Thursday, January 16, 2014

Don't Shoot the Messenger

I love Dexter. He takes great care of me and warns me of any variety of impending doom. He's my sidekick in more ways that I can count on one hand.

On the other hand however, he's good at what he does and he's not good at what he doesn't do. If that makes any sense at all.

Dexter warns me when bad weather is approaching but he has no skills whatsoever to guide me safely to shore. Or, for that matter, to even tell me what the cause of the bad weather might be, what direction it's coming from or where it's headed.

He just knows that it's not good.

The other day, I woke up with a blood sugar higher than normal (10.0) but not horrible. That's fine, I figured, I'm going for a run anyway and that will bring it back down. I ran 8k and came home to a blood sugar of 6.0.


I bolused, as I usually do, and had the breakfast that I usually have.

I showered and went to work. I kept checking Dexter and kept expecting to see a relatively flat line but, every time I checked, he had climbed another few notches. By 8:45am, I was 16 and climbing. Very odd.

I bolused and headed into a two-hour meeting.

During the meeting I kept checking like a hawk. I was high and still getting higher. I kept bolusing small doses (1-2) units every fifteen minutes, and finally got down to 12.0. By that point I was starving so I bolused twice the usual amount and then ate a Larabar.

I spiked to 20 within 30 minutes. I kept bolusing during the meeting and, by the time I was back in my office, I was down to 17.

I had 45 minutes until I had to head into yet another meeting. I did some math and decided to take a huge bolus (10 units) for lunch hoping it would knock me back into range. I entered that into my pump, hit go and listened to the sound of the insulin being delivered. As I listened, I began to smell the unmistakable smell of insulin.


There was something wrong with my infusion site. Insulin wasn't getting in as it should. In fact, it was leaking all over my shirt! When I had been bolusing 1 unit at a time, it wasn't enough to notice, but a huge amount like 10 units was obvious. We had a faulty site and I was smelling rather gross.

Thankfully, I live two minutes from the office so I drove home, changed my site, replaced my insulin and headed back to work. I bolused a careful 4 units, not knowing how much from my original dose actually made it into my system, gulped down my lunch and headed to my next meeting.

Of course, I spiked again after having eaten but then began a slow but steady free fall over the course of three hours. No scary drops but a steady decline that had me going low just as I arrived home after work.

Dexter, who could do nothing about it, just beeped, buzzed and downright carried on for most of the afternoon.

Here's what the three hours after lunch looked like:

I almost went from one corner to the opposite corner. Pretty crazy. 

Even crazier, here is what the day looked like. I started off a little high, ran (notice the missing dots when I left Dex at home), had breakfast and then all hell broke loose. 

Worse thing of all was that this happened on the first day of my period. The day when I'm notoriously low all day. I arrived to a day of meetings armed with dates, Larabars and other snacks to keep me going. I left smelling of insulin, bleary-eyed and headachy from hours of high blood sugars. 

Thanks Dex, for letting me know what was going on. Too bad there wasn't a damn thing you could do about it.


  1. Such a fantastic little tool! You're so lucky to have it as part of your toolkit!

  2. I have never seen a picture of a Canadian (well, not Canadian, but you know what I mean), dexcom... It sort of freaked me out when I first saw it!

    We love our dex too!