Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sometimes I Lie

Confession time.

Sometimes, I lie about my diabetes data.

Just like I did back in my teen years, I tell fibs when it comes to my blood sugars. But unlike those days back in the 90s, this is real-time D-lying and it's mostly during the middle-of-the-night hours.

The reason: To shut my D-tech up when it's getting on my nerves.

When it's late at night, and all I want to do is sleep, my Dexcom CGM sometimes decides that the sky is falling and my blood sugar is Low. So, it decides to start vibrating incessantly and then beeping just to make sure I haven't missed the alerts.

Of course, I am connected to CGM in the Cloud and thanks to the trio of Dexcom SHARE/Nightscout/xDrip my real-time data is streamed to my wife and she's able to know where my BGs are hovering at that given time. She gets alerts on her Pebble Watch, just as I do simultaneously on my 4 CGM-connected devices (G4 receiver, regular Android phone that has Dexcom SHARE app, secondary Android phone for Nightscout/xDrip apps, and my Pebble watch).

All of those alerts bug the hell out of me, when it's the middle of the night and sleep is all that's on my mind.

Those times I'm traveling, alone in a hotel room... and the Dex goes BEEP BEEP BEEP to let me now I'm 60 and dropping. With a straight down arrow.

And knowing that I managed to forget to stop at the nearby store or front hotel food stop, to buy a snack to boost my blood sugar in the middle of the night. Maybe there's a $12 candy bar or orange juice in the mini-fridge. Or there's a vending machine right down the hall, assuming I have a couple dollar bills in my wallet.

If not, my emergency glucose tabs in my suitcase are on hand 95% of the time (when I didn't forget to pack them).

Whatever the food or drink or glucose option, my blood sugar is usually on the way upwards within 10 minutes.

That doesn't mean my Dexcom's caught up, or the data being sent to my wife many miles away (sometimes 3 time zones away) is showing this treatment.

Nope, according to Dexcom: I'm still at 55 or so.

That's when I lie.

I calibrate my Dexcom and tell it I'm actually higher than what the device thinks at that moment. Maybe it's 85, or depending how sleep-deprived and grumpy I am, I may lie and tell it I'm in the 140s just to boost it above the "Low 70" threshold.

And then, when it's comforted, I go back to sleep. Knowing my wife won't be worrying, even though I've already texted her I'm OK or we've exchanged calls saying all is good and I'm treating.

Usually within 5 hours, I am waking up and able to re-calibrate to make sure the CGM data is back on track and not way off. This hasn't been a problem, the handful of times I've "lied" to my Dexcom. Typically by lunch-time, we're back in line and spot-on as to CGM accuracy.

Sure, I get that lying to my CGM isn't how it should work.

I'm like a teenager writing in my handwritten BG log, fudging numbers before my endo visit (yes, I did this). Except now I'm using tech to do this, and be lazy.

The honest to God truth: Diabetes tech can be a bitch, even when it's saving your life. First world problems and whining D-tech trains of thought aside, it is what it is. This is just me complaining, stepping beyond all the perspective and access talk that comes with diabetes tech these days.

Most of the time, I know why I'm Low. It's not a case of my not knowing what's causing these, and prolonging the issue just because I'm lazy. No, it's simply that the low-carb meal that I dosed for but miscalculated for is hitting me now in the middle of the night. And I'm just not prepared to deal with it, thanks to sleepiness or whatever else.

No, this is a relatively small gap of time where I know I'm going to be OK, and will likely be in the high 100s or 200s before long, but I just don't want to endure the repeated alarms of my D-tech that hasn't figured out I'm actually OK yet.

Every time I've lied, it's for my own peace of mind for sleeping and my wife's that I've done this. And I am OK with that, because it doesn't happen too often and I am always OK when doing this, at very little risk of dropping Low again.

Sleep is important, and during busy travel when it's even more precious, I am OK with fudging my CGM data and data-sharing info. At least, during the overnight hours.

Lying isn't my standard protocol. But sometimes, I say, "Fuck It. Let there be sleep."