I can now call myself a Dexcom Warrior! When my diabetes specialist nurse offered me the chance to switch to a continual blood glucose monitor (CGM) a few weeks ago I jumped at the chance.
Life as a type 1 diabetic is challenging, but the huge technological developments over the last couple of years mean that managing this lifelong condition is becoming easier and easier.
Every day is a new challenge for keeping blood glucose levels in the normal range and everything, and I mean everything, affects it. Stress, amount of sleep, time of the month, illness, time of the year, what I did yesterday, what I did the day before yesterday, food and drink etc. The list goes on! Which is why no day is ever the same.
Add to that training for the toughest footrace on Earth and things do get a little bit challenging. However, it is possible and all it takes is organisation (lots of it), planning (lots of it), double checking everything (and double checking again) and generally being on top of everything possible which is why becoming a Dexcom Warrior and using the Dexcom CGM is a game changer and makes training and life just that little bit more easier.
Previously, it took pricking a finger and administering a drop of blood onto a test strip in a machine which calculated and measured the amount of glucose in that drop of blood.
Now, a patch sits on my arm with a tiny thread that sits under the skin and measures the glucose in my interstitial fluid. That relays the information to an app on my phone, and also to my Fitbit watch where, at simply a glance, I can see what my blood is doing, and I can see whether that number is rising, falling or staying the same indicated by a small arrow next to the number.
This has made those long training runs easier, the recovery time more straight forward and far more simple to make sure those levels stay in the normal range. It means that I’m now a fully fledged Dexcom Warrior.
There have been some cons to taking on a new technology….I get a lot of notifications on my phone, all the time, and it has caused some sleepless nights. However, I am getting my head around it all and have now tailored these notifications to suit me a bit more. Last night my sensor failed but not before it kept telling me my blood glucose was going very low, which it wasn’t as I was feeling fine. Until about 2am this morning the notifications were going off at regular intervals and I was double checking what my blood was doing with the ‘old’ finger prick testing kit. In the end I had to pull the sensor off my arm and switch the phone off just to get some peace and quiet. New sensor on this morning and we are good to go again, but I am definitely feeling the effects of a sleepless night as I write this. And not only sleepless from the notifications going off; it’s stressful thinking you are about to go dangerously low, when you’re feeling fine, and not sure whether you can trust the technology. In this case I didn’t but I only knew that because I had the back up kit by the side of my bed.
But I believe these cons will be outweighed by the pros. As with anything new it takes a while to get to know a device and utilise it to it’s full capability. There is a lot to still get my head around but I do think this will become a valuable part of my diabetes management system, which will mean that training and recovery are more successful. I am happy, privileged and grateful to be able to call myself a Dexcom Warrior.
If you want to find out more about Dexcom then head to the link below.
If you would like to support me on my journey to the start line of the Marathon des Sables in April 2023 then you can donate at the link below. All profits will go to JDRF, a wonderful charity striving to supply diabetic medications to communities across the globe. For more information head to their link below. Both my charity and I would be so grateful for any sponsorship received.