Sunday, December 12, 2010

10 km classic ski race and Dexcom 7 CGM update. And everyone is an expert!

This morning Becky left a post on my Facebook wall. "You doing the race in CB? Give me a call." So Yeah I was thinking about it. What time did we start? I hadn't classic skied this year but had put some wax on my skis last night. I was planning on skiing somewhere today so why not? It's only 10K or 6.2mi.

This is day 3 of using a continuous glucose meter. The Dexcom 7. It takes a reading every five minutes from a electrochemical probe stuck into my belly and taped then taped on. It is pretty small and I got used to it pretty fast. You are supposed to be able to stay in water for 30 min and up to 3 ft deep. So you can take shower. It lasts for 7 days before you replace the probe that goes into the skin. The transmitter part works for 12-18mo before the battery runs down and clips into a new probe. Here I am modeling the transmitter.

And here is the receiver. You have to keep it around 5 feet from your belly to get the signal. I have to say it could some improvements. It is a bit big--especially compared to other things like my GPS that can receive signals from a HR meter, cadence, wheel (for speed when GPS is not good) and even a power meter, or a cell phone that can do a bunch of stuff as well. It has a clip that hooks it to your belt but it could be better... You can also input when you eat and how many carbs, when you exercise, if you are sick and alarms for high/low readings and for fast rate of change high or low. IT DOES NOT COME WITH AN ATTACHMENT FOR A BIKE! It is also not easy to view when you are skiing.

As you may be able to see in this picture that you can see an arrow showing a rate of change and the current reading. The readings for the most part seem to be in the ballpark of my One Touch meter. You can enter the meter readings into it to calibrate it and you have to do it at least every 12 hrs. It also has a plot of the readings of time vs blood glucose level for 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 hrs. One thing that bugs me is that the y-axis is stuck at 400. I wish you could show it to only 250 maybe or have it auto scale. It just makes your data hard to evaluate as it is all scrunched up at the bottom. You can download it all to the computer to get a better look at it.

What have I learned from it so far? Well, at night and after dinner it is very interesting to see what my values do. They tend to be real flat and can drop to lower values than I would like. I was kind of just guessing blindly in this area before the meter. And during the day, I could check it anytime but it gives you a much better idea of what is going on. Some things that so far I knew. When I do something like a ski race or x-country or bike, my sugar drops steadily and I have to eat regularly. When I play hockey, it just starts going up and after the game it just keeps going up and up.....

So back to the ski race. It started at 10 so I went and picked Becky up at 8:45. My sugar was a bit low in the morning and when it is, after I get up my body dumps out a bunch of sugar so it gets high. So we checked into the race and got our kick wax dialed. At the beginning of the race, I was putting my receiver into my chest pocket so I could look at the changes in glucose afterwards. A guy I took a ski clinic with saw it and asked if I was texting someone. It kind of looks like a phone which is good so you don't have to explain it all the time. I said no, I'm type 1 diabetic and it's a meter. He said, "You're in good company with Kris Freeman" Kris is Type 1 Olympic skier. Another lady says, "You should really go gluten free." and she then continues to go on and on that my sugars would be much better controlled if I was gluten free. So blogs are officially where you can tell people that they are crazy if you can't get a word in edgewise during the situation.... So I never told her that i WASN'T gluten free. Which I'm not. I like bread. And she didn't know if I was type 1 or type 2. I was thinking "Oh let's take out YOUR pancreas and you can test it ALL out.... I tried to tell her that there were many variables to living without a functioning pancreas and that it would be interesting to see if gluten free was a way to go. But she cut me off and huffily said "You should really go gluten free" and skied off.

So I went back to the end of the line up of skier to grab my skis and tighten my boots and then they started the race as I was still getting I was near the back. I just passed a bunch of people and settled in behind a girl that was pretty fast and we cruised along. My skis were gliding well and the kick wax was working pretty well. The course was not really hilly and it was around 23F with just a little wind. We turned to come back and she made me lead and we made it to the finish. I was a bit tired and some muscles that hadn't been used since I skied last year were a bit sore. Not too bad. I switched to skate skis and skied for a while more and headed back to Gunni.

A good day.

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