Dex or Test

I’ve been using the Dex since May. It’s totally changed my life. Rather than test 17 or more times a day while I’m on prednisone, I glance at my watch, view my glucose reading, and make a treatment decision. Honest.

I also use an app – SugarMate – that works with the Dex to see my reading at the top of my screen while I’m working. To be sure I hear any alerts at night, I put the receiver that came with my Dex, in a plastic cup with pennies to amplify the sound. I use the reports that come with Clarity by Dex, or the interface and reporting that comes with Glooko. And then there is RapidCalc – the app I use to calculate my insulin dose.

Sounds complicated, but in reality, my life hasn’t been this simple since I was diagnosed five years ago.

So what’s the deal?

The Dexcom is a continuous glucose monitor. It employs a sensor and receiver set up that takes fluid readings every five minutes – automatically. I just wear this little gadget that communicates with my iPhone, which communicates with my iWatch.

The readings can vary from your finger sticks because the Dex is measuring a different type of fluid. However, if you calibrate each day, and use a meter that is with a high accuracy rating, the readings become more and more reliable. Your insurance, or Medicare, may cover all or part of the cost.

You can speak to your Endo about getting a Dex, or start the process yourself.

Yes. There are times when my sensor stops reading for a bit. There are times when my iWatch stops communicating with my sensor. There are times when my sensor goes bad. There are times when I don’t want to wear a sensor at all. Then again, I don’t want steroid-dependent asthma or the prednisone or difficult-to-control Type 2 that goes with it. All in all, I’ll take the Dex over finger sticks until my fingers bleed spontaneously.

And yes – staying on top of my readings and trends has helped me to bring my a1c from a very unhealthy 10.7 to a much better 7.25 and improving daily.

More on the rest of the apps and software mentioned in upcoming posts!


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