Dear Diabetes, you suck.

a front end developer who also happens to have type 1 diabetes

Tag: Cautiously Optimistic

Preparing for your Night Scout Build – Extra Help

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).

Physical Components: 

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!

Oh shit. Did I choose the right one?!

sharkOmnipod v. t-Slim v. MiniMed … who the fuck knows. Wait, what’s that other one again… t-slim? Fuck all of this. I’m not even sure if I should be on a pump. First a friend of a friend, who I barely know and barely knows me, questions my choice to go with the omnipod over the minimed… and then tells me that I should really take care of my teeth. yeah. that happened. and while I was at brunch, it was a weird day. Then all of a sudden my numbers go flat, not flat-ish, but “Do I really have Diabetes?” flat. That is a dangerous question. All of a sudden I’m not sure if I really need a pump, I have visions of just two shots a day, meals without a real care, just checking in to make sure that I’m still good — which of course I always would be… it’s just a dream. Whether or not I want to accept it, I have diabetes. I thought I had gotten through the denial phase. Oh fuck. now I’m going backwards. again. at something else. I digress… the point is that my numbers are flat, the spooky flat way I imagine the the ocean would look before jaws jumps out to eat me (#SharkWeek is coming!). And I couldn’t figure it out… I mean in theory it’s good, but really it’s just  spooky. I’ve been staying at around 120, seemingly no matter what I do — I eat and nothing happens. I keep waiting for something to happen, but then it doesn’t, and I’m weirdly disappointed and confused — not because I want my blood sugar to drop, but because I want it to make sense. As I typed that sentence, I heard my mistake — I can’t ever let myself think that this disease will ever make sense.

So I was weirded out enough to call my doctor — adjusted my basal insulin so I am only taking it in the am — which means I am down to 5 units of levemir per day, barely dosing with novolog for meals…this makes no sense. How can I have diabetes if I don’t need insulin, or at least need so little?

So I might know why… I have a confession to make… I’m still not eating, I mean I’m not starving myself, I am eating sometimes, but not normally, or enough by nutrition standards. I have been going through some personal shit lately and although I know that I have taken the right steps and am on the right path, it has been hard. really hard. way harder than I thought it was going to be. I made the right choice, so why does this hurt. Most of the time I’m fine, I did make the right choice, but the one thing that doesn’t seem to follow my rationalizing is my appetite, I’m just not hungry. I’m trying, I’m making myself, but I am just not hungry. I don’t feel like eating waffles. I love waffles. So maybe that’s why my blood sugar is stable… I don’t really feel like eating, so I’m not going to think too hard about that one.

So…in summary (because I have been so all over the place): I’m not sure I made the right choice with omnipod, I’m not sure I made the right choice about a pump period, my blood sugar is weirdly stable, but I’m not eating, so maybe that’s why my blood sugar is stable

Looking for MY t1d people

I emphasized the “MY” in the title of this blog entry because I am looking for MY people and not *Diabete’s people. Recently I started a group on facebook called  Type 1 Diabetes, you suck. I thought you were just for kids?! while I have found a few all encompassing Type 1 support groups and blogs that I really like, namely  I hate diabetes (type 1) on facebook, but there are some peculiarities to having been diagnosed as an adult in our 20s and 30s — and I am still looking for people to share our experiences, advice, and support with who are in this more specific situation.

When I was first diagnosed I found support and camaraderie through blogs specifically t1dactiveliving and Steffi — now I am reaching out again looking for more people who share the experience of being diagnosed as an adult and figuring out the basics on their own — as opposed to adults who have grown up with t1d. If you’re reading this and it applies to you, let’s be friends, if it doesn’t apply to you, let’s also still be friends — I guess what I’m really still saying is “help.” This isn’t what this post started out as… I wanted to reach out to help build this community, but turns out, I’m exactly where I seem to always come back to… needing help — which really I guess is the same thing. Maybe I’m just feeling more vulnerable about it today.

Here’s to hoping that today is a good diabetes day… for me and for you too.


*I have distinguished “Diabetes” from “diabetes” in an earlier blog, but as a quick explanation/reminder…”diabetes” is a disease that I have, that I have no control over, that I work with my doctor to control as best as possible. “Diabetes” is a giant douche bag who comes in and messes with my life on a daily basis.

First Crossfit with my Dexcom

Yesterday was a BIG day.

It was the first real Crossfit class I’ve been to since I started back working out. And it was my first real workout with the Dexcom. It went really well. It was hard. I’m sore today (which means I’m going to be really sore tomorrow). I didn’t crash, I dropped 80 mg/dL in an hour, but I walked out of there at around 90 mg/dL without having to stop in the middle of my workout. I sipped a gatorade/water mix the whole time and had my monitor somewhere where I could see/hear it most of the time. I also battled my ever present “not a part of” feeling — that thought that everyone in the group didn’t like me and no one wanted to be my friend… I’m so awkward (or at least I feel really awkward), in new situations. I am committing to myself and now to the internet universe that I am going to do something active three days per week. I want to do crossfit M/W/F each week, but I will accept any type of exercise to meet this goal. Also, after ten crossfit sessions, I will buy myself new shoes as a prize. #timidlyhopeful #cautiouslyoptimistic

I’m still working through potential diet plans and workout strategies to support staying active… recap of my findings to be posted soon. Special thanks to @t1dactiveliving for her help finding information.

Gatorade, Water, and taking advice

Someone who has done this before might have some useful information. Go figure. Well, I listened and it actually worked. The day before yesterday I went to work out and I took a gatorade/water to sip throughout the workout and I was able to keep up through the whole hour, with no lows, only stopping to test once, and taking quick breaks to drink the gatorade/water — I actually finished my workout higher than I started (but still within range).

I’m excited because this was the first time I have been able to really push through a workout without hitting a “diabetes wall.” It was good, but also scary – in that, once again, I’m the only thing holding me back kind of way… good, but scary.

I will be excited to get the CGM for this — for crossfit taking a testing break out of my times should shave 30-45 seconds off of my overall workout times… as a competitive, type A person, that means a lot. #cautiouslyoptimistic

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