My name is Clemma and I am writing about my experience with the Dexcom Seven continuous glucose monitoring system. I live in Minneapolis with my young son and my not so young husband. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 11 years ago, when I was almost 21 years old. I started pumping 7 years ago, first with a Minimed 508, then an Animas IR1200, and now with the OmniPod. Friday, June 29 I hooked up to my newest constant companion, the one and only Comrade Dex...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wish list: Persistent out-of-range alerts

Sometimes I get a high threshold alert while sleeping and I fall back asleep without treating it. When I do this, the high blood sugar can persist for hours, unless the reading drops below the high threshold and then climbs up again, triggering another alert. In other words, you only get the alert at the moment when the trend crosses out of range. You do not get repeated alerts if the reading stays out of range (there is one exception to this that I will discuss below). This is similar to using an alarm clock without a snooze option. Even if you normally get up with the alarm, occasionally you turn it off and don't remember doing so, then you sleep in and bad things might happen as a result. For instance, here is a snippet of the early A.M. on August 12:

At about 1:45 am, the reading crossed out of range and triggered an alarm. I can't remember exactly why I didn't deal with it at the time, but the high blood sugar persisted, without any more alerts, until approximately 5:45 am, when I woke up, realized I was (still) high, corrected with insulin, and brought my level back down. I don't know for sure, but I suspect other Dexcom Seven users will experience this same phenomenon. The only way I have found to avoid it is to wake up with the first alert, correct as needed, then move the threshold so I will get another alert if the readings keep trending in the wrong direction. This is a plain old pain in the behind at night.

As of now, I am starting my Dexcom Seven wish list, and here is Wish #1: I would like a snooze option with the Dexcom. I would call it a "persistent out-of-range alert". There is already one such alert built in - if the reading is consistently less than 40 mg/dL the receiver buzzes you at regular intervals until you get over 40 - but I would like to have optional extra out-of-range alerts. In my perfect Dexcom world, these alerts would occur at regular intervals specified by the user (15 minutes, 30 minutes, or 60 minutes?) to indicate that glucose values have stayed out of range. This would be helpful in lots of situations, but especially at night, when I accidentally turned off my alarm and I'm "sleeping in".

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