Hopin' & Prayin'...

Written by Cynthia Zuber

Last night I was ready for bed nice and early, excited to read a little before drifting off to sleep. I had brushed my teeth and washed my face. I had done my daily foot exercises to heal the little bit of Plantar Fasciitis remaining in my right foot. Sitting on the edge of my bed, I was even icing the bottom of my foot, the foot care step I keep putting off lately, but just as important.

As I grabbed my nighttime reading materials and propped them on the bed, I interrupted my husband Jaim for a simple request. "Would you please grab the cord from behind the bed and plug it into my Dexcom receiver to be charged?" While icing my foot I was not able to reach the cord hiding out behind the bed where it stays while not in use. He was busy giving our kitty Mabel her nighttime pets before she fell asleep. But he gladly stopped for a moment and reached behind the bed to find the cord and plug it in to charge it up.

For those not familiar, a CGM is a continuous glucose meter that provides glucose readings around 

the clock. I have worn one now for probably four or more years. The Dexcom G4 is the latest CGM for Dexcom. It has the unique advantage of a rechargeable battery rather than continuously eating up disposable batteries for it's energy consumption.

The rechargeable battery has a long life and only needs charging once a week. So as not to deplete the battery more rapidly by charging too frequently, I've made it a habit with this new Dexcom to only charge it when the bar is almost empty... that's when it lets me know it needs a little pick me up to continue doing it's awesome job!

Well, last night there was a little technical difficulty... I looked over and saw the cord lying next to my Dexcom rather than stuck neatly in it's side. I questioned Jaim, "Didn't you plug it in?" He grabbed it and said there was nowhere for the charger end to grab hold inside the Dexcom port. This couldn't be! I got worried and took a look myself.


Sure enough, he was right! The little gold metal piece where the charger plugs into had sunken in. There was no way the charger could stay plugged in as there was nothing for it to grab onto. Immediate concern filled me! I needed to charge my Dexcom tonight and there is no other way to charge it except through this little broken chamber! The rechargeable battery was not looking so good all of a sudden... 

The reason for my distress is that I can be hypoglycemic unaware sometimes, meaning not being able to sense my low blood sugars, which can be life-threatening. My Dexcom is a true medical necessity for me! I do not always wake up very easily for lows in the night. Although it vibrates if my blood sugar falls to 80 or below, I often do not wake to hear it until the loud alarming beeps of the <55 alarm.

Also, I'm not having a "normal" week of diabetes.. You know, where things are a little bit more in control and predictable. Ever since having a cavity filled on Monday, I've had terrible out of control blood sugars resistant to the insulin I provide. Each day I've increased my dose of Lantus (my long-acting insulin) and keep giving lots of extra Humalog (short-acting insulin) too.

With erratic control and a lot of extra insulin floating around to combat the highs, it's important to know where my blood sugars stand. A little too much insulin to bring down my high could bring me into a dangerous low. But of course running too high for hours on end is not healthy either.

At close to 10:00 pm last night (Thursday) I called technical support at Dexcom. I am picky about good customer service but am happy to report the service I received was excellent! I reached a very kind and helpful young woman located in San Diego, California. The technical support they provide is available 24 hours a day which is a big relief when wearing medical equipment as important as the Dexcom. She verified that the port is indeed broken and after asking for my serial number put in an order for a new receiver to be sent to me---Saturday morning by Fed-ex!

I am so happy and relieved they can get one out to me pretty darn quick! And I'm glad it happened on a weeknight as there are no deliveries on the weekend. Although I missed the 3:00 pm shipping cut-off to have it sent out yesterday.

In order to conserve hopefully a little of the battery power, I extended the high blood sugar alert number to 220, preventing the CGM from more frequent alarms. I've have also been attending to every alarm as soon as it goes off instead of letting it notify me a few times before responding, which I sometimes do. 

There is also more good news in this story.. I learned after giving her my serial number that as of yesterday I was just nine days shy of my one year warranty running out for my receiver! Because I am still in the warranty period, it allows me not only get the replacement shipped out very quickly but FREE!!! I am feeling thankful as this situation could have been a whole lot worse.

So here I sit hopin' and prayin' that the little bit of energy left in my battery hangs on... just a tiny bit longer until tomorrow when the Fed-ex* truck pulls up (and my dog Jonah barks immensely because of course both the UPS guy/gal and Fed-ex delivery people are enemies!!). Except for this girl with diabetes. :)

*An email came while I was editing this article letting me know that my area accepts Saturday deliveries and it will arrive at my doorstep by 12:00 noon tomorrow! Woohoo! Hold on Dex, hold on. Help is arriving soon! :)

**Just as I was publishing this, a red low battery alert came up notifying me the battery is almost kaput! Saturday morning cannot come fast enough! If it keeps alarming I may have to shut if off rather than be continuously woken overnight---the low battery alarm just sounded again!


 

Has anyone else had this happen to their Dexcom receiver or another medical device? Curious to know if anyone else has had their blood glucose readings thrown off for days after a cavity filling too...


In Peace & Wellness,

Cynthia

 

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