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!).

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Oh, say can you see…

I think it’s no secret that most of us use the backlights on our D-gear to find the bathroom at night, but so far as I know, the Snap is the first diabetes Swiss Army knife to come equipped with a genuine flashlight.

 A bright LED bulb is built into the controller, and is powered from the AAA battery that’s said to live inside the disposable body. If you turn on the flashlight from the main menu, it stays on for 15 seconds. How far from your bedroom is your bathroom? Of course you can turn the light on as many times as you want to, the down side being too much flashlight use eats up the battery.

Uh…. Would that be the same battery that delivers the insulin?

Why, yes. Yes it is.

No fear.  Well, no fear, according to Asante. They say that the Snap system is designed so that if you gobble up too much juice illuminating your world, the flashlight will be disabled, still leaving enough juice to finish up the whole keep-you-alive-by-delivering-insulin thing. Hmmmmm….

The flashlight also comes on automatically during the body/site change operations to help you look for the drops of insulin at the end of the tubing. Nice feature.

But how useful is the flashlight in the real world? Personally, in the dead of the night, I find it too bright, or at least brighter than I need to navigate piles of dirty laundry, toys, cats, and other barriers to bare feet between bed and bath for nocturnal pit stops. I just use the Snap’s backlight for this nighttime navigation, like I’ve done with all my other pumps, and it works just fine. By the way, t:slim is just barely bright enough for this operation, so Snap trumps t:slim in this regard, too.

On the other hand, I do find the built-in flashlight useful as a beacon to help locate dropped test strips at 3am. I don’t know about you, but for me the pump or CGM backlight—while fine for avoiding large objects, furniture, or walls—is not cut out for finding dropped strips. It probably doesn’t help that I’m using VerioIQ strips, which are gold, and have tan carpet, which turns out to be the prefect Verio camouflage. And while I haven’t personally used it in this way, I suspect it would be handy for lighting up keyholes on doors late and night, illuminating the menu in dim bistros, finding the frickin’ candles in a blackout, checking on the baby, or locating the whiskey bottle in the tent when camping. Basically any operation you’d use a small flashlight for.

People with more interesting lives than mine could also use it to swap phone numbers in dark night clubs, locate drug dealers in dark alleyways, or to unwrap condoms. Yes, Asante is certainly lighting the way for us.

Tomorrow: A post-modem on a dead body


Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Now I'm picturing you trying to pick a lock via the light from your insulin pump. Haha!

5:49 PM  

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