Diabetes and Spiders

Odd title, but bear with me!! (not BARE, sheesh!)

Tuesday was a rather interesting day. I had a doctor appointment at 1030 and labs at 10. Thankfully, they were in the same building, but I wasn’t called for the labs until 1015. Now, I’m not a very good blood draw and since I was also scheduled for a pee test, I asked if I could do that part before the blood part. Thankfully, the phlebotomist said yes! I then was settled in what appeared to be the break room in a reclining chair. After looking over both arms, she proceeded to go into the left one at the elbow section. I was doing my best to not pay attention, but was a bit surprised to overhear a soft, ‘oh.’ (turned out my veins were not cooperating as well as she’d have liked, but she prevailed and it worked!)

I went to my next appointment and as I walked in, was called. This one was…I’m trying to think of a word to describe how I felt. Thankful. That is the best one. My Diabetes person jumped on my desire for a CGM or a continuous glucose monitor. This is a device that constantly monitors a person’s glucose without finger pokes, in a nutshell. The one she fitted me out with is called a Freestyle Libre 2. It is not covered by my insurance, but she said she was going to get my information sent to somewhere else where it would be less expensive for me to buy the things out of pocket. I hope so, the little parts that are stuck in the body are spendy buggers. They do last for 14 days and allow for unlimited testing during that time, has alarms if it goes too high or too low, can be worn in water, and has several other sorts of bells and whistles. It won’t tell me the reading, but all I need to do is move it over the sensor on my skin and see what it says. It can be connected to a phone, but I’m not going to use that feature. It does have an insensitive touch screen, but the most amazing part is how this reader and sensor are cutting edge technology already being replaced by the company! This was available in the US about June of this year. There is a new one hitting the markets overseas in a couple of months! (which is probably why my insurance doesn’t cover it yet. The insurance also requires extensive information on how often tests are taken, what amount of medication is used, and verification of this data by the physician and whether or not the patient actually needs it.) The video is long and informative.

I enjoy this guy. He makes me laugh and is helpful.

The little reader is about the size of an old fashioned flip phone and the sensor in my arm is about the size of a couple of stacked US quarters. Two things that made me laugh about this amazing technology were these. 1) The sensor is placed in and on the skin using an easy to place and use holder that essentially pushes the needle into the body and adheres the sensor to the skin. Mum had something similar for her insulin pump and we used it each time she needed it, until it was accidentally thrown away in a hospital setting as just an odd looking bit of plastic. This Freestyle piece about the size of a K cup is disposable. It cannot be reused again. 2) The reader of several hundred dollars has a life span of 3 years. I have had glucometers that use strips for many many years and they are still useful, outliving their expensive pricing. If there is one thing I have learned about Diabetes over the decades I’ve lived with it, it is never cheap and it is big on disposal. Syringes, strips, tubing, little electronic doohickeys, packaging, lancets, lancet devices, and what not. The other very odd thing I found, I need to verify. From my reading, it appears the reader won’t work if the temp is under 50 degrees F and above 115. (does this mean it is an inside only item and do I need to sleep with it next to me to keep it warm since there are some nights in winter here in EO where the house drops below the 60 degrees F of what the inside night temp is set at??—that was a bit of a run on!!)

The next part of my Tuesday was a life lesson. I think. I had gotten out to the car and opened an energy bar. While I was eating it, I noticed an intrepid spider scurrying up the antennae. I watched it for quite a while as it sat there. I even photographed it! I was incredibly curious why it had climbed to the top of this long antennae and what it was thinking. But, I did need to leave, and hoped the car vibrations would encourage it to climb back down. The parking lot was really bumpy, I noticed it carefully climbing down a few inches, then opted to pull over to let it get someplace safer. It stayed about half mast! I kept an eye on it as I drove to the first stop light. It was clinging valiantly to the vibrating antennae and moved a few inches lower at the first light. At the second light, it moved back UP an inch!! (it was a long light) Unfortunately, from there it had to hold on tight as I drove on the highway at 55 mph. There were a couple of more lights, but it didn’t seem inclined to move much further down the rod to a safer locale. About 25 minutes (or so) into the ride, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it lift up a few legs and it was gone. I was very sad. In just 7 more miles it would have been safe on a parked antennae. How often do we as humans cling desperately to something precarious, only to give up at the last second, when hope is around the corner? (I was going to say ‘the end is around the corner’, but there was a car behind me and I’m not sure if the little thing survived flying through the air at high speeds, so it may have been the end!)

I was then distracted by an orange gas light. Apparently, I’d been using the car and forgetting to fill it! As I got into town, I heard an alarm go off. Not ever having driven this rig to practically empty, I wasn’t sure if it was the vehicle. Thankfully, it was from my bag. The new CGM was alerting me it was ready to use and told me so for quite a while! (it needed to wait an hour to start.) I just went home and gave the kid money to put some gas it in it later! Technology!

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