revisiting the CGM: first experience with Dexcom G4 Platinum

The difference in the experience between the two models (top: SEVEN, bottom: G4) of Dexcom CGMs is more than just visual.

Controlling your sugars without a true image of where you are coming from and how fast you are getting there feels like working with one hand tied behind your back.

While a glucose meter offers an invaluable, quick snapshot of where your number is in an exact moment, it does not tell the whole story.

Offering a wiggly line graph to depict the rise and fall of your glucose, as well as assist in announcing the speed at which you are a– or de-scending, a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) gives a much more comprehensive image of why your number is where it is.

Fun to note, dextro-,  in matters of both handedness (i.e., dexterity) and sugar molecules (dextrose) refers back to being on the right side in some way. One has to do with what hand we may use to write; the other, the “[s]o called because this form of glucose [dextrose] polarizes light to the right in spectroscopy.”

With that in mind, the Dexcom has become my right-hand guy as I’m about six full days into my first session of being continuously glucose monitored with a Dexcom G4 Platinum.

(I promise that is the only pun in this post.)

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three ways having diabetes benefitted my vegan lifestyle

Admittedly, connecting the dots between a vegan lifestyle and type 1 diabetes can form a really ambigous shape.

However, that does mean that the two are unrelated or are not able to build upon each other.

While I may elaborate on some more points in the future, I think it’s a fun mental exercise to seek out how being vegan and having diabetes may work together.

alas, the lack of eggs and dairy in this muffin did not correspond with a lack of carbohydrates…

More specifically, what are some ways that my life post-insulin-producing-pancreas benefitted my decision to clear my plate of all things animal?

Here are three ways.

1.) making menu adjustments
I already was comfortable with how to read a menu thoroughly when out to eat and comfortable with requesting adjustments at restaurants.

Having diabetes provided plenty of practice with this—everything from confirming my order’s ingredients to pitching variations of what was offered on the print menu.

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hungry and hyperglycemic

A “citation needed” sticker makes a nice addition to any meter display.

If you’ve ever gotten the munchies when you’ve been high (blood sugar-wise, of course), you know how annoying it can be.

Doesn’t it always seem to feel like you can count on hunger to coincide with hyperglycemia, while low blood sugars seem to love sneaking up on you when you’re completely stuffed?

A recent discussion on /r/diabetes, the diabetes community of Reddit, focused on this topic and I was compelled to reply since I’ve come to know that there are certainly very real reasons for this occurrence, despite it just seeming like the ultimate practical joke of a metabolism.

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vegabetic, an introduction

Because I have type 1 diabetes, I have to be conscious of what I am eating. Because I am a vegan, I am “picky” about what I am consciously eating.

From few times I have been asked to elaborate upon the overlap between my medical condition and my lifestyle decision, I have found that this statement is a simplified way to cover everything — while usually, and perhaps more importantly, being met with a chuckle.

Having type 1 diabetes (T1D) for over 11 years means that I have involuntarily been committed to a relationship for half of my life. Needless to say, a bond that long is bound to imply a level of insight, even if just an entirely subjective one due to personal experience. It can therefore be difficult not to feel compelled to want to answer to every misunderstanding articulated around you about diabetes all at once.

A simple answer sometimes says the most.

Of course, if you’re interested in my simple answer being explained further, allow me to do so. (I mean, c’mon, you’d be hard-pressed to find a situation I wouldn’t end up complicating. Ask anyone close to me.)

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