Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dexcom and Animas presentation in Massachusetts

Last night I met up with my Dexcom rep to download the Dexcom so that my endo could look at the data at my appointment the next day. This might be the last time that I have to have someone else download my meter, as my order was put in today for the new Windows software.

I hope the patient software is as good as the software the Dex Rep had. That software allowed you to hover over any point and look at the value, date/time stamp, and also overlay multiple days on top of one another, makes it a lot easier to analyze the trends rather than rely on digital shots of the graphs as I'm now doing.

Dexcom said the software would ship after Labor Day, so hopefully I will have it in the next month or so.

I'm still trying to figure out what to do about the annoying 'shower spikes'. I don't want to put those shower covers on every time I want to take a shower. I just want to minimize the time that the shower spikes keep me from getting useful data. Hint: Do not try and re-calibrate while the transmitter/sensor is wet; I tried that, and as others have confirmed, it pushes subsequent results lower, so you think you are low when you are really okay.

I've tried drying the transmitter/sensor immediately after a shower, but I get 'High' on the display, and today it was for 2 - 3 hours, so I decided to start a new sensor session, and both the Ultra and the Dex have been in close agreement for several hours. Oh well, tomorrow is another day and more trial and error with the shower spikes.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dexcom Patient Software Approved by the FDA!

I was meeting with my Dexcom rep today to download data for my endo visit tomorrow, and I learned from the Dexcom rep that the FDA has approved the patient software!

This is awesome news!

is a link to the news release.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Dex, Heart Rate Monitors, Showers, and Meters: DAY 3

Took the Dexcom to the gym today to run an interference test, confirming what Insulin Factor has observed: Dexcom does not like my polar heart rate monitor. After attaching my heart rate monitor strap, the Dexcom antenna icon went bye bye, and didn't return until after my workout. The previous day when I used the treadmill, there was no interference from that piece of equipment; I'm going to try it while I use the elliptical trainer next week. The exercise equipment in our gym is grouped closely toghether, and sometimes the built in heart rate monitors don't work properly due to their close proximity to eachother, so I'm wondering what effect if any, the ellipticals will have on the Dexcom. I probably won't wear the Dex during workouts when I use the heart rate monitor once I've profiled my trends during the type of exercise.

Dexcom Transmitter in the Shower

As I've been told, Dex transmitter does NOT like to get wet! My post shower readings shot up to over 400 after a shower. I don't want to use the shower covers to protect it, and I don't really mind if I don't know what my readings are for awhile after a shower. An hour after the shower with Dex still reading high, I decided to recalibrate (a simple matter of connecting a cable to your one-touch ultra), confirming the data sucessfully transfers, and then waiting until the Dexcom data comes back into agreement with your meter an hour or so after recalibration. No big deal!

Dexcom STS Only Works With The Older OneTouch Ultra Meter

Not too much of a problem for me, though I do miss my UltraSmart® meter. At first I thought that you could just use the OneTouch® Ultra® for calibration and then the UltraSmart the rest of the day; I was informed that Dexcom, however has to learn each meter that it connects to, and that it uses as much data as you want to give it in it's algorithm to get good agreement between the Dexcom and the meter. Oh well, I'm becoming addicted to the trend data that the Dexcom gives me, and will have to do without the single point analysis that I get from the UltraSmart until Dexcom is able to work with Lifescan to get the download protocol for the UltraSmart, and the new meters, the OneTouch® Ultra® 2, and the OneTouch® Ultra Mini ™.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dexcom catches a low! DAY 2

The Dexcom has been tracking well in the normal ranges, but near the extremes it was off at least 40 points. To get better tracking during the critical overnight period, I re-calibrated the Dexcom with a few more fingersticks during the 12 hour period, instead of the two that Dexcom suggests. The results overnight were excellent:

Dexcom tracked my ultra within a few points during the overnight and morning period, and as a bonus, it woke me up during the evening with a low that could have gone even lower. I ignored the first alarm at 80, but not the second alarm at 56. I didn't feel low, but as a precaution, I checked with my Ultra, which read 59. This would be very valuable to someone like myself that has some hypo unawareness in the evenings. I treated the low, returned to bed, excited to see what the Dexcom would tell me during the day. I'll save that for tomorrow.

Here's an example of the Dexcom 3 hour trend screen. There's also a one hour and a nine hour screen.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Dexcom finally up and running! DAY 1

Back at home after installing the sensor and transmitter at Harvard Vanguard. I found out today, 8/22/06, that I am the first Harvard Vanguard patient to use the system. The Dexcom rep told me that they have about 900 patients on it.

As you can tell by the ballcap I'm wearing, I'm a Boston Redsox fan, sticking with the team as usual, despite yesterday's 5 game sweep by the Yankees, the first 5 game sweep of the Sox by the Yankees since 1951. Likewise, I plan to stick with the Dexcom. On this first day I'm just watching how it goes, taking a lot finger sticks to compare. I'll have more to say in the following days on this. Like the Dexcom rep said, remember that the CGMS is at the early stages, akin to black and white TV's and rabbit ears. Remember the horizontal and vertical hold controls you had to constantly adjust to get a stable picture? Now we have HDTV; we've come a long way in a few decades, I just hope and pray it doesn't take as long to develop the HD version of the CGMS. Since I'm an engineer and I like to tinker, I'm sure I'll do a lot of it with the Dexcom.

This is a picture of me wearing the Dexcom on a relatively hairless spot on my abdomen. For men of the hairy variety, she suggested either shaving an area to ensure good adhesion, so instead I opted for the bare skin placement. She advised that putting it on a hairy area might mean poor adhesion and some pain at removal time. Unisolve was recommended to make the removal eaiser, particularly if you've got cave man syndrome.