LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Meeting the machine...

I’m in the spacious two-story lobby of the LaQuinta on highway 71 in Austin, Texas. I’m finally holding the holy grail in my own two hands. Of course, this one isn’t mine to keep. This is the rep’s demo unit I’m training on. First impressions. I’m holding the monitor. It is well built, about the size of a pager. Thick. Really nice belt clip--heavy duty, not one of those wimpy little things that will break easily. Some will complain about the size of the monitor, I’m sure. It’s bigger than my pump, but not by much. As a direct descendent of the CMS Gold system that was used in doctor’s offices, Medtronic has not redesigned the case or computer dock (which looks like something AT&T might have manufactured in the 1970’s). “But the software is state of the art,” the rep anxiously assures me. I don’t care, I think it is beautiful. Like my pump, I doubt anyone will ever notice it or ask about it. Sigh...

A note to you MiniMed pumpers: the real goal of the company is to integrate the Guardian with a pump so you’d have only one item on your belt or in your bra. For the rest of us, no big deal. Now I’ll carry a cute little box on my belt instead of a case with test strips and lancet. (Of course, being wireless you could keep it in a purse or brief case, pocket, whatever.)

The sensor is smaller than my infusion set, but a similar design. There is an inserter, which is pretty slick or you can insert manually. Rather than a hose, you plug in a short wire that leads to a transmitter. The transmitter is about the size of the average wrist watch, and equally thick. If you are wearing tight fitting clothing it will show. There is a sticky pad that holds the transmitter onto your skin. By the way, the batteries in the transmitter cannot be replaced (water proof sealed unit so you can shower with it) so the entire transmitter must be replaced each year at the cost of about 400 bucks. To their credit Medtronic was very up-front about this extra cost. We spend about two hours talking about the system, but you could probably be trained in 15 minutes. It is simple. I can’t wait to get started! Hopefully they’ll ship my Guardian out on Monday for FedEx delivery on Tuesday. Stay tuned...


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