I recently upgraded my Dexcom system to the G5, which has allowed me to ditch the G4 receiver. However, I still had some juice left in my G4 transmitter, so I asked Allen if he would be willing to wear it for a week – Just for a fun comparison of his blood sugars versus mine.
If you know my husband AT ALL, then you know he’s completely squeamish when it’s his own blood, but mostly fine when it’s someone else’s. He inserts my sensors without fuss, and goes with me to my quarterly blood draws, but when he had to get his blood drawn for a physical at his work, he passed out. So I figured he would say no to my proposal, but I was thrilled when he agreed to be my pincushion for a week. He agreed knowing full well that he was committing to the initial insertion plus calibrations.
When he was finally ready to do the insertion, we got comfy on the bed, with a bucket in case he puked, and we got to work.
I don’t usually insert Dexcom sensors, but I know most of how it works, so I stuck it on, and prepped him for the actual insertion. Luckily he didn’t flinch, and I quickly pulled the inserter off. There was a little blood but not too bad. He let me know that it didn’t hurt and he was doing okay.
But then I had to insert the transmitter piece. There’s a little plastic arm on the sensor base that makes inserting the transmitter easier. However, that piece had fallen off as it sometimes does, which makes the transmitter insertion harder. So when I tried to insert the transmitter, I had to push really hard.
Allen freaked out. He laid down to try not to pass out, and ended up sitting back up and vomiting. I started crying because I felt so bad for what I felt was “making him do this.”
Thankfully, a few minutes later, he and I both calmed down. He pulled up a YouTube video to distract himself and I quickly jimmied the transmitter into the sensor base without any more fuss.
So the experience began!
The first day, Allen ran high for a non-diabetic, but I think the readings were not accurate. There was probably a bad initial calibration or something, and once we added a few more calibrations, it fell into range.
(Allen’s numbers are on the pink receiver, mine are the screenshots)
The most interesting part was how steady his lines usually were compared to mine. I expected that he’d hover in the 80-100 range all the time, but not that he’d stay so completely steady even when eating high carb meals.
Even his “dawn phenomenon” wasn’t actually that – he had eaten right before sending me this screenshot below.
I think the most amazing comparison was this one of a 24 hour time span near the end of our 2 week experiment:
A typical non-diabetic and a typical diabetic for 24 hours. The difference was amazing. I even found myself trying extra-hard to be in a “normal” range to compete with him. Of course, I failed miserably, but it was a great experience.
I am so thankful for my husband being willing to experience a snippet of my life for two weeks. Even through our anniversary, a trip to Wisconsin, and many days of work, he carried that pink receiver without fuss. He said the transmitter in his arm didn’t bother him much at all. His tegaderm looked WAY better at the end of two weeks than mine EVER does. And removal when he was done was a piece of cake. Overall, it was a great learning experience for us both! (And he’s said he’ll never do it again… but we’ll see.)