Dexcom G4: Monkey Schlongs

Questions I'll be researching tonight before I zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Questions I’ll be researching tonight before I zzzzzzzzzzzzz

1. Dexcom work whilst charging? Dexcom battery prefer run down all way zero, then charge? Or just charge any time convenient? How fit Dexcom charge into Bigfoot active lifestyle?

2. Is?

3. Tomorrow school. Bubs keep Dexcom in pocket? In auxiliary Spibelt? Cram into same Spibelt as pump? Electrical interference pump/Dexcom issue? Ideally will obtain Flava Flav lanyard like D-Kid. And re nurse: ask nurse calibrate if Dexcom alarm but way off base?

4. What parent do/feel when arrow UP but already lots IOB? Maybe just silently to self okay, I know I know I’m doing a shitty job thank you very much. 

After dinner

After dinner: monkey schlong

Meanwhile…after dinner (20g CHO: chicken leg + apple + 2 mini peanut butter cups) take peek @Dexcom. Behold. 179, arrow up like excited monkey.

BUBS: Awwwrrrgh! Oh man, I’m going up!

BIGFOOT: You just ate. I think that’s normal

BUBS: Can I check? Can we see? Can I check into this?


That says 248.

That says 248.

VerioIQ report 248.

BUBS: Awwww! Oh nooo! (In weary tone) Let’s calibrate. (Sigh.)

Not sure why dejected. Not realize so often high? Maybe Bubs, like yesterday mother, thought Dexcom = never ever high again ever.

You said 179. I said no, 248. Now you say, okay...218. How did you settle on that figure?

You said 179. I said no, 248. Now you say, okay…218. How did you settle on that figure?

Calibrate Dexcom. Enter 248. Dexcom recant 179; show 218. How decide? Why not whole hog–just told Dexcom 248 is correct answer. Unwilling admit error depth?

BFOOT: Can I test my blood sugar?

BUBS: Sure

Where this come from? Part is same old fantasy: Bigfoot get diabetes, figure out perfect-perfect perfect everything by experiment on self, save child, save world. Part is Bigfoot feel utter crud, think maybe high BG? Feel sluggish, tired. Other part is: meter accurate? Bigfoot result: 198.

BUBS: Mamma has diabetes! Mom, will you be okay? Oh, no. No no no! Poor mamma

BFOOT: If I have diabetes, I guess I’ll know how to take care of it

BUBS: But Mom, Mom, Mom! Oh no, I hope you don’t have diabetes!

BFOOT: It could just be the meter

BUBS: You better wash your hands. Remember you were touching those peanut butter cups?

Wash hands. 156. Ayayayay! High blood glucose for real! Make brain too dumb, body too lazy, feel like fall asleep face on kitchen counter. This trouble caused by kale soup + five Cadbury Mini-egg. Quick ask spouse hide remaining Cadbury.

Meanwhile. Bubs correction: 0.35u for 248. Not sure correct action. Pump recommend via EzBG, but no endo ever recommend test BG 1/2 hour after eat peanut butter cups.

Summary Day 3: Dexcom still amaze. But not know how best use information. Check it: you ate peanut butter cups and now you are high. <—How transform A (A = agog observe) into B (B = pro-active power moves).



  1. Katie · March 24, 2013

    IMO…1) Charge whenever you fee like it, it doesn’t effect the receiver. 2) It doesn’t matter how close they are, as long as it stays in range. I leave mine on my kitchen counter and walk all over my apartment and it’s always fine. 3) The same feeling you get when you see up arrow is what you will feel when you see down arrow. Even if you’ve treated the low your instinct will be to eat until the arrow corrects itself. Of course, this would mean you ate for at least 15 minutes straight and are now on your way to 300+. Don’t just start pumping more insulin in with the up arrow. Give it at least 2 hours post-meal. If still high, I’d start correcting at that point. I’d recommend you read this: “Beyond Fingersticks: The art of control with CGM”. It’s free if you’re an Amazon Prime member, otherwise it’s $5. It will only take you 2 hours to read, but has a ton of helpful information.


    • Katy · March 24, 2013

      I got the book! I got the app on my phone! I am waiting for the book to appear on the phone. While I wait for that to happen, I am dreaming of moving to Santa Barbara to become the right-hand woman of this Dr. You Look Fucked Up.


      • Katy · March 24, 2013

        ((I read the free portion online))


  2. Mary M · March 24, 2013

    Dexcom works when it’s charging. We leave it on the kitchen counter while at home, it picks him up through most of the house. Otherwise he keeps it in the super inconvenient carrying case it came with hooked on his spi belt. And at night it lives in a glass in our room so that we can hear the alarm.

    Calibrate only when the arrow is steady for best results. When that arrow is straight up, the Dex is trying its darndest to keep up with the change in blood sugar. Calibrating then doesn’t really help. Make sense? And don’t over calibrate. Three times a day, according to Gary Scheiner, and I listen to him.

    When IOB, just ignore the arrows and hope that the insulin takes care of the peak. If the peak is still there 1 hr, 2 hrs after he eats, then check and bolus.

    Use the Dex for its trend information (should help with your late night TV watching, maybe more sleep?) and its alarms overnight. Use it to identify patterns- lows and highs at certain times of the day. Look at the average blood sugar and the standard deviation on the summary stats page. Lower std deviation means better control. Lower average blood sugar also better. Use it to catch the highs and lows before they get felt so that you can head them off with food/insulin.

    I don’t have the school nurse do anything with the Dex. She doesn’t have the grasp of her flip cell phone, and the pump is challenging enough. He responds to the alarms by going to the nurse and checking his sugar.


    • Katy · March 24, 2013

      I have been over-calibrating. I really need to read the handbook. Thank you for all of this good information!

      Your nurse sounds like fun.


      • Mary M · March 25, 2013

        I picked up the recommended book too, read half last night. I felt like we got very little support on how to use the cgm from the endo. A year in I’ve figured out a bunch and really like it.
        The nurse tries. She has three more coming up from the elementary school with the same pump, so she’ll get it soon enough.


  3. Jess · March 24, 2013

    It is SO HARD not to obsessively check the receiver every 30 seconds, especially when you first get the dexcom. It still hard for me sometimes.

    And when I have one or two up arrows with a lot of IOB, I usually scream “I KNOW!!!!!!” at the receiver, and barely manage to resist the urge to throw it across the room. Cursing helps, as does putting it in my purse or a drawer or someplace I can leave it alone for a while.

    For the first twenty-four hours after I insert a sensor, it isn’t accurate at all usually. Accuracy usually improves after a day or two. I LOVE my dexcom, but sometimes it is quite annoying. Worth it though, IMHO.


    • Katy · March 24, 2013

      Thank you. Now I know what to do. (I.e. scream I KNOW!!!! And put the thing face-down.) Thank you.


  4. Katy · March 24, 2013

    People. So helpful. This is what I needed to know. Thank you.


  5. Lisa · March 25, 2013

    the only way to reduce the after eating high…pre-bolus about 15min. we plug in every night for charging just outside his bedroom door.


    • Katy · March 25, 2013

      Should I increase the number of minutes between bolus + food more and more until the carbs and insulin finally match up? Or even this: wait until the CGM shows a bit of a down arrow before starting to eat?

      Do CGM-people eventually have spikes rarely, instead of every time they eat (which Dexcom shows is how we currently do it.)


      • Katie · March 25, 2013

        I like Scott’s advice. For now, I’d wait until you have at least 2-4 weeks of data to really know where a pre-bolus might make the biggest difference. For me, wearing the DexCom was the final push I needed to stop eating so many carbs. Fewer carbs = fewer spikes (for me!). However, I’m sure carbs are more important for a growing boy than a grown woman. BTW – I foolishly thought I’d never go out of range the minute I put the OmniPod on last week. I figure if I had to input all these ranges and equations, and then I always follow them, how could I possibly ever go high or low again? IDIOT. A pump is a pump…diabetes still blows.


      • Katy · March 25, 2013

        I love the book you recommended!


      • Scott E · March 25, 2013

        To follow up with Katie above, pre-bolusing really depends on the meal. Two peanut butter cups (though I don’t know the size, carb count, sugar grams, etc) could certainly cause a spike, while an equivalent number of carbs but less sugars could soften the spike. But yes, I almost always have a spike, or at least a bit of a “bump” with a meal.

        What I’ll notice with the big spikes from high-GI foods (if the carbs are counted right) is that I come up sharply then come down sharply, without a plateau at the top. That’s usually an indication that a pre-bolus would work better — the insulin is working before the food. What I often mistakenly do (and did yesterday) is see those double-up arrows, give a correction, then see double-down arrows even before the correction has had a chance to take effect; ultimately leading to a low.

        If the BG comes up slowly, linger for a bit at the top, then starts to come down, then either do nothing (depending on high the top is), or try a Super Bolus. (Basically, that’s getting an “advance” on the next hour’s basal with the food bolus with no overall net change in insulin delivered. There’s an article in DiabetesMine from a few years back on it, and also it’s in the book “Pumping Insulin”. Ask me if you need more details). I generally will only SuperBolus if my BG is high to start with at a meal or at breakfast time, when the evil dawn-phenomenon is in full effect.

        Remember what you see on the Dex has a time lag. And it’s only as good as the calibrations. So use it for info-gathering, but until you’re used to how it works, don’t do anything different (treatment-wise) than you did just on fingersticks. Exception being, of course, if it reads a 50 and going down…


      • Katy · March 25, 2013

        I wept in the parking lot of the specialty pharmacy. You are so helpful and kind. I am really lucky to be getting your input here. Thank you!


  6. Scott E · March 25, 2013

    One of the things Beyond Fingersticks will teach you is that, while we’ve all been trained to check BG two hours after eating, we’ve never been told what to expect from zero-to-two hours. Let whatever’s gonna happen, happen. After you see a pattern, then consider a change (pre-bolus, super-bolus…yes, that’s a thing, less high-acting carbs, grow to accept it, etc). Today I found myself with double up-arrows after eating; I gave a “small” correction, then crashed to the depths of 41 mg/dl. Don’t overreact.

    The other thing you’ll learn is that the accuracy of meters is crap. Don’t expect the CGM to match the meter — and if it doesn’t, don’t assume the meter is right. (I know that’s not exactly encouraging…)

    One final thing, lots of people have reported that VerioIQ tends to report higher numbers than other meters, for whatever that’s worth (this one’s not in the book)


  7. pawslovediabetes · April 3, 2013

    The Verio IQ has just been recalled! I was informed at my last appointment with the diabetes center here.


    • Katy · April 3, 2013

      aw, thanks! I’m planning to just swap ours out when we hit the endo this month. It’s faulty for BG over 1000, and I think I’d have another clue he was in that zone—aside from the VerioIQ exploding. (Actually I read it just shuts off and displays nothing for BG over 1000.) (Instead of saying Hi.) Thank you for watching out for me!!! Us.


      • pawslovediabetes · April 3, 2013

        haha I didn’t know what it was for, she asked if I had been using the one they gave me and I said, “Nope the strips are too expensive, I shop on Amazon for supplies blah blah…” and I never actually checked what it was for. 😛

        I’d say the least of your worries would be an accurate glucose reading from your meter if the BG was over 1000…


      • Katy · April 3, 2013

        but it’s good to know—if your VerioIQ shuts off instead of showing a number, it could mean you’re > 1000. Just knowing what an unexpected switch-off might mean is good enough, maybe. I think. Not that I won’t ask for a replacement. When I don’t have to make a call/look up a serial number/ etc.


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