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!).

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Questions and Answers 1

I had a good day today. I'm working at the shop. Yes, I know, it is the weekend. One of the stressful joys of being self employed is that work is either feast or famine. I'm behind, so here I am. I spent the day in the big dark room working on two optical enlargers and one digital enlarger. At the first enlarger I put a negative in, raise the enlarger to the proper height for the print size, focus, crop, and then make a test exposure on a small piece of paper. Into the processor it goes and I go on to the second enlarger and do the same thing. At the third enlarger, there is no negative, this high-tech wonder lets me project a digital camera file onto the baseboard so that I can print it onto silver rich B&W photo paper. By the time I've put the test print from the digital enlarger into the processor the test print from the first enlarger is coming out, ready for inspection

I've got KBAC radio cranked up and I fall into a comfortable rhythm. One, two, three. One, two, three. One, two, three. The hours slip past, the work is a joy. One of the jobs is pictures of a Florida’s customer's new grand baby. His first and only, "I'd lost hope," he told me, "my daughter is 42-years-old." He's 67. Every spring he and his wife motorcycle Europe. Every fall Mexico. What fun. I had planned on becoming a war correspondent for the Associated Press when I'm old and gray; but now maybe I'll tour the world on a motorcycle instead. Among other things on deck today, fashion shots of a Hispanic beauty for a California customer, a copy of a late 1940's shot of three nudes from Arkansas, and an inexplicable shot of two un-harmonious women holding hands in front of a sign that says "Welcome to Harmony, Population 18" for a customer in Virginia.

I’m having trouble with my DSL at home again, but lucky for me the connection here at the shop is fine. We have a lot of DSL trouble, but we are lucky to have DSL at all, given we live way, way, way out in the boonies. I’ve got a post on my lap top at home that deals with some of the advanced features of the Guardian, but it must languish until early in the week, when, hopefully, my DSL is up again. In the mean time I’m suffering withdrawal. I like to catch up on my favorite bloggs in the evenings. Oh well.

I thought that today I’d address some of the questions that have been posted in the comments sections of my blog.

To Ellen and Keith: no, Medtronic does not pay me, I pay them. :-) I‘m just another customer. Besides, if I was on their payroll nobody would take my opinions seriously and I‘d feel guilty about trashing their software like it did yesterday. I am huge fan of this system, but I’m not a spokesman. I tell it like I see it, both good and bad.

As to how much attention Medtronic pays to me, I have no idea. Maybe if they are reading today, they’ll check in and tell us. I can tell you they are aware of me, and I’ve been told by one of my contacts that they value feedback both negative and positive to help shape the next generation model.

Also Ellen asked about if I was checking hypos with a finger stick or relying entirely on the Guardian. I did finger sticks at first, but I find the accuracy very, very high. I no longer confirm hypos with a finger stick. If she says I’m low, that’s good enough for me; I’m reaching for the sugar. I don’t finger stick post-meal any more either. When the pump vibrates to alert me that it’s been two hours since a bolus, I just flip open the Guardian case and press a button to see where I’m at.

JustLinda, who wants to know if there is a summary anywhere or if she just has to read, and read, and read... well the bad news is you’ve got some reading ahead of you. If you just want the basics of the system, read the post “Nuts and Bolts.” The real problem is that I sprinkle all sorts of info into the posts each day. If you want the complete picture you got to go into the November archives and start with the post “Day 1 minus three weeks...” and read upwards. It will take you a while.

Keri, thanks for the tips. Thanks to her I now get an email when one of you posts a comment or question. In the future I’ll generally respond in the same comment section you post in. I need to tell you all a little bit about my friend Kerri (a.k.a. SixUntilMe). She is such a fabulous writer, and so open about her life and experiences in her blog (which I check daily) I feel like I’ve known her all my life, when in fact we’ve only corresponded a few times and have never met or even talked on the phone. You can find her at

Sandra Miller observed that my erratic sugars sound a lot like the end of the “honeymoon stage.”That is a real possibility, and the Texas Doc thought that could be part of what’s going on. I’ll keep you all posted. Once we get through the holidays it will be my mission in life to use the Guardian data to get my BG back in control again.

Ellen asked me to elaborate about the problems I was having with the second sensor. See the post called “When the children don’t get along...” for details, but in a nut shell the finger sticks and the Guardian readings were pretty far apart on this day. By mid-day the next day the two were in sync again. Except for this one time the finger sticks and the Guardian are very close to each other. Closer than I had expected before I got the system. It really does work.

Twinbridge asked why the Guardian is currently only for 18 and older. I don’t know...that’s what a lot of Medtronic literature says and it might have something to do with the FDA approval; but my rep told me she‘s got a one-year-old on the system. So some wires are crossed somewhere.

Scott Johnson asked about the sensor and the transmitter replacement schedule. The sensor is replaced every three days, but you use the same transmitter for a year until the batteries croak. I relocate the transmitter at each sensor change to give my skin a break. I read somewhere that the upcoming Freestyle Navigator (a future competitor to the Guardian) will have sensors that you wear for ten days. I don’t like the sound of having something taped to one area of skin for ten days!

Hey, did anyone notice that yesterday we crossed the 1,000 visitor threshold. How cool!


Blogger midlife05 said...

Great write-up. Thanks. Minimed needs to work on the transmitter size looks like a fishing lure. I spoke with my care-giver. They told me that it will be a pump upgrade to get the funtionality. They are being told next year. It seems insusrance companies are not onboard yet. What a surprise!!

8:36 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Googled KBAC radio and found it is located in one of my favorite places ... Sante Fe. Learned to ski there on a college trip many moons ago (still in the dark ages of urine testing)! Not too far from there are some of the best huevos rancheros to be had anywhere ... Michaels Kitchen in Taos. I have no idea the carb value but I'd have my resevoir full before I ate there again!

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Garrick said...

Sorry if I'm not doing this right... I've not blogged before. I do however run a list for tightly controlled type 1s, where the membership must try to maintain A1cs under 6, or pretend they do (:o>).

Many of us have been wanting to try a CGMS of some sort, and the Guardian sounds like it may have broken through the the precision barrier. So, my question:

Has anyone compiled a chart (or even better, a graph) of their fingerstick measurements compared to the Gaurdian's same time results?

Thanks in advance, and looking forward to hearing back.


6:02 PM  
Blogger Wil said...


I ran some Works spread-sheets and made a graph. It wasn't scientfic, but it looked pretty damn good. I was wanting to detrime the average percentage difference but my math skills were not up to the challenge!

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Garrick said...

Hi Wil

Would "pretty damn good" be an average deviation of say 5-7%?

I know many people are cautious about letting their bg data to the internet, but I sure would like to see the graph.

Having a very good day today myself... 95 67 77 86 81 72 103 101 (5.3 3.7 4.3 4.8 4.5 4.0 5.7 5.6)... so far anyway.

8:03 PM  

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