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, January 14, 2006

Eight O'clock and all is NOT well

It was a morning of many electronic crickets. First the girl gave me a low threshold alert. Then my alarm clock went off. Then the pump alarm, reminding me it is site change day. I lay in bed for a minute, eyes half open, recovering from this electronic assault.

Not likely to be a real hypo at this time of day, but the girl needs her calibration stick anyway. Last strip in the vial. I slip the strip into the port, check the lot number, stab my finger and touch the strip to the drop of blood. The pump vibrates almost immediately. Ut-oh. This can't be good.


No way. But...wake up, babe. I just clocked a 24.

My wife, who doesn't wake up fast under any circumstances is on her feet in flash. We need to re-test, but just in case I really am super low, extra exercise seems a bad idea. She fetches a fresh vial of test strips for me.

I retest and clock in at 91. That's more what I would have expected, but to be on the safe side I take a "tie breaker" finger stick. It clocks at 71.

This would not be a good time to check my blood pressure.

I need to give the girl a calibration number and I've got two finger stick readings that are nearly 22% apart.

I break out the back-up Precision meter. It reads the situation at 82. Pretty much right in the middle. A final Freestyle stick places me at 79; and that is the number I use to get the girl on track for the day.

I swear it is a conspiracy to sell more test strips....they are getting back at me for telling all of you to sell your test strip stock yesterday!


Blogger Sandra Miller said...

What. The. Hell?

Wil, that's just insane.

Yet another by-product of reading your blog is discovering just how truly unreliable are the tools we've be given.

Really, really scary.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Penny Ratzlaff said...

I read something similar to this on Lemonade Life and it's pretty scary. I mean, my son literally relies on the machine to help him stay alive. If your blood sugar is 120 on one machine shouldn't it be that +/- a few points on another machine? How do you decide which is right? It's just disturbing.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Wil said...

Well, ladies, why did you think diabetics almost universally boo and throw things at their TV's when a meter commercial comes on? Oh, you thought we were mad about those ridicloiuolsy healthy, upbeat, obviously non-diabetic actors who are portraying us? Yeah, that too.

This is one of the reasons I've become such a huge fan of continuous monitoring. And, yes, it's numbers can be wrong too, but its trends NEVER are.

If the girl says I'm going up. I am. If the girl says I'm going down, I am.

I've found this knowledge, over all, to be more important than a given number in time. Well, it would be nice if the number I base my insulin bolus on would be somewhat right.....

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow -- This reminds me of the classic story of the ship captain who discovers two compasses on his deck, and promptly throws one overboard into the murky waters below.

When his maties asked why their new back-up compass was thrown overboard, the captain responded, "There isn't much you can do if the compasses don't agree. You need either one or three compasses in the ship; two won't cut it [if they don't agree]."

And it looks like Wil has his three compasses -- Freestyle, Precision, and CGMS!

Two "compasses" are not enough to navigate the diabetes path!

3:39 PM  

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