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!).

Monday, October 29, 2012

Origami in black leather (not like you’re thinking)

Today’s CGM Primer: “I guess it comes down to this: Do you wear a dress? Now I didn’t ask if you were a boy or a girl, I only want to know about your wardrobe. If you wear a belt, your life will be easier with CGM.”

---- Excerpted from Beyond Fingersticks

I don’t get it. The belt case is origami. Black leather and clear plastic origami, folding over itself like a sandwich baggie. How on earth is one supposed to get one’s CGM monitor out and look at it.?


Do I have to start my G4 adventure with a BestBuy run for a functional case? The G4 looks like some sort of music player. Would it fit in a music player case? Or is it too thick? Maybe a cell phone case?

Well, this is not too unexpected. Dex, like much of the rest of the industry, has a long history of supplying crappy cases with their products. The original Dex case had a belt clip made from recycled Budweiser beer cans. The clip was weak, thin, crummy, and people’s monitors fell off and sometimes got lost! One of my patients lost hers in the woods, no kidding, and her insurance plan refused to replace it. EVER. Even once the warranty was up, they would not get her a new one.

Replacement of lost or stolen medical devices is not a covered benefit on her health plan. All hail Wall Street. She’s still CGMless. You’d better lock up your frickin’ C-PAP, oxygen tanks, and put a chain around your power scooter from the Scooter Store—you only get these things once in your life, apparently.

Anyway, for the last few years my personal carry solution for my Dex has been to use a Verizon case for the LG Chocolate cell phone, circa 2009. I think that was the original Chocolate, for you history buffs. It had a circular control panel. In fact, they might have pioneered that look, but I’m not sure. The point is this cell phone case had a nice little round hole in it that lined up to the Dex 7’s round control buttons, and a nice clear rectangular window that lined up to the Dex’s rectangular window, and best of all, a belt clip that hung on like a pissed-off rabid badger. Like the badger from the movie “The Gods Must Be Crazy.”

And it was elastic that made it all work. The Verizon case. Not the badger. Because the Dex seven, with its squashed Rubenesque physique would never have squeezed her wide hips into a LG Chocolate’s skinny jeans. But the Verizon case I found had elastic sides. The Dex fit. Tight at first, but over time the case loosened up enough that I could easily slide the monitor out to look at my blood sugar, but stayed tight enough that I didn’t live in fear of my insurance.

Well, that’s a lie. I always live in fear of my insurance. But I didn’t live in fear of my Dex getting lost. Or my next Dex. Or my third one. Each new monitor moved in and took up residence in the trusty case.

Meanwhile, each new monitor came with a slightly changed, but still pathetic-looking case from Dex. The second one I got was the worst: A clear plastic bag with a zipper all the way around it. A 1970’s-era kitchen appliance cover with a belt clip super-glued onto the back of it.


Oh, but back to the Verizon case. The clip not only never once in all these years let go of my belt, but it also rotated. The Dex could be worn either horizontally, parallel to the waist, or vertically. I’ve been in the habit of wearing mine vertically for the last several years and I always chuckle to myself when I see some dufus wearing a cell phone case or glasses case parallel to the belt. To my eye, a fashion faux pa.

Well, now I’m the dufus. The new Dex G-4 case, not only is wrapped up in itself, but the clip doesn’t rotate.

Still. I’m obviously not getting something here. Unlike the earlier ones, the new G4’s case screams quality. It’s black leather. It has a sturdy, solid belt clip that would make the Marine Corps proud. But it also has two snaps, some strange loops, and two hinges. There’s evidence of intelligent design here, some brain power must have been exhausted to come up with something that shows this much engineering.

Maybe I can make more sense out of this thing if I put it on.


Wait a minute.

That’s really quite brilliant. Isn’t it?

You don’t need to take the G4 out of its case to view it. It’s like a baby kangaroo. It lives in its pouch. And in turn, the pouch lives on your waist. To check your blood sugar, look down, un-snap, un-fold. Presto! Your blood sugar is 145 mg/dL.

Oh. This is clever indeed.

Except for checking while driving, this seems pretty workable. But it will void my friend Dina’s Rule Number 1 of Modern Social Anthropology: If someone is looking at their crotch and smiling they’re probably texting.

Of course, I can’t say how well it will work for me yet, but I’m not driving to BestBuy after work today. I’m going to give this a try. I’m still not sure how I feel about the horizontal placement, but dicking around with it on my belt as I write this, it seems natural enough. Unsnap. Unfold. Look. Smile (or frown). Refold, resnap. Simple enough. And the hinge drops the G4 to a nice 90 degree angle off the waist, making viewing simple.

But what’s up with the funky bonus strap that surrounds the belt clip? It’s stitched tightly at the bottom of the clip, then snaps to the top of the case. Actually, it snaps to the tongue of the case, the flap that you unsnap to lower the drawbridge and view the CGM.

Maybe it’s a safety loop? It doesn’t work on my belt (it’s too wide), but on a thinner belt, it might wrap up and behind the belt then snap at the top to serve as a back-up oh-God-don’t-let-my-CGM-get-lost insurance plan. I’m not sure how well that would work. The leather is pretty thin and it could still unsnap, but it might just help hold it on a dress belt. I’ll have to find a dress belt to test that theory out on… I think I have one buried at the back of a drawer somewhere… I’ll get back to you on that on another day.

My spies tell me that Dexcom is planning to partner with third parties to offer a range of case and carry options in the future. I have no idea when that might come to pass, but at least out-of-the-box we are being offered something that appears to be functional. I like the way the clip squeezes my belt tightly. The un-snap, un-fold action appeals to me. I think this just might work.

I guess it’s better to be a fashion victim in touch with his blood sugar than a snappy dresser two breaths from a killer hypo. But I wish I could be both (in touch and snappy). Still, I’m willing to take this case on a test drive.


Blogger Bernard said...

Hey, how did you get hold of one of the G4's already? I've ordered mine but I don't think I'll hear back from them for another few weeks.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Wil said...

Bernard: I know people in high places, low places, and every place in between....

9:02 AM  
Blogger Bernard said...

I guess you really do, congrats. I've got to read your newer post on it.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice blog .... I read all post, I like it. Thanks web master

11:35 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I found your blog while searching for a LEATHER, not leatherette case for my G5. I like the case but not the leatherette which starts looking cobby after several months. BTW I modified my Dexcom Case so that it will fit a 1 3/4 inch wide belt. Ask and I'll post a photo.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Wil said...

We'd love to see a photo, Rick

1:20 PM  

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