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!).

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Warning: you’re going to be spending a lot more time with me…

Oh crap. There goes the cat.

Well, now that it’s out of the bag, let me tell you what’s going on.

I’m returning this blog to its roots. Back to 2005. Once again I’m going to be posting daily about what it’s like living with a new piece of diabetes gear.

Yeppers. I’ve arranged to test-drive one of Med-Ts latest and greatest Continuous Glucose Monitoring systems: the CGM-enabled Revel Pump with the mySentry remote monitor. It’ll be with me and the humans I live with for two full months—long enough to reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly—and to report on all three in great detail.

And before all you conspiracy nuts go off on me, here’s the deal: there is no deal.

But let me expand on that.

As soon as I read about the FDA approval of mySentry, I started drooling. By hook, and sometimes by crook, I’ve been able to use every CGM ever and have been writing about them longer than anyone else. (Shameless plug: you do know I’ve written a book about the subject, right?) So I really wanted to experience this one, too. But it’s not cheap and I’m… you know… broke. And blogging here at LifeAfterDx pays absolutely zero.

I briefly considered booking a trip to Northridge, breaking into Med-T at night, and stealing one. But they no doubt have night watchmen. With guns. And dogs. And Med-T HQ is a big place. I’d have no idea where to start looking once I was inside. It would be like trying to steal an obscure piece of art from the Louvre without a map.

So what to do?

In the end I fell back on the obvious. I asked to borrow one.

I asked my local rep. I asked the PR people. I asked the marketing people. I asked the communication people. I asked the management people. I asked the research people. I even asked the night watchmen with the guns and the dogs. I basically made a pest out of myself until they said “yes.”

And then I was surprised they did.

I mean, sure, back in the day I gave the original Guardian CGM a lot of publicity by blogging about it at the dawn of the blogosphere; but while I’m the original cheerleader for CGM in general, I’ve also been a very harsh critic of Med-T gear.

So I said the deal was there was no deal. I guess that’s not quite true. Here’s the details of our arrangement: First, I didn’t buy the gear. It’s being loaned to me, along with the supplies to run it. The gear goes back home to Med-T at the end of the trial. I don’t get to keep it. Oh, and speaking of money, I’m not getting paid by Med-T to write about mySentry, and I’ll go out and find anyone who dares to say otherwise, and personally slap them silly.

Med-T has no influence over what I say about mySentry and Revel, and they get no advanced peek at the posts. Period. End of sentence. They are rolling the dice and taking a chance. They’ll be reading my thoughts at the same time you do. It won’t always be pretty. I imagine they’re already stocking up on Tums and Maalox.

But I did decide to give them one chance to speak to you directly about their motivation in caving into my request and here’s the official reply:

“We’ve known Wil for many years—he was one of the first people to use Medtronic’s real-time CGM. So we were happy to give him an opportunity to ‘test-run’ the mySentry Remote Glucose Monitor and share with the Diabetes Online Community his thoughts on the product from the perspective of an adult with diabetes.”

So there you go. Straight from the 800-pound gorilla’s mouth.

I asked for a two month loan of the gear because of the nature of love affairs with diabetes equipment. Sometimes you get dazzled by a pretty face and then over time you find her personality is lacking. Sometimes a new piece of gear is a bitch, but you come to love her and appreciate her strengths over time. Sometimes it’s love at first sight and you live happily ever after. I figured two months was long enough to really get to know the system. To give it a fair and honest evaluation. To determine if this new “girl” is just a pretty face, a bitch you should live with, or a wonderful partner. (Very long time readers will recall that I got in the habit of calling my original Guardian “the girl” when writing about it.)

There’s just no telling how this love affair is going to work out, but you’ve now got a front row seat, every step of the way.

As of today, I’ve got a date with a Med-T pump trainer on the 16th of this month. That’s when the fun begins.

See ya in two weeks.


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