Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Dexcom G4 sensor 1 lasted for 30 days!

I had a sensor stuck in my arm for 30 days!!! It was time to remove my first Dexcom G4 sensor. I could probably have used it for a couple of more days, but I started to get more and more noise from the sensor. In the image on the right you can see the graph did not look very smooth any more. The low glucose alarm falsely woke me up a couple of night, because of random noisy low values. It lasted 30 days!! I'm extremely happy with the results. I would have been happy if it lasted only 14 days. The sensor stayed stuck nicely the first 7 days, only then did I add tegaderm over it. After 14 days I added another piece of tegaderm. The sensor seemed a bit loose on day 21, but it was still functioning well. I placed a sock over it for the last 7 days, which helped a lot to keep it in tack and it looked much neater. My Dexcom reader is also not used any more, I don't carry it around and rarely looked at it. The xDrip application is just working so much better than the reader. I'm wearing the sensor at the back of my upper arm. It was easy to limit the amount of water getting to the sensor. The only downside I had with wearing it on my arm was that I experienced a few compression lows during the night. A compression low is when the sensor is pushed against the body and it reports a false low glucose value. Typically this sometimes happen when you sleep on top of the sensor.

My current sensor configuration can be seen in the image. I'm covering the white part of the sensor sticky tape with a tegaderm that contains a hole such that the transmitter fits in the hole. I also added another larger tegaderm over the sensor and transmitter. The nice thing about tegaderm is that you can hardly see it and it does a good job in holding things down with the additional benefit of being waterproof. The black thing around my arm is a sock cut open. I keep my xDrip bridge device inside this sock. The transmitter reads the glucose levels from the sensor. The xDrip bridge collected the signals transmitted by the transmitter and sends the data to my cellphone via bluetooth. My xDrip bridge also buffers 40 minutes worth of data, so I don't always need to be near my cellphone. Obviously I take off my xDrip bridge when I shower or sleep, but the sensor and transmitter stays in all the time.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Climbing the T1D mountains

I've been woken up by my Dexcom / xDrip system several nights in a row because of a low. Waking up every 2 hours and having to eat something is not very pleasant. Last night I decided things must change and I tried something different and it failed terribly. On the left, my glucose graph from around 20:00. On the right, a popular mountain... can you spot some similarities ?? At 21:00 my levels started to rise, I did not want to try and fix that with exercise and gave myself a small correction bolus. At around 23:15 I really wanted to go and sleep, but noticed that I over-corrected, going low. Having several nights with many lows, it is definitely not a good idea to go to sleep already low. I ate a few pieces of malva pudding, thinking that I'm going to make sure I don't get a low during the night.... I ate too much (very little actually, but the pudding can mess with your glucose levels). 01:00, I woke up realizing I'm climbing a massive mountain and it looks like it's going up for-ever. Injecting another correction bolus and going back to sleep. Another mistake I made was to switch off my high glucose alarms, otherwise I would have noticed the peak much sooner. The correction bolus was not enough and the dawn phenomenon kicked in at 05:00, creating another peak. Getting out of bed at around 06:30, realizing I'm on a mountain and quickly gave myself a correction and breakfast bolus. If you fall from a mountain, you fall hard, at 08:00 I was crashing fast. I was driving to work at that time. I consumed anything I could find to eat in my vehicle, I knew that I had to try and stop the rate of the fall as much as possible. Everything takes time, food takes time to digest, and then there is momentum, it is difficult to catch a falling egg without breaking it. I managed to turn the curve to go up just in time. Then the oscillation starts again, at 10:00 I'm going over my target range again because of all the things I had to eat to prevent the fall. Staircase exercise to the rescue, and I'm down going low again at 11:00. Luckily the fall was not that high this time and 100g of yoghurt quickly corrected and stabilised the oscillation. Sometimes it is very difficult to manage the T1D mountains. I lift up my eyes toward the T1D mountains, from where will my help come? My help is from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth. (Ps. 121)