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!).

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Home Depot Hypo and frozen hair

It was 19 degrees Fahrenheit here yesterday morning when I got up. At my Endo's office in Santa Fe it was 12 degrees. The young girl who runs the front desk told me her hair froze while she was gassing up her car. She was freaking out worrying about it breaking off. Poor thing. That little incident has nothing to do with me or the Guardian, but I just had to share it with someone!

I for one love going to the Endo’s office. It’s like Christmas. There is always some sort of freebie or something I can mooch. I also get to talk diabetes with people who understand and care, another plus; and, of course, I always get learn something. But this time I really made out like a bandit.

In addition to scoring a bottle of Novolog U-100 ...and just when did they change the bottle from blue to orange? Nearly gave me a heart attack when I took it out of the box. I triple checked all the numbers, same stuff I’ve always had, just a new color. It should be illegal the change the color of a man’s medicine bottle! ...Oops. I digress, In addition to scoring a bottle of Novolog, and sample of adhesive remover, I got a brand-new-in-the-box MediSense Precision Xtra meter.

Now all of you are probably saying, wait a cotton-pickin-minute. He’s got a Guardian. He’s got a Cozmonitor. Why on earth would he want another BG meter? Because this one measures blood Keytones. you understand.

It was funny actually, I was reading the product round-up in the latest ADA magazine before we left. I saw mention of this, and I thought how cool would that be...

So at my Endo’s office I asked Jane, RD, LD, DE, ABC, 123, etc., etc. about them. I told her, “It’s really a hassle dealing with peeing on a stick, especially when your out in public.” And she said to me, with a very straight face, “Well, William, if you look around a bit you can usually find a public restroom.”

Verrrrry funny, Jane. My wife is still giggling.

Anywaaaaaay, turns out, not only did she think highly of it, she had one sample left. It is now safely nestled in my "go bag" waiting for the next time my BG spikes high. On some perverse level I’m secretly hoping for a very mild high just to try it out. I know! Slap my hand! Devil go behind me, etc. New toys just beg to be played with.

On the more serious front I’ve been developing a mild rash on my stomach from the adhesive on the transmitter and sensor. I’ve never had a problem with infusion set adhesive so it surprised me. It also has caused me a fair amount of worry. What happens if I develop an allergy? How could I wear the system then? How could I survive without it? This little machine saves my butt at least three times per week....If fact, I’ve had two hypo alarms--about 45 minutes apart--while writing this post. The first at 79, the second at 73. (The first "dose" of candy took it to the high eighties, but then it dropped more candy...yum!)

For the rash, Jane suggested I consider placing another IV 3000 under everything else. A good idea, as the IV 3000s don’t seem to bother me. So diabetic sandwich: IV 3000, sensor and transmitter, another IV 3000. But I remember seeing something somewhere in the Medtronic paper work about not inserting through anything at all. So I called the clinical support folks.
Sure enough, if you insert the sensor through an IV 3000 it can cause trouble (read: problems with accuracy). After some discussion we came upon a tentative solution that I’ll try starting tomorrow. I’ll punch a small hole in the IV 3000 dressing with a hole punch. The guide needle will pass through the hole to insert the sensor. The lion’s share of the senor adhesive (which seems to bother me the most of the two) will then be on the IV 3000 instead of in direct contact with my skin. Likewise, the entire transmitter pad will be fully on the IV 3000 dressing. Will the weight pull off the dressing? We’re gonna find out, aren’t we?

Other adventures (I had a long, fun, and interesting day yesterday):

My wife and I went to the little French Pastry Shoppe at La Fonda, right on the Plaza in Santa Fe, after we left the Endo. It has become a bit of a post doc-tradition. This place is home of the best French Onion Soup in the United States--35 carbs with the two little pieces of bread on the side. While there I lose telemetry. No problem. I do a search and regain. Then later, a few doors up a Street Feet (a shoe store you should not take your wife to if you value your wallet....but seriously, a wonderful store) I lose it again. So what’s up with La Fonda? Why am I losing signal there? I’ve actually had quite a few missed signals on this set. I think the problem might be where I chose to insert this time around. I put the set and the transmitter all the way over on my right side, to give my stomach skin a chance to recover. I wear the Guardian all the way on my left side. Is my body blocking the signal? Who knows. Today I moved it to the right side, just in case.

Later in the day we are buying Poinsettias at Home Depot when my hypo alarm goes off. Well, what do you expect? You get a lot of exercise in a Home Depot. I’ll bet big box stores kill off a hundred diabetics a year. My only hypo-caused ER visit happened thanks to Sam’s Club. But no ER for me today. I have been warned at the on-set. I eat some candy and we are off to look at paint chips for the living room with me none the worse for wear. A second alarm goes off as we get to the car. More emergency candy and we are on our way. It is soooooo nice to know that I’ll never actually suffer a hypo ever again.

The Guardian is worth every penny!


Blogger Keith said...

An inexplicable fact throughout the cosmos -- T1 Men + HD = Hypo -- had one of my worst ones ever in a North Dallas Home Depot. Had left all my 'candy' at home, fortunately a heaven sent salesperson helped me out with a complimentary Coke.

Glad to hear I'm not the only one with post-doc traditions. I used to celebrate a good A1C with a Krispy-Kreme donut -- the glazed ones with the chocolate icing are a mere 60 grams -- talk about oxymoronic! Fortunately for me that Krispy-Kreme closed earlier this fall, probably added a good two years to my life.

Thanks for all the great information!

7:36 PM  
Blogger Diabetic Mom said...

Great info, Printcrafter.. keep it up.. just a thought... now that you have the sensor and transmitter on the same side you should go back to those same stores and see if you loose telemetry again to see if that was the issue or if the stores electronics are interferring with the Guardian

7:40 PM  
Blogger Wil said...


What a great idea! Then I'd just have to get another bowl of the French Onion soup..Ut-oh. Then the wife would buy more shoes....

Keith--Yeah, my Sam's Club Hypo was the incident that engraved in my mind the NEVER go ANYWHERE with out SUGAR on your BODY!!!

Gosh, I sure miss the Bold De-Caf coffee at Krispy Cream. I haven't been since DXed. Afraid I'd eat a dozen. Or two...

8:48 PM  
Blogger Sandra Miller said...


As usual-- fantastic post!

I nearly broke down at the image of you going off to look at paint chips with your wife-- instead of suffering a hypo.

Your blog has convinced me (and my husband) that our son's quality of life will soon change dramatically for the better.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Wil said...


The Guardian has been one of the most positive things that has ever happened to me.

Since shortly after going on insulin (which I'm exceptionally sensitive to) Hypoglycemia has hung over me like a black cloud.

It scared the hell out of me, and even when I wasn't having trouble, I was in fear of trouble.

Now all that fear is gone. I don't have the words to describe what a life altering change for the better that has been.

It is like life has started over again.

9:13 AM  
Blogger julia said...

I am hugely, insanely, unbelievably (and a whole bunch of other adverbs) jealous. I would give my right arm and leg to get a Guardian RT for my daughter, but I can't afford the price tag.

I'm enjoying reading about your experience with it, even as my face, eyes and hair go a lovely shade of green.

10:58 AM  

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