Tuesday, August 19, 2014


All day: confusion.

Check: 115.  Dexi:  250.

Check:  287.  Dexi:  140.

Lots of  'Recheck...that doesn't make sense.'

And 'Really...that's what it says.'

All day.

It probably didn't help that we left Dexi home for an errand outing.  Or that we went to the pool.  She finds that very confusing. Always.

Yet from dawn to dusk, nobody could agree.

Beditme was the most bewildering.

Check:  270.  Dexi:  240.  We thought there had finally been a meeting of the minds.  A small correction was given and some reading began.

Fifteen minutes later, Dexi asked for more blood.

Check:  138.  Dexi:  still 240.  I thought we were in for a long night for sure.

But by 10, the anticipated low had not occurred and did not occur all night.  Dexi and the meter had kissed and made up.  Today, they were all in synch...like they'd been together forever.

Technology is great.  We really love it and are grateful for all the help it gives us in managing diabetes every day.  But please visit www.stripsafely.com.  Sometimes things to awry.  They shouldn't.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dexi's Vacation

Dexi survived the first few salt water laden days of our vacation.  Initially, we were checking and reinforcing tape regularly.  They we got sidetracked by swimming and beach walking.  As we prepared for the outdoor shower after a long beach day, she was discovered to be slightly dislodged.  A delicate operation to attempt to resuscitate her failed and she was removed.

Our deal when we first started the Dexcom was that breaks were o.k.  The request was to take one at this point, so we did.  I must say there were plusses.

It was hard enough to remember the meter kit every time we left the cottage.  The constant transferring of the meter and other necessities between my purse, a small string bag and the beach bag was challenge enough. The Dexcom receiver would have been just one more thing to track down - or forget.

While the alarming is, of course, helpful to alert us to high blood sugars, there were a few frozen treats and fried seafood meals I'm glad Dexi never became aware of.   We didn't ignore the highs - we tested and corrected regularly.  But there's at least one night I'm sure Dexi would have ended up sleeping in the car so she didn't keep us up all night.

Wearing the sensor in the ocean makes me just a smidge nervous.  No- it's never fallen completely off, and I don't expect it will.   But were it to do so, I'm certain we'd never see it again.  It would turn into a mysterious item for someone's beachcombing bucket some day.

I think my daughter was happy to have her belly free.  It felt nice to swim and boogie board and dig around in the sand without a protrusion.  Also, nobody was looking at it or asking questions about it. The tankinis cover it when she's standing still, but it becomes exposed with movement, and certainly when the bathing suit ruffles float up in the water.  The pump site is invisible under her suit, and when she's walking or playing, she wears terry cloth shorts with big pockets to put the pump in.  She's willing to answer questions - but a vacation from doing so is nice too.

Dexi's back up and running, and alarming, and being forgotten when we go to the library.  We missed her information, and are finding her graphs helpful as we transition from an active vacation to a quiet week at home. There was no objection to starting her up again, and my daughter's glad to have her around on days like today when she's at the pool with a friend.

But the break wasn't bad.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

None. Nada. Nil.

Half of a basement closet  is dedicated to diabetes supplies. The usual suspects are there, unpacked from the three month supply boxes which arrive on our doorstep: pump supplies, dexcom sets, lancets, and strips. There's a large collection of manuals to diabetes devices and booklets given to us by various diabetes care providers. This is where we keep our collection of spare lancets, meters, tapes, and samples of stuff we are reluctant to throw out.

Until recently I have been the primary user of the closet. Supplies were put in and taken out only by me. Times are changing for the better, with a kid who is happily taking on a little more independence with a few things diabetes.  One task she's taken on has been replenishing the supplies in her room, including lancets and test strips.

Here's where the cautionary part of the tale begins:

Happy that she was regularly ferrying the test strips from the basement, I neglected to keep up with the inventory. So yesterday as I started to pack the diabetes box for vacation I made an alarming discovery. There were no boxes of test strips in the closet. None. Nada. Nil. 

We weren't OUT out. There were two vials in her room and some other partial vials in spare meters. I immediately ordered more and am extremely hopeful the box will arrive on our doorstep before we travel. If it does not, it's possible to purchase them over the counter.  Just incredibly expensive.

A two part solution has been put into place to address this issue.  I've put a note on my calendar and a reminder in my phone to reorder at the next possible interval. I can no longer rely on noticing the supply is running low before I make that call.  Secondly, while attempting to support the responsibility and helpfulness of my daughter's new role as the designated strip fetcher, I've emphasized the importance of also being the designated strip inventory-er.

I'm ordinarily a bit of a supply hoarder.  I feel much more comfortable with stuff stashed away, 'just in case.' In my mind, this 'just in case' has meant an insurance mix-up, a financial glitch, or a job transition. Now I know - it could come in handy for something as simple as packing for vacation.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dexi's Wordless Wednesday

Helpful Hint:

The Dexcom ceases to be useful if you pack it in your mother's purse instead of your own before leaving for the day.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Time Suck

A sampling of annoying events from the past few summer days:

I received a lunchtime phone call from the beloved nurse-free music program.  "I'm 72.  How should I bolus?"  The question took several minutes to sort out.

While at the pool, she had to stop to disconnect or reconnect her pump while her friends were already running for the diving boards/ping-pong table/snack bar.  This scene repeats several times daily.

She had to leave her friends in the pool to treat a low blood sugar.

We delayed leaving for the pool to replace the tape on the Dexcom.

We delayed leaving for music to add tape to the Dexcom.

I spent half an hour online searching for tips to keep the Dexcom stuck when frequently submerged in a swimming pool, lake or ocean.  (Suggestions are still welcome...).

We expected to do a quick site change, only to find that the pump battery needed to be replaced and the supply of wipes needed to be replenished from the downstairs closet.

A desire for a summer peach turned into an ordeal involving the food scale and the calorie king app since it was the first peach of the season and we couldn't remember the carbs.

A group of friends descended on the kitchen for a snack break.  She was the last to eat, as usual, since she had to stop to check her blood sugar, read the nutrition label, and bolus for her food.

A cure and/or a bionic pancreas will some day dramatically improve my daughter's health.  That, in the big picture, is the reason we want these things.

The other benefits are indisputable though.  When the day comes, we'll go through every day without any of these kinds of stops and detours.  She'll stop being the one lagging behind at the pool.  She'll dive into her friend's pantry right along with everyone else.  Diabetes won't delay the fun.  We can't wait.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


My husband and daughter have taken up a new hobby.  Geocaching is described in detail in this link, but essentially, it's a treasure hunt using GPS coordinates.  People hide 'caches' in public places.  Then they post GPS coordinates and additional clues on the website linked above.

So far our family has found about 40 caches in 4 different states.  I'm not so much a fan of the scrounging around in bushes and under park benches part of the whole thing, but it's been a great excuse for visiting nearby parks, hiking trails, historical sites, and even extra rest stops when we're on the road.

After having found a good amount of caches and getting the hang of the GPS app and how the website works, my husband decided it was time to create our own cache.  We needed a small, waterproof container in which to place a scroll for people to sign when they found the cache.  We had just the thing. A little camouflage duct tape to make it a little harder to find and it was ready to go:

People who hide caches often offer a prize or a special shout-out to the first person to find their cache.  My husband went a different direction.  Included in the clue is this line:

The first person to identify this container will earn a special place in our hearts.