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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

#FFL12: Poolside Dex Checks.

I was standing by the pool, waiting for a group I had planned to meet when I saw a cute little family   checking things out.  After being greeted so kindly by several people during my first experience at FFL, and feeling pretty confident this family was in town to attend the conference, I approached them with a smile in hopes that I could help them feel welcome.

Before I could say anything, however, she looked at me and said "You're Candy Hearts!"

(This is always surprising to me whenever it happens, btw.  I'm honored and humbled to know our family has so many supportive friends out please, please, please {!!!} feel free to say hello anytime, because we really do enjoy meeting you guys!!)

I smiled back, and asked about the two cutie-pie girls with them.  Before I knew it, one of the girls was showing me her pump and pulled out Dexcom...I swear sometimes I think all little girls are the same -- she reminded me so much of Sugar just a couple years ago.  

With Dexcom in plain sight, my new friend let out a deep sigh, and mentioned the mixed blessing that comes with all the information a CGM provides.  I completely understood.  The arrows are awesome when deciding how to proceed from one minute to the next, but then there's a punch in the gut when you see the glaring peaks and valleys.  She pushed a button, and I saw the familiar pattern of rolling hills ....... cruising up ....... and down ....... and up .......

"It's so bad.  I can't believe I'm showing you how horrible we are at managing her diabetes."

"What?  You're not horrible!  This looks totally normal to me."

"It does?"


"But she spikes so high, and sometimes it takes forever to come down, and..."


She pointed to a spike...


And another...


"But people don't ever post pictures like this!  I never see Dexcom pictures online that look like this.  I feel like I'm letting her down, and can't figure out how to fix it."


Oh, my friend.  I have been there!!!  I can completely relate to the feeling that everyone else seems to have their act together, except you.  And so, because I want to reassure you that you're doing a great job, here's a few pics I dug out to prove that we have days like those too...

And, guess what?  

We aren't the only ones!!!!

You aren't alone, my friend.

Pinky promise.

PS (I'll be adding more links as I find them, so feel free to stop by again!  If you have a related post, please leave a link in the comment section so I can add it!)
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  1. I looked back on my blog and couldn't find any bad pictures... shame on me because I remember some very UGLY-looking graphs!

  2. Oh buddy, do I!

    When I see a straight CGM graph, that's where I start thinking that it must be a wonky sensor. Peaks and valleys are the norm!

    P.S. I am so glad they connected with you at FFL!

  3. Dude! In my many months of Dexcomming it, I think I've only had two no-hitters. And my last A1C came out at 6.9%. It IS okay to have peaks and just have to take a deep breath when it happens and plot the next move. I hope that mom reads this post!


  4. I hope they were able to attend Gary Scheiner's session Making Sense of Sensor Data. He does a great job of explaining how to look at the big picture without becoming overly worried about all the peaks and valleys. The CWD website has one of his slide shows from last year but it might be tough to understand his points without him there explaining it.

  5. At a conference the other day, Dr. Stephen Ponder explained that only DEAD people have straight line graphs. Even non-diabetic people have peaks and is totally normal. My daughter does not have a CGM. Sometimes I think I would like her to have one and other times I think I would become neurotic staring at it all the time worrying. I'm just that kind of person. Hang in there...very normal!

  6. At my first real-life D meetup, I was so thrilled to see other people's 24-hour Dex traces that also looked like the EKG of someone having a heart attack... We should do a "real numbers day" where you can post a 24 hour screen just to show the enormous variation from person to person (and day to day!)

    I also really like your "EEK" to "ACK" scale :)

  7. I, too, was humbled to hear that random people read about our life. Just another amazing experience FFL afforded us.

    So glad you were able to help that mom feel better about the graph...ones that everyone sees all the dang time!!

  8. So awesome!!! And how could they not know you!?
    I don't share as many bad as I do good but it's what keeps me balanced.. But I hate to think it makes people feel bad.. I'll be careful with what I post from now on.

    I can't wait to compare peeks and hills this weekend!!!

  9. I tried to find a post where you could REALLY see it, because I know I have some crazy graphs (I have a whole album of them in iPhoto). The best I could find was this post ( The texture makes them a little hard to see but trust me there are some doozies in there!

  10. After Matthew's 350 at dinner tonight, I really needed to see this post. Thank you!!!

  11. It was great to meet you by the pool and to inspire such an awesome post! Thanks for your kind words and sharing your wisdom with us. Just seeing these "reality check" graphs make nights like tonight a little easier to bear...knowing that others walk the same path. I am sure that there have to be other parents out there reading this post that are relieved that they aren't the only ones with Dex graphs that look like this...thanks for being transparent enough to let the us see into a "real" D world. Keep up the fantastic blog and we will see you by the FFL pool in 2013! Cheri

  12. I refuse to go more than 6 hrs on the graph becuase they just look ugly at 12 and 24. Kinda makes my brain swell.

  13. I love this post Wendy! That is a perfect story to illustrate what I picture Friends for Life being all about.


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While I'm happy to share our experiences with what works, and what doesn't work, for the management of Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease in our house, please do not mistake anything you read here for medical advice. Decisions regarding your/your child's health care should be made only with the assistance of your medical care team. Use any information from this blog at your own risk.