By the numbers
I always do a wake up stick. By the way, this is a new stick for me. I use to just wait an hour and hit it at breakfast. But this is a good time to give the girl her first cal stick. Sometimes I do a noonish stick, but usually I wait until late afternoon, and then again at bed time.
I had been toying with the idea of dropping the pre-breakfast stick and just using the wake up stick as I’m usually eating breakfast within 45 minutes of getting up. However, I’ve noticed that there is often quite a lot of changes going on in that first 45, so I’m still doing pre-breakfast. I don’t enter any of my pre-meal sticks on two theories: one, I’m about to pump insulin and two: I’m about to dump sugar into the system. I figure either one could start things moving pretty quickly and that could throw off the calibration process. Of course there are other finger sticks during the day that don’t go into the machine as well, like responding to an alert, but overall my test strip usage is way down.
Another number: I’m trying two IV 3000s under my transmitter. I’m still getting some localized rash on my skin from the transmitter adhesive. I guess it’s working its way through the IV 3000. That now means I use five each time I change a sensor. What was that sound? Oh...just the sound of Smith & Nephew sock going up 5 points. Lucky for me that with these modern windows computers my readers can go buy stock without having to close me down!
The best new number yet: fewer hypos. I've noticed looking over my data that not only do I have fewer hypos, I'm spending less time "in the basement." I've also clocked less high time too. My sugars have settled down considerably. I’ve had very few alerts the last several weeks, and almost no real hypos. I credit the Guardian for this. I think now that I've "mastered" the work flow of using the system to keep tabs on where I am, my control has improved. I'm heading trouble off at the pass. I'm preventing trouble. I’m being ProActive Man! (Readers Vote: what color of cape should ProActive Man have?)
But most important : I feel safe again.
I'm boss now, well me and the girl. So it is sort of like a marriage that way, I think I’m the boss, but we all know who’s really in charge....
But not the specter of hypo, that’s for damn sure. During the day I'm on top of things. As bed time rolls around I don't have to resort to taking a finger stick, looking at my IOB (if any) and winging it, like I did in the old days. (New view of the morbid child’s prayer: Now I lay me down to sleep and if I die before I wake...I sear I will never teach that prayer to Rio!).
Now at bed time I can see the rate, speed, and direction of change before hitting the hay. I'm in control. In the pilot's seat. But it is good to know that I have a co-pilot, just in case. If something unexpected happens during the night, the girl is on the job and will wake me up.
For what it is worth, I had expected many "false alarms" when I cranked up my alert thresholds, but that has not turned out to be the case. The last few weeks I've only had a fraction of the alarms that I had in the beginning. Again, I think this goes back to good control, and the opportunities for good control that constant feedback bring.
This leads me into one last point that I haven't spent enough time on. The name of the system is Guardian RT. The RT stands for real time. Of course we know it isn't, but it is close enough. Even though the data is delayed by as much as five minutes, it lets you take action in real time. Think about that. No, really think about it. Is a test strip real time? No, it is slice in real time. That's not the same. I've come to appreciate that the most powerful element of the entire system is the recent history that can be accessed by checking your now, then scrolling backwards a few clicks.
Tonight, two hours post sugar-free Klondike Bar: 104 now and going back wards: 104, 104, 105, 106, 108. Dropping, but slowly. According to the pump the IOB is 0.4 units. Looks like we are cleared for landing! (In bed that is).