Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What I Loved and Feared About Nightscout From the Start

I have to be honest, Nightscout is awesome.

It's great having my CGM in the Cloud and being able to share that blood sugar data with others, and giving myself more access to viewing my data when and where I want in a form that helps me.

First impressions were strongly positive, and I stand by all of that.

Additional observations, from my first six weeks of using my "early Christmas gift" strapped to my waist and wrist:
  • The alerts annoy me at 80 and 180. I'd prefer 70 and 200. -- (UPDATE: I have learned, thanks to Sara, that a Pebble update allows me to customize alert ranges -- so that's awesome!!!)
  • Most of the time, I keep my Pebble on "Quiet Mike" mode which uses a CGM Sleep Mode watchface created by a fellow Nightscouter. But when not quiet, I've seen the tighter range makes me work harder to stay in that range and have tighter control just to avoid the annoying vibrations. Interesting...
  • Recent trip to California was a big test drive for this, but problems with battery life and a charging cable mishap made it so it didn't charge one night and the phone battery died. And that caused my wife at home not be tuned in to a 40mg/dL that hovered in the early morning for a couple hours. Luckily, I woke up and treated.
  • It has given her more piece of mind when we're both at work and apart, and if I'm caught up and not answering the phone or email, she knows it's not BG-related.
  • Nightscout is totally a conversation starter, especially when you're wearing the Pebble watch and you tend to be checking it regularly...
  • I wore this to a recent endo appointment and explained Nightscout to him, and Dr. Health Bug
    was truly interested and took the informational pamphlets with interest. And he said during the month I was using Nightscout, I did seem to have less glucose variability. He may encourage others to look into this, too.
  • My endo also had some sage advice that I've heard before: "It's very cool, but don't lose sight of the fact it's just a tool. In reality, it comes down to you managing the way you want to." 
 Yes, most of experience has been positive so far. But there's a caveat, one that always seems to come into play when you're talking about tech. And in the case of Nightscout, I've found it certainly applies to me:

Nightscout is awesome... when it works.

Remember, before you take all of this as gospel applying to anyone other than me, factor in this simple truth: I'm one of those guys who doesn't like connection cables, and grumbles when needing to do anything from reprogramming the microwave clock, re-connecting the wireless printer, or hooking up a new TV or DVR. I just don't like those things, and so that paints my perception of CGM in the Cloud.