Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dexter versus the Crazy Rabbit

Most of you who frequent Running on Carbs with any regularity will know that Dexter is what I lovingly call my Dexcom...also known as my continuous glucose monitor.

Crazy Rabbit hasn't made his presence known recently but he is who I use to describe the unpredictable curveballs that diabetes likes to throw. Check this story out if you want a good example.

The last 36 hours have been a showdown between Dexter and the Crazy Rabbit. I have no idea who is winning but it sure as hell isn't me.

Tuesday morning is when it all began. I went for a lovely 8k run before work, enjoying one of the last crisp cool mornings before spring begins (I hope!). After breakfast and my shower I noticed that Dexter was barely hanging on. He was already 8 days old, had been zombified once and was covered in Tegaderm to keep him in place.

I carefully dried him off, asked Doug to hold him in position and secured him with a new Tegaderm. He seemed ok as I gingerly pulled on my coat.

I headed off to work and during my 75 second commute to the office, Dexter started buzzing. Three vibrations means I'm under 4.0. Four means I'm under 3.5. Four loud siren-type noises means I'm under 3.0. He was yelling at the top of his lungs as I walked into the office. I had just finished breakfast and felt fine. I checked my blood sugar and I was 7.5. I calibrated Dexter and put him on my desk where he sits during the day. Within fifteen minutes he was chirping that I was 17.5 and climbing.

My glucometer said I was 8.5.

Not good.

I told the ladies I was heading out for 15 minutes and drove back home. I took off the failing sensor and put on a new one. It takes two hours for a new sensor to be ready to go. New sensors always work well so I figured things would be back to normal once the two-hour sensor setup routine was over.

Two hours later, Dexter beeped telling me he was ready for me to calibrate him. To calibrate, I need to test my blood sugar twice and enter both numbers. Not having eaten in several hours, I was holding pretty steady. I entered my numbers (both in the mid 7s) and put him back on my desk.

A cold, dark and evil wind from the north blew in, bringing my old friend with it.

At 11:30am  I tested and I was 6.0. Dexter said I was 11. I re-calibrated, took insulin and ate my salad.

By 12:30pm he was alarming that I was dropping fast and already down to 3.9.

I was 7.5.

I re-calibrated.

All afternoon he told me one thing and my glucometer told me another. By dinner, I was apparently 17.5 again despite a blood test telling me I was 8.5.

By 6:30pm I had had enough and decided to shut down the sensor. I shut it down, lied to Dexter by telling him I had inserted a new one and started it back up again hoping things would settle down.

At 9:00pm the sensor was ready to go and the craziness started all over again.

By 10pm, I shut down the sensor a second time knowing it would wake me up at midnight to tell me it was ready to go.

At midnight, after hours without food and what should be a steady blood sugar, I re-calibrated him and went back to sleep. He had me up several times in the night telling me that I was several numbers lower or higher than I actually was.

By the morning, my fingers were bruised from all the testing and I was exhausted. No swim for me.

I could have changed Dexter again and put in a new sensor but I persevered. I was not sure what the problem was but I didn't want to lose an almost new sensor if I could help it. Those puppies are expensive!

After breakfast, Dexter told me I was 8.4. I tested to confirm and my glucometer said 4.2. Impossible. I just ate and felt fine. I retested on a different finger and this time my glucometer said I was 8.5.

4.2 on one finger and 8.5 on the other?

Now I'm starting to wonder - is Dexter having a bad day or is my glucometer on the fritz? Have I been trying to force Dex to calibrate using numbers that weren't accurate to begin with?

All day Wednesday I tested and calibrated every hour. By dinner, Dex was either bang on with every test or off by a bit.

I headed to bed early. Exhausted. With fingers that ached from all the testing.

Between all the sensor restarts, calibrations and double-checks, my fingers endured over 30 tests in 36 hours.

I'm not sure how things will look by the time this post is up on Thursday morning.

All I know is that, if this keeps up, I'm making rabbit stew. With a serial killer thrown in.

1 comment:

  1. Oh MAN. 4.2/8.5??? That is crazy! So it wasn't your Animas glucometer? Just a physical aberration?