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, November 01, 2012

Best night ever

Today’s CGM Primer: “Could you hurt yourself trusting a CGM? Sure. But you could just as easily hurt yourself trusting a fingerstick meter. Diabetes is a dangerous business.”

--Beyond Fingersticks

Cigar smoke wafts gently upwards towards the two-story high ceiling of the Churchill Club. I’m sitting in a wing-back leather chair. A glass of dark, rich whisky in front of me. Heavy glass ashtray to the right. I’m a lefty, so I drink left-handed and smoke right-handed. At my back, stack after stack after stack of bound copies of the Pacific Review from 1928 tower over me. My view forward is of a massive oil painting larger than an Imax screen. The Sultan’s Dream. Naked nymphs try to lure the sultan off his boat and into the water. The spires of Constantinople are behind him.

The club is mainly populated by men, but not exclusively. In fact, seated at my table is one of the most stunning brunettes I’ve ever met. My evening is looking up.

I take a slow drag on my cigar, the tip glows angry orange, and a faint crackle reaches my ears. Ahhhhhh….. The cigar is new to me, called Eileen’s Dream. An easy name for me to remember, because just like the real live Eileen I know, the cigar is tall, skinny, and blonde. The wrapper hails from Cameroon, the filler from the Dominican Republic. The tobacco is infused with Irish Crème and White Chocolate Truffles. I ordered from the leather-bound cigar menu because the description was sexy. The cigar did not disappoint; it, like both its description and the real-life Eileen, is sexy. The taste is mild, smooth, exotic.

Suddenly voices are raised. The pack of cigar- and cigarette-smoking men two tables over have broken into a heated argument, “You just shut up!” shouts one, a small, powerfully-built man with 1973 NASA engineer glasses. “That type of defeatist attitude is why this country is going to hell! Don’t even put negative thoughts into to the atmosphere! Don’t you know that kind of thinking can cause bad things to happen?!”

I look toward the brunette. She raises one eyebrow and mouths “Politics?”

His tablemate, a chubby black man, holds his hands up in defeat, “OK, OK, I’m sorry. Don’t get upset. I take it back. Anything can still happen. It’s only the top of the eighth.”

I suppress a laugh. It’s not the presidential election they’re worried about. Not the fate and future of the country. It’s the fate and future of the Giants and the Tigers. They’re arguing about the World Series, playing on a screen that (thankfully) I can’t see, and which (double thankfully) is muted. I like bars, but I loathe sports bars. I like quiet and sophisticated bars where I can have a conversation. Hear and be heard. Flirt if there’s someone flirt-worthy, like tonight.

There’s a gentle tug on my waist. The little girl wants my attention. I unsnap the origami case and drop it open. My blood sugar is now 310 and rising. The trace line shows a steady line of yellow dots, like marching army ants, ever upwards. The blood sugar readout has turned from white to yellow. A warning. The trend arrow, like a wind vane, is pointing up at a 45 degree angle.

The scones and sweets from this afternoon’s High Tea at the Brown Palace are kicking my ass. It’s a self-inflicted wound, I grant you, but that was… Oh. About four hours ago… Wait. That makes sense. The boatload of insulin I took to try to cover it has worn off. Time to throw more troops into the fray.

I angle the G4 so the brunette, who’s now sitting quite close to me, can see it. She takes a sip of her amaretto sour, and licks her lips seductively. “That’s so cool,” she says, voice mildly husky. G4 Platinum: Chick Magnet. Who knew?

I slip the iPod Touch out of my new corduroy sport coat’s inside pocket. I’ve lost more weight, so none of my old clothes fit. I’ve got several other trips coming up this year, so I sprang for a new wardrobe. The coat is a cool sand color, and ever so soft to the touch. Funny thing about corduroy. Sometimes it’s as rough as sandpaper, other times as smooth as silk.

I press the iPod’s “on” button with my thumb and then sweep my thumb across the arrow on the screen to unlock it. The screen flashes momentary, then dims itself for the subdued lighting in the cigar bar. That is so fucking cool. I slide my finger along the blood drop icon in RapidCalc until the readout matches the 310. The App advises three units. I take the heavy metal insulin pen from the back pocket of my new blue jeans and hesitate. I’m wearing a skin-tight forest green turtleneck under the jacket. I’ll never get it pulled up high enough to shoot in my upper arm like I usually do. I don’t want to un-tuck my sweater and shoot in the stomach in front of all the other cigar smokers.

There’s a 4mm BD Nano needle on the business end of the pen. The sweater’s kinda thick. It would probably get into the skin, but why take a chance? I shrug, pull up my sleeve a little, rotate my hand, palm up, and inject right into my wrist, in the middle of my medic alert tattoo. A man at the next table nearly drops his cigar in his lap, but says nothing.

Although not FDA approved for it, and even though the legal team at Dexcom says we shouldn’t do it, the G4 is clearly good enough to dose insulin from without a fingerstick. At least in some circumstances. Like when you are making progress with a hot brunette, are half way through a good $6 cigar, and have left your glucometer in your hotel room.

“I really like this place,” the brunette tells me, “ I’m not a smoker, and I’m glad I never started, but I like how happy and relaxed all the men in here are. The place has a good vibe. I feel at home here.”

Truth be told, I say to her, I’d totally forgotten the cigar bar was here. My son reminded me about it. He’d like the old-fashioned vibe. At first I was kind of bummed he couldn’t come with me… but… My eyes sweep up and down the brunette’s curves. Sometimes some adult time is indicated.

Her dark brown eyes, almost black, twinkle. “How very true.” She leans in towards me, lips gently parted. I set the cigar in the glass ashtray and turn to her. Our noses nearly touch. “Speaking of adults,” she whispers, her lips brushing across mine with a flickering, teasing touch, “do you think our son is driving your mother crazy by now?”

I kiss the brunette, my Debbie, on the tip of her nose. After 25 years the hottest woman I know. Exotic, stunning, and still full of surprises after all this time.

Nah. Let’s stay for another cigar and watch my blood sugar come back down.


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