Taking Some Unpredictability Out of My Life

On Monday I had my first appointment with an endocrinologist since becoming a born again diabetic last year.  I would have gone sooner, but for some reason they only want to be in the second largest county in the state and not this one, the third largest.  Don’t get me started on that subject.

I liked the doctor and the staff.  After my friend, Garry, showed me his insulin pump and told me there was something called a Continuous Glucose Monitor I decided it was time for me to look into using both.  With hypoglycemia sneaking up on me with no symptoms, the idea of being able to know what my blood sugar is at any time without having to stick my finger each time appealed to me.  Yes, I was concerned about getting accustomed to not one, but two devices attached to my skin all the time.  But I’ve had a few scary plunges the past few months and I’m ready to do (or wear) whatever it takes to stop that.

The doctor showed me a pump.  It had a small display screen and some buttons.  We agreed that with my visual limitations it would be best for me to keep using the insulin pen.  The pens are much easier to deal with than the disposable syringes I used the time before, so this wasn’t a huge disappointment.

He showed me a few of the glucose monitors.  One of them had a display screen with black background and white numbers—the best contrast for me to read.  I’m typing this using a program on my computer that inverts the colors to white letters on black background.

Dexcom CGM

TheCGM also had arrows to indicate if blood sugar was going up or down.  And there was a graph showing what the glucose had been the previous 24 hours.  The best part was that I could carry the display device in my pocket.  The sensor was much smaller and sent signals to the display.  That means I can hold it as close to my face as I need to read it.

The downside is that I will have to check my blood sugar twice a day by sticking my finger and calibrating the CGM.  But that’s still better than at least four times a day now.

The feature that could really keep me out of trouble is an alarm.  It can be set to whatever number each diabetic feels his or her glucose level is getting too low.  It’s different for everybody.  Some people are doing fine at 70.  Others are about to pass out.

I have renewed optimism that life is about to get a little easier and less scary.

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Posted in Hypoglycemia, Technology, Uncategorized

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I was a Type I from the age of 12 until I had a pancreas transplant when I was 33. It came with a new kidney. Diabetes took a toll on me. Being diagnosed at that age, I wasn’t always a model patient. It caused me to have kidney failure, lose part of my vision and parts of my feet are numb.
I loved being a “former diabetic” after the transplant. Or is the proper term “ex-diabetic”? It doesn’t matter. I felt the way a parolee from prison must feel. No more shots. No more blood tests. No more diet. No more strict sschedules. Well, I had to start taking anti-rejection meds—lots of ‘em—twice a day. Compared to the life I lived before, that was nothing.

After 14 years the pancreas stopped working, which means I'm back to being a Type 1 diabetic. This blog is about what it's like to go back to that world.

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Visit my web page JimFairbanks.net
My book about growing up diabetic and how I became a "former diabetic"

My book about growing up diabetic and how I became a "former diabetic"

Order it on Amazon

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