What is that thing on my arm?

11 07 2008

Like Kerri, I wear my Dexcom sensor on my arm.  I have found this to be the most out of the way area that’s still comfortable.  Most of the time, it’s hidden by dress shirts or T-shirts.  However, yesterday, I happened to wear a little cap-sleeved top that displayed Charlie to the world.

Needless to say, I got asked about “that thing on [my] arm.”  I took the opportunity to explain what it was.  My usual speech goes something like this:

It’s a sensor for my continuous glucose monitoring system.  It checks my blood sugar every 5 minutes and I can see the results on this graph. (At which point, I click on the receiver and show the graph)

This seems sufficient for most people, but I do get some interesting follow-up questions/comments.  One woman said “oh, I’m so sorry”.  She quickly asked about something else, so I didn’t get to respond, but there’s no reason to be sorry.  I may have diabetes, but it’s very well managed.

Another woman asked if I had it “really bad” because I have this sensor.  I find this to be the most common response.  I politely explained “Not really.  It’s just that I plan on getting pregnant in the near future and this will help me stay under control much easier.”  This is also a sufficient response most of the time, but this particular woman made an interesting comment.  “Yeah, when you get pregnant, you can get that other kind of diabetes.  Gestational diabetes.”  I know I should have corrected her, but I was too busy laughing to myself.  While technically, I would have diabetes while I was pregnant, it’s still Type 1.  It doesn’t transform itself into gestational.  I did comment, though, that my aunt had gestational diabetes and she managed to have 3 kids, so I think I’ll be okay.

I do not go to great lengths to hide my diabetes (Lucy and Charlie are always on my hips, my sensor is often clearly visible, I test my blood sugar when/where I need to, etc), but it’s not something I ever flaunt or actively bring up in conversation.  I usually wait until someone asks, then I give a clear and simple answer.  Hopefully I’ve helped some people understand a little more about diabetes and the technologies available.

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6 responses

11 07 2008
George

Good for you. Educating people is a good thing.

I chuckled at the “Oh, I’m so sorry.” That always makes me laugh for some reason.

11 07 2008
Minnesota Nice

I think if you have a chance to do a brief explanation, then it’s all for the better. (And I did try to come up with some type of knitted accessory that would disguise the sensor, but, alas, nothing came to mind.)
The “really bad” conclusion reminds me of about 25 years ago when I went on MDI’s. All of my relatives thought that my db was “so much worse” because I had to have more than 1 shot………………

20 07 2008
AmyT

Yeah, the “sorry” bit throws me every time. Good for you for being “out there.”

Best,
AmyT

23 07 2008
Andrew

Can anyone tell me what they don’t like about the receiver? What would you change and why?

23 07 2008
Amalas

I personally think the receiver is too big. While I’m sure that some people appreciate the large screen, I think it’s a waste of space. The numbers don’t really need to be that big. I’d much rather see a more compact receiver that I can tuck/hide easier.

20 10 2008
Andrew

Thanks for your comment.

A

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