Did you know you can play games on a Pebble Watch? I suppose I should be surprised, but with so few control options, it can’t be satisfying, right?
After the charge cable for my Pebble didn’t make its connecting flight home and a replacement was ordered, Dexcom data is now back on my wrist, available for interpretation or occasionally admiration at a moment’s notice. Having my data presented like this doesn’t necessarily change how my diabetes is managed. I’m still using my Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor to fill in the picture of my blood glucose journey, and I’m still using a proper blood glucose check to inform insulin dosing – most of the time.
But Nightscout enables a bit more freedom during the more casual moments of living with diabetes. Instead of fumbling around looking for my receiver or worrying which pocket I last put it in, the receiver stays on my desk, roughly in the middle of our apartment. The watch then becomes my primary access point for my data. And looking at my wrist becomes the primary action for accessing my data.
Last Friday I received an email from Tandem Diabetes and Dexcom reminding and instructing me on changing the time of my diabetes devices in accordance with daylight savings ending. My cell phone (and phones used for Nightscout) update their clocks automatically. It took a solid 20 minutes of metaphorically banging my head against the wall before consulting the instruction manual on changing the time of our microwave. I’ve adjusted various clocks throughout our apartment as I’ve encountered them over the course of yesterday’s activities. I change the clock in my car on the way to the grocery store.
And yet, I can’t help but feel like I’m forgetting just one more clock. And by the time I figure it out which one I forgot, March 8 will be right around the corner.
After a few days flying blind thanks to a dead Dexcom transmitter, FedEx showed up today with a special, expedited delivery.
0.1″ slimmer than the previous model
After seeing Kerri share a picture of a new Dexcom transmitter, I suddenly wondered if my request was made “in time” to receive a smaller transmitter too. While I have gotten used to the size of the original G4 transmitter, a change of this magnitude would certainly be welcome.
Hearing the new transmitter is “0.1 inches slimmer than the previous model” doesn’t really do anything for me, however. It’s difficult to put that size into a proper context. So I lined up some pennies and oh-so-scientifically determined that the new transmitter is about 2 pennies smaller.
The battery on my Dexcom’s transmitter went from low battery to no battery in what felt like record time this weekend. Now I’m flying blind for the next few days while I wait for a new one to arrive on my doorstep. Thankfully, my experience with customer service lasted all of three emails. To briefly summarize the exchange: “Help”. “Okay”. “Thank you”.
Aside from the usual comfort of knowing there’s a safety net underneath my diabetes management, as mentioned above, the Dexcom CGM has been invaluable in my understanding of how to properly operate this insulin pump. While CGM data isn’t FDA approved for insulin dosing, it’s Christopher-approved for insulin-comprehending.
This morning my inbox was greeted with an email declaring Dexcom’s much-anticipated ‘Share’ received FDA approval and was ready for public consumption. Share is a cradle that houses the G4 receiver, transmits data via bluetooth to a paired device to the ominous cloud, where it can be accessed by up to five (5) people. I know what you’re thinking – you’re thinking that this is remarkably similar to that CGM in the Cloud/Nightscout thing I mentioned last week. And you’re right. The premise is the same: remote access to Dexcom’s continuous blood glucose monitor data. However, there are a number of caveats within the fine print of the Share that, to me, make it less appealing.
First, the price. $299. Cash. And because this is considered an ‘accessory’, this isn’t something insurance will cover. Next, platform accessibility. Share only works on iOS. Only on certain iPhones or iPod Touches after a certain model and OS version. Also, this thing isn’t mobile – at all. The cradle has to be plugged into an outlet to function, meaning this doesn’t help if I’m driving, on the bus, or anywhere not next to direct current.
But despite the limitations, I’m still thrilled to see this product on the market.
Before I explain my perspective on the CGM in the Cloud movement, the technology I’m utilizing to make this part of my diabetes management, and the resources I used to complete my implementation of said technology, I figured now would be a good time to put in a bit of a primer on Dexcom, the benefits I’ve found in wearing a continuous glucose monitor, and if you’re up for it, why this cloud business might be worth your time, energy, and money. If you want to skip to the CGM in the Cloud bit and ignore the tl;dr bits, this link will skip you a few paragraphs down. I’ll try to keep the run on sentences to a minimum.
Let’s begin. Continue reading
As teased earlier this week, I’m embarking on the process of taking my Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring System to the Cloud. Assuming I get all this stuff working, I’ll share my specific steps and reasons next week. But, after my initial apprehensions with all of this Cloud stuff, and later messing around with the Chromadex App (and it’s most recent update to fully integrate with NightScout) for a few weeks, I knew it was only a matter of time before I took all of this to the next level.
Wish me luck!
Image (linked) via giphy.com