calibrated both cgms. I grabbed the chocolate milk and began pouring it into a glass. But I started to feel weird, like I was going to pass out. I raised the glass up to my lips and immediately it fell out of my hands and spilled all over the counter, the floor, my dexcom and myself. The room was spinning. I stumbled and sat down on the floor of the kitchen and mustered up enough strength to yell for my husband. 

Allen jumped out of bed and, seeing what had happened, quickly poured me a new glass of milk. He got a towel to clean up the mess, and also grabbed his phone to snap a picture of the mess, because he knew I’d want it for my blog. 

    
Meanwhile I sat in a ball on the floor, drinking my milk and trying not to cry. I was so embarrassed that I had lost control like that, especially when I wasn’t even all that low! But every low is different and diabetes is still unpredictable. I’m just thankful that the cgm technology I am lucky enough to have did its job and woke Allen up. 

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Filed under CGM, low blood sugar, Real life, Support system

Frankensensor! 

It’s spooky. It’s weird. It’s gross. It’s the Frankensensor!

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A Mazda and a Maserati

The Enlite CGM system was the reason I ended up getting the Medtronic Minimed 530G as my first insulin pump in December 2013. I really liked the idea of only having to wear one device on me at all times. And the Dexcom wasn’t compatible with the pump I really wanted, the Tandem T-Slim. So I ended up trusting my endo and went with the 530G with Enlite.

A few months after receiving my pump, I heard about Nightscout for the first time. It was a Dexcom exclusive movement in the early days. I became a lurker on the CGM in the Cloud Facebook page, waiting anxiously for the day that Nightscout would work with my Enlite. And finally at the end of 2014, I was notified that Nightscout for Enlite had been born and was testing. It took me a few months to get the supplies, but eventually, I was in the Cloud with a rig of my own!

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002. Mud Run! 

This weekend I participated in a 5k mud run in my city to benefit the local gym/fitness center. Myself and several coworkers signed up to do it together, and I received permission for my husband to follow us through the course to monitor my blood sugar via my Dexcom.

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We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

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The Day I Vowed to Never Eat Another Poptart

May it go down in history that today is the day I vow to never eat another poptart as long as I live.

It’s a common misunderstanding that diabetics can’t eat sugar. Of course we can. Sugar saves my life on a weekly basis. Without it, I could easily die from a low blood sugar. So when I choose to enjoy something high in sugar (or carbs) I must take that into account and give myself the proper amount of insulin for it.


Enter this morning’s poptart. Seemingly innocent enough. They were on sale this week at Kroger so my husband, being a poptart addict, picked up three boxes. He got this one specifically for me because it’s one of my favorites.

I woke up this morning at 6am with a BG of 106. Lately I’ve been trying to curb my dawn phenomenon with some well-timed manual boluses to head off the rise so I did one when I got to work at 7am as I was at 139 at that point. Around 8:30am, I was approaching 180, having apparently failed at avoiding the high. So I bolused for my poptart and have extra insulin to help with the dawn phenomenon induced high. And I ate the crap out of those pop tarts cause they were delicious.

Then it all went to garbage.

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