Portrait of the Young Man as Blood Glucose

You have to click this every time, for many times.

You have to click this all of the time.

Portrait works, at last!

This required several loop-de-loop registerings, two downloads, and one long call with Tech Support, the kind where they call me.

I wish I had taken notes during the call, in case someone (?) who still needs Portrait (?) reads (?) this. But even if I had taken notes, the Tech Support person was doing things while we spoke to force it to work. So I think a person probably needs more than notes to make it work.

IMG_2500Anyhow, these are my would-be notes.


  • SAY WHAT? You may come across some grammatically quirky sentences that—I’m not just being a bitch—make no sense and lead you to think you are in the wrong screen. Something like: “Enter the name of the person for who is to use Dexcom CGM.” (This made me think I had landed in a form for the newly Dex curious, instead of in a place for the Portrait wanter.)
  • ACT LIKE YOU WANT TO DOWNLOAD EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO: You have to keep clicking “Download Portrait on the Web” alllll of the time after you have already downloaded it. When I want to look at my graphs, I must choose “Download Portrait on the Web,” which makes me worry I’m going to enter into a repeat of the software downloading scene. That hasn’t happened. Happily, all this does is make Dexcom recognize me as someone who wants to download data from a receiver. “Download Portrait on the Web” = I would like to download my graphs, please or I am in the middle of the process of downloading Portrait or I actually want to download Portrait.
  • KERNEL: Your Mac (my Mac) will warn you (warned me) to not trust kernel and I had to keep pushing through to agree that I was risking my family fortune by trusting kernel. The Tech Support man was very unconcerned about kernel. I asked if kernel is part of SweetSpot, which is the name of the software maker. Tech Support said kernel is something else entirely.
I am choking on one thousand necklaces.

I am choking on one thousand necklaces.

  • I’M CHOKING ON DATA: The 30-day graph. Is this helpful? It makes me feel like I’m wearing a preposterously large seed-a-bead choker. I think I will stick to 7-day reports. Or 14-day if I’m feeling ambitious.
I can kind of make sense of this many necklaces.

I can kind of make sense of this many necklaces.


How kind.

  • SO POLITE: Some possible considerations, Portrait begins, and then lists three reasonable things that we, pre-Portrait, had some vague inklings of needing to consider and/or hadn’t considered. Helpful!
  • THIS IS COOL: Just being able to see these graphs, instead of having the data disappear off the edge after 24 hours, is amazing.
  • I WONDER IF I WILL REMEMBER TO DO THIS: Do people who have access to this kind of elaborate data analysis generally look at it…weekly? Monthly? (Hourly?) I think our endo said, once set up in Portrait, we should email her reports every two weeks. Could she really want us to do that?
  • PROUD MOMENT: It shows our average number of calibrations in 24 hours is about 2.5. I like that. I think it makes me seem chill.

Even after all of that, the best part of the whole thing remains…

This: hiding in my room on the eighteenth snow day, knowing you are OK.

This: hiding in my room on the eighteenth snow day, knowing you are OK.



  1. Larry Here · February 15, 2015

    Well, hell. I mean, congratulations! I had totally given up, if not forgotten about Portrait. Now I suppose I will have to try again. Sigh.


  2. Laddie · February 15, 2015

    I had no problems with Portrait, so I wonder why others are. Maybe it is because I will have a Windows desktop using Dexcom Studio and really don’t need Portrait. But it loaded without problems on my MacBook.

    I find that the Dexcom graphs always look better than what I think my BG has been doing. Also, although I go crazy when my meters and Dexcom are not in sync, it’s amazing how close they are when I look at a 2-week graph. Diasend has a CGM report that shows your Dexcom tracings along with the CGM calibrations. Once again, they are much closer than I remember them being.


  3. skchrisman · February 16, 2015

    You Did It! Yay, you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Catherine Bardagy Winchild · February 16, 2015

    You may come across some grammatically quirky sentences that—I’m not just being a bitch <— hahahhahaha (that tech writing sounded TRANSlated)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. type1dmom · February 16, 2015

    Yay! We use studio but as for frequency of downloads it’s sort of like “hmm, bg has been weird lately. Perhaps I should download the Dexcom and see where I can make adjustments” <– this happens at varying intervals. Sometimes it every few days, other times it's nearly a month. And sometimes it's simply that we're coming up to a month and I go "oh crap! It's been almost a month. Dexcom only holds 30 days of data. I must download now to save.all.the.data."


  6. shannon · February 17, 2015

    this would be a tremendous resource for me if my mac hadn’t just shit the bed. <—too graphic?

    anyway, thank you from past me who could have used this helpful and hilarious advice.


  7. Karen Joseph · February 19, 2015

    Good for you! I should follow suit. I really need to set this up on our Mac but I get overwhelmed just thinking about it! And the graphs completely boggle my mind. We don’t do this nearly enough.


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