The Dexcom G6 is up and running, and it's keeping us running.
Technologically we're totally impressed. It's accurate. The readings flow seamlessly from the transmitter to my daughter's iPhone and the Dexcom receiver, and then on to my phone and the Dexcom Clarity page online. And no fingersticks? Amazing.
We used our previous CGM, the G4, only as a general guide. Heading up or down? Always alarms between 2-3 a.m.? Should she do anything before changing for gym? It was less accurate and had crapped out months ago on sharing numbers to anybody's phone, so unless it was alarming with an urgent low, it was mostly background noise to be addressed eventually.
The G6 feels less like a lowly assistant making suggestions from the corner of the conference room and more like the boss. What it says goes. Low predicted in 15 minutes? Eat something. Now! Suddenly skyrocketing? Drop your pants and check that site! Clarity shows you've gone over 220 after lunch five of the past seven days? Fix something!
Some of that is good for us. Most of us get lazy with diabetes at one time or another, and of late, we have. Having the G6 looking over our shoulders and nudging us at every turn is causing more action than had been happening here, at least in terms of more minor excursions from a target blood sugar range.
Some of it, though, is wearing. Already. After 12 days. (But who's counting?)
The alarms are driving us nuts. Starting it up over a busy school play weekend followed by a Thanksgiving week full of family and food certainly didn't help. Diner pancakes at 10 p.m., daily servings of stuffing, and pecan pie two nights in a row are rare treats, and as the schedule goes back to normal, alarms are settling down. We learned quickly not to have both the Dexcom receiver, and all of our phones set to alarm when all of them are in the same house. The cacophony and the subsequent process of silencing them all would jar anybody's nerves.
We're also struggling with information overload. The numbers are in our faces all the time. Because the previous system's data went only to its own receiver, my daughter would look at it at mealtime, before bed, and when it alarmed. Now can see numbers whenever she opens her phone. And with share operational again, I too can see numbers anytime I want instead of looking at the receiver once a day- or less. A diabetes-life balance is, in my opinion, a very important aspect of living sanely. It will take some time to figure out how to compartmentalize the extra information so that it does not overwhelm.
Was it worth waiting for? Absolutely. The steady stream of accurate data is incredibly useful. It helps with hour to hour decision-making. Once the bulk of the data isn't skewed by Thanksgiving food, the long-term graphs will be incredibly valuable in adjusting basal rates and bolus ratios. And maybe when the data settles down into a more predictable range we won't mind seeing it so often.