My best friend, Dex!

Who is Dex, you ask? Well.. Dex is my continuous glucose monitor (CGM). Also known as…Dexcom! (I know, I know.. my nickname for it is so original, right!? Man.. have you guys picked up on all my sarcasm yet?)

Anyway, my past two posts I’ve mentioned  Dexcom being a serious game changer for me and my life with type 1.. But I barely talked about it! So I had some responses asking why it was such a blessing for me, and if I could elaborate further. Well, OF COURSE I can, and I’m actually really excited about this! But first, I have to add that I am by no way getting paid for this. These are my own opinions and I want to answer your questions, from my personal experience. These are my honest words, thoughts, opinions, with my dexcom journey.  (See my disclaimer in my menu section)

“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end”- Robin Sharma

I struggled with the thought of getting another device to have to wear along with my insulin pump for a while, but I finally stopped being so vain about the idea, and realized it could benefit me.. so why not give it a “test run”? My endocrinologists office actually had one that I was able to wear and use for a week to see if I liked it. Well, after about 4 hours of wearing it…. I was sold. Seriously! Now I’ll tell you why…

I was not only able to see my blood sugar from my phone (updated every 5 minutes) but I was ALSO able to see if it was going up, down, or stable (there’s an up arrow, a DOUBLE up arrow, a slanted up arrow, a sideways arrow, a slanted down arrow, down arrow, and DOUBLE down arrow). You know how sometimes you do a finger stick, and say it’s…. 104. A great reading, right? But.. with dexcom, I can look at my phone, see that it’s not only 104, but it has DOUBLE ARROWS DOWN! What does this mean? I’m likely able to stop a bad low blood sugar before it gets.. well, a lot worse. Sometimes, I don’t even feel that I’m low, and all of a sudden my phone is alarming URGENT LOW (which is below 55) and I’m at 43, or lower (I don’t personally always feel my lows, and I feel that it’s saved my life before.. game changer, right!?). It’s the same if you prick your finger and see it’s 127. That’s a good reading, but what if you saw it was 127, with two “double up” arrows?! This tells me, I need to take insulin, or make sure I have enough “on board” to avoid going too high.. (and feeling like I was hit by a train).

Dexcom doesn’t replace finger sticks, but you do only have to calibrate twice a day, and that’s A LOT LESS than all the finger sticks in one day (especially if it’s a roller-coaster high and low type of day).

In 9 years, I was never able to know what my blood sugar was doing at any given moment through out the day.. I never knew if it was going up or down when I tested. Even with the pump changing my life back in 2014, dexcom and the pump working together made it WAY tighter control  for me, that I would have never accomplished  myself without it. I got my best A1C EVER with dexcom, and I can’t imagine life without it now.  In a weird way, it’s like this game on my phone that I want to “beat” so to speak. I can see what  my numbers are doing (going up or down) and take a little insulin, or suspend a little insulin here and there depending on what it’s doing. It also allows up to 5 followers on phones. My Dad follows me and is always quick to call or text and make sure I’m alright when he gets a “low” notification (since these can be life threatening if not treated). You can personalize the settings and they really only get alerted if I’m going too low (at my age, I can tackle the highs on my own, but don’t always feel the lows coming).

It’s been an amazing experience for me, and I’ll never not have a CGM again. My A1C went from a 12.2 to a 9 in 1 month, and in 3 months was down to a 6.6. Life changing enough!?!

They’re technically only FDA approved for 7 days as of now (the new ones will be 10 days, and only 1 calibration a day) but I’ve gotten 30 days with my best sensor, and have heard of others in dexcom groups I follow getting even more than that (they are a dry site, unlike a pump, so there’s not so much risk for infection if you wear it a while). I use a certain kind of tape with mine to help keep it on longer and it works great for me!

I’ll wrap this up, and remind you guys to please comment with any questions, or email me via the contact section on my menu. I hope this did answer some questions you had, and I’m happy to answer more! I really and truly appreciate and welcome all and any feedback, and have to thank you guys again for reading, and for all the love and support!

Lastly, I ask you to PLEASE sign this petition to help make insulin more affordable to EVERYONE. No mother should have to sacrifice her insulin to make sure her kid has enough, and no kid or adult should have to go without for ANY reason. Insulin is NOT an option, it is our life support.. literally. This is a petition with the American Diabetes Association, and here is what they have to say about it :

“The average price of insulin has skyrocketed in recent years—nearly tripling between 2002 and 2013. We’re calling for immediate action to make this lifesaving medication affordable for everyone who needs it. We’re asking all entities in the insulin supply chain to increase transparency and to ensure that no one is denied access to insulin, and we’re calling on Congress to hold hearings to identify the reasons for the dramatic increases in insulin prices and take action. Join us by signing our petition”:

Click here to sign the petition! It takes 45 seconds!

-Chelsea…The Hopeful Diabetic

P.S — You may have noticed… New Domain/Name, but same me, same blog! 🙂  I should have researched more before just up and creating and starting my website, but I changed my domain to be more original. Bare with me guys, I’m just getting the hang of things!

8 thoughts on “My best friend, Dex!

  1. Yay! Now I can see all posts in a “feed”. I absolutely LOVE everything about this!
    I was dying to know what was life changing for you (although as a t1 with a “dexter”, duh!). And sure enough, those trending arrows are absolutely the single most cool thing in the world!
    I identified with past posts where you talk about running higher and rebelling against the disease. This is so so so common. The stories of how people “came back” or “saw the light” are so intriguing to me. I was curious to see if CGM was part of your motivation in “seeing your light”. It sounds like it was – it is difficult to NOT see better BG’s and improve ones management routines. Boy oh boy are good numbers and the subsequent good feelings (physical and mental) big motivators!
    I have not yet utilized the share feature of my darling Dexter. I’m intrigued – and the ‘game’ aspect is highly attractive as a motivation for a certain son I know and love!
    Thank you so much for being you and sharing you!
    I love The Hopeful Diabetic ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely was part of my motivation in “seeing my light”!

      I can’t believe you haven’t used the share feature! I just think it’s fun, haha. Seriously! It’s like trying to play a game and stay in between the lines 😂 I get so frustrated at those “double up” arrows.

      Thank you for the support and love Brigid!! You are way too kind and sweet! ❤️❤️❤️

      Like

  2. Yes, a CGM is a life changer! My daughter had so many lows and like you… she can never tell when she’s going low until she’s suddenly 40. So scary especially when she’s at school. Once you start you can never go back!

    What kind of tape do you use? We’ve tried so many and her sensor always seems to fall off by the end of the week…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually just last night my dad was calling me at 3 am because I was 44 and my alarms weren’t waking me. Whoops. It really can be scary!

      I use OpSite Flexifix tape, (click here to view on amazon!)it’s roughly $14 on amazon and the roll will probably last me atleast 2 years, it comes with so much! The first round always stays on atleast 2-3 weeks and then sometimes if the edges look “ugly” I will cut them and retape and get another week or 2! 🙂 doesn’t irritate my skin at all. Have you tried this one for her yet?! I used to use skintac but I didn’t like how sticky and crispy it made the tape for me haha.

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  3. I am a type 2 diabetic. And I have been since Spring 2000. I am still more hypoglycemic than anything. I don’t take insulin yet. I am constantly relying on peanut butter to keep from dropping into a coma. I am encouraged by people like you who face the highs and lows with such resolute grace. If my health insurance gets any worse than it already is about the cost of everything, I am probably not going to make it for very long after I have to go on insulin. I hope you continue to do well in your dance with the devil of diabetes. It sounds like you are outstepping him quite smartly.

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  4. I call mine Sexy Dexy. I adore having one and yes it is a pure game changer.

    This item has been referred to the TUDiabetes Blog page for the week of November 7, 2016

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello,
    Pleasure to meet you and thank you for visiting my blog page and having a follow, I appreciate the support. I look forward to reading more post from you and hope that you find something of interest on my blog as well. Happy Monday Motivation!

    Shay-lon

    Like

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