So I had setup my night scout before, but I was using a dummy phone, only on wifi, last night I set up another phone that is on a plan… so all day today I’ve been able to see my numbers while I’m working… without moving or pulling anything out of my bag… I feel a bit off… swipe over to the open browser tab and see how I’m doing… or if I’m already working in the browser window I can just look at the tab name and see my number and my trajectory arrow…. I’m not sure if I can describe how freaking revolutionary this feels. I’m so glad I decided to build the night scout, even though I thought it was only really for parents with t1d kids… I was totally wrong. I love this. Seriously, I might cry… this is so f****g cool.
I was so excited when the last of my xDrip build kit arrived, I ripped open the box… and then the box sat there. next to my couch. for over a week. Am I nervous I won’t be able to build the xDrip? Sort of, but there’s more. Continuing the theme of resentment, I just don’t want to need anything to stay alive. I want to be able to be a cave man and live in the woods and eat squirrels… okay, so I said “want to be able to” not “want to,” but seriously, it freaks me out that if all infrastructure went to shit that I couldn’t survive in the wild… I would die, I’m who Darwin decided wouldn’t get to come along with the rest of the class. Fuck Diabetes. I guess I’m back to being angry again… so much for bargaining. Sometimes the grief process feels more like a merry-go-round than anything else… except I’m yet to figure out how to get off. I’m so tired of being diabetic. even just typing that, I thought to myself, “am I really?” — and then that logical side of my brain says “really?! did you just think that?! are you an idiot?” I wish this would just go away. Thinking about all of this hurts. I found My Diabetes Secret (
@diabetessecrets) yesterday… an anonymous Tumblr for diabetes feelings… talk about a baseball bat to the stomach, the idea is amazing, what I felt when I really let myself feel instead of managing symptoms or explaining myself to others, was not amazing. It was horrible. I had no idea I was still so upset, and scared, and mad, and all of the feelings. which brings me back to the box next to my couch… I can build the xDrip, I can choose to not build the xDrip, I will still have diabetes. I might as well have fun… here goes nothing… keep your fingers crossed for me…
So I post this last night — I had been delaying going to bed because I had been dropping (and because I’m a procrastinator and am terrible at going to bed on time) and I finally evened out… I was so grateful to be able to go to sleep not dreading being woken up, or not waking up… but that’s a whole other post… this is about what I realized after I posted the picture… do you see it?
Did you guess? There are no alert lines… no high alarm, but worse there’s no low alarm… and I’m going to admit this here… I haven’t turned on either of them yet, even though I realized this last night (before I went to sleep?!)… I can objectively see how absolutely ridiculous this is (just in case you were wondering). So I’m wearing this device, that will save my life and wake me up… and I’ve turned off the alarms… I mean, my dog is good, but she’s not 100%… and this is not shit to mess with… so why I ask myself, if I’m already scared of dying alone in my apt, do I then turn off the thing that is supposed to be there to guard against that very fear? The short answer, I have no fucking idea. The long answer, I resent diabetes. I resent every single micro aspect of it in any and all parts of my life… and at the moment it is manifesting in a not so good way. I’m resolving right now to turn on the alarm… just the low one… and only at 75… bargaining… which stage of loss is that?
I AM SO EXCITED. the kit has arrived… time to build a workstation and get this project going!!! I still have not idea if I can still solder or if it’s going to be a total disaster… TBD. Seriously, I am using putting my xDrip building station as bait for getting the rest of my work-work done today… ahhhh! SO. EXCITED. CAN’T HOLD IT IN!!!! Project time!!!!!
So the xDrip progress has not met my millennial need for instant gratification… I’m sure I’ll power through the project itself, but the parts are not all “amazon-primable” so I’m waiting for the whole kit to be here, so I can get started. I took some time away this past weekend to get centered and focus on my health from the inside out — it was an amazing last minute decision. Rather than just going camping, I found this amazing yoga retreat, never mind the fact that I realized after signing up that I haven’t consistently done yoga in at least two years, and even then, maybe longer depending on what you count as a “consistent” practice… but it was amazing, I jumped in with two feet, accepting and being excited by vegan/vegetarian food, getting a massage, and letting my science mind accept the healing of reiki with out a scientifically defendible solution… and I feel ridicuoulsly amazing, so I guess that’s the only thing that matters. The thing that this weekend really proved to me is that I am stronger than I thought I was — and my ability to connect with people is not in my mind, when I am willing and choose to devote the energy I am capable of connecting with new people, seems like a blinding glimpse of the obvious, but there it is… love and light, and hope, xo
I feel like I’m slipping, but only because I’m trying to ratchet up from a crawl to a run, well maybe from a walk to a brisk walk, but still… it leaves me with the options to slow down or push through, my answer my whole life would have been to push through, but then the last few years — getting sober, learning to ask for and accept help, diabetes (crash, boom!), — have taught me to slow down to meet present challenges, but now I’m starting to feel the itch… the “fuck it, just run” itch… and I’m more and more inclined to listen to that voice, it feels like I’m risking a relapse in every sense of the word, but I can’t help but also feel that staying still is keeping me sick… who the fuck knows, at the end of the day it’s my life… I’ll keep you posted.
you know how when I barely passed “Intro to EE for non-majors” and said that I would never use physics, or circuits, or electric engineering ever again… yeah… #neversaynever
So I took a look at the xDrip specs and basic requirements… my assessment: do-able, but including material/knowledge I haven’t touched in awhile…but when I was learning it last time I didn’t have a reason to care… so here we go. I’ve ordered all the components, a bunch from Adafruit (great company — check them out @), along with a basic soldering kit, it seemed the better option than putting one together myself, having not done anything with circuits since before I could drive… maybe in college, but let’s be real, who remembers anything from Thursday night 8pm labs… all I was trying to do was get it done and get out with my friends, haha. So back to the books for me 🙂
Turns out parts for these types of projects aren’t as available on amazon prime as my usual projects, so although I’m rearing to go, it might be a few weeks until all the parts are in… I guess that gives me time to study the plans and brush up on my physics/EE. This is getting real… bring it on diabetes, you’re going down. Back to learning… this shit is so fun!
so the other day I spiked right after breakfast, I had just been to the doctor and I thought “what the hell, I thought the adjustments were supposed to fix this…” pause and rewind for a hot minute… I failed to take into consideration that the previous night at 1am my OmniPod had expired-expired (meaning passed the additional 8 hours it gives you to change it)… did I get up to change it? no. did I think ahead and change it before I went to bed? no. I thought about it and then I was already warm and comfortable and didn’t want to strip down to have to apply/remove pods, I just wanted to go to bed… so first I get woken up with a low alarm, which I ignore, then I get woken up with the pod alarm (which is way worse than the dexcom… ear piercingly loud), only to silence it and go back to sleep, to be woken up and then ignore the dexcom at least once more… so basically, all this technology I wear does not stand up to an idiot who refuses to use it properly… and when I spike after breakfast… maybe it has to do with me not having insulin in my system for the previous 7 hours… just maybe, you know? who knows? that doesn’t sound reasonable? or like science (#sarcasm)… so the answer is… not rocket science… change my pods on time, listen to my dexcom, and only expect good results if I’m putting in good effort… new page, new day, new chance to get it right… one minute, one moment at a time
I had a great time building my Night Scout, but I was really nervous about having the right parts to complete the build. The directions for building the Night Scout are incredibly detailed and amazing, that being said, sometimes I need a little extra help — here are some extra pictures and detail to help you prepare before starting your Night Scout build. I have explained my decisions, but if you want the a + b directions they are in blue bold text through out this post.
First to clarify, I am building the least complicated model — just the Dexcom reciever to an android phone, not including the pebble or any other additional device (I plan to add/upgrade later).
The 4 things you need: Dexcom G4 Receiver, USB to mini USB cable (same as the cable used to charge your Dexcom), Smartphone supporting USB OTC and an OTC cable
1) Your Dexcom G4 Receiver and the USB to mini USB cable used to charge your Dexcom (any USB to USB mini cable can be used)
2) Smartphone supporting USB OTC — I could attempt to explain, or link to explanations, of OTC technology and how to tell if a phone is going to work, but our reality is that we just want this to work… with that in mind, I highly suggest just buying a phone that has been validated rather than going through your build and being frustrated by it not working. The Night Scout Build Page give a full list of phones that work with carrier details and a list of phones that have not worked. Here is a consolidated list of devices that I used to determine which phone to buy.
From looking at this list, and reading other people’s build stories, I would recommend picking up a version of the Samsung Galaxy (Other than the Mini or the Core Prime, see my simplified list of OTC phones) — that being said, for cost purposes, since the phone does not need to work as a phone, only as a data transfer device, picking up any proven phone model from eBay or a certified pre-owed from your current cell phone carrier is a totally valid option. I fully tested my rig with an eBay purchased Samsung Galaxy 3 on wifi only, before investing in adding an additional phone to my wireless plan (enabling my Night Scout to work when wifi is not available).
The phone must be running Android v 4.x for the Night Scout app to work. If you are also interested in building the xDrip device the device will need to be on Android v 4.3 in order to support BLE.
3) OTC Cable(s) – again, here I could explain/link to explanations, but rather than all that — this is the OTC cable I purchased, I prefer the “L” shaped end of the cable to help minimize the chances of the cables being knocked loose. The linked cable is a two pack, as with any other technology, I would recommend at least two cables for replacement purposes, but also for testing, to ensure your rig is working (see other Night Scout documentation for more information on cables, replacements/reliability).
My current rig consists of a Samsung Galaxy 3 purchased on eBay, previously used on Verizon, the above linked OTC cable, my Dexcom G4 receiver and a USB to USB mini cable as pictured below.
Once you have the components — I suggest that you verify your version of the Android operating system before starting with the build.
Now you are ready to build your Night Scout device! Start here!
Below is the summarized list of phones that I used to make my decision when building my Night Scout Device*
*It should be noted I compiled this list based on available Night Scout information, after first failing using another phone. Additionally, this list does not include carrier information, some phones have only been tested on specific carriers, for my purposes I assumed that the technology was based on the device and would be compatible with a wifi only build, and then later with a build on a major carrier — this is not necessarily true, it was my assumption that has held so far for my builds.