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, May 07, 2007

Storm warning

You know the storm is coming. The horizon turns dark grey. The sun disappears behind the clouds. Thunder booms through the canyons. The temperature drops and the wind kicks up, swirling the red dust between the Pinions and Junipers, and down into the arroyos.

There is an wild, electric feel to the air.

You know the storm is coming. And as it races across the mesas, virga sweeping down from the clouds to kiss the dry earth, the barometric pressure drops.

As you run for cover I have a quick science quiz for you: is 29.82 inches of mercury a high, average, or low barometric pressure reading? Ahhhh… how tricky NUMBERS can be. Would you rather someone told you the barometric pressure was low and falling, or would you rather someone gave you the current air pressure in inches of mercury with no trend information?

Well, I for one would rather be told, hey, it is low and dropping; than be given a single isolated number. But for some reason, most diabetics would rather know the specific single number than a general idea and the trend.

If someone tells me the barometric pressure is 29.82 I don’t know weather or not (intentional misspelling) to pack an umbrella. If I’m told it’s low and dropping I know the weather is going to hell.

Likewise, is it better to know that your sugar is exactly 70; or is it better to know that it is kinda low and falling?

Continuous Glucose Monitoring won’t always give you the exact number, and that pisses off a lot of folks. But it will give you the general vicinity, and more important, it will place that number into context by telling you the trend and direction. I promise you, that information is ultimately more important.

From years of no other choice, we are in the habit of studying beautiful, crisp, pristine Black-and-White photographs in a hushed art gallery called FingerSticks on the Plaza. What we are now given are grainy, low res color videos in a noisy movie theatre on a college campus called The CGM Tales. It takes some time to get use to it. It is a change and a challenge. It is a new way of thinking. And as time goes by the resolution of the video will get better and better. We are at the start of a beautiful revolution that will allow us to control our blood sugar, and therefore the destiny of our health better than we ever dreamed we could in the past.

So who cares what the barometric pressure is? The CGM in my ParaPump says we’re low and dropping. Grab your umbrella and glucose tablets; there is a storm coming.


Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Fantastic post Wil.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Bernard said...


This is just an awesome post. What great imagery.

4:14 PM  

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