When I arrived home, the package was sitting on the doorstep. "Rather small box," I thought. I went ahead and requested to have 3 months worth of sensors, and the box was smaller than my Medtronic refills. I took the box inside and began opening it. All of the sensor boxes were on top (or bottom, I may have opened it upside down), so I dug down until I found the box holding Constance. The egg, as Kerri affectionately calls it, was a lot smaller than I had imagined. I don't know why I expected it to be like a little Nerf ball, but my Blackberry is bigger than this little device.
I already knew that the receiver needed to be charged for 3 hours before I could use it. So, I plugged it in next to the coffee pot and proceeded with my daily ritual chores. I took care of the cats, fed the dogs, emptied out the dishwasher, and took out the trash. All the while, I'm checking the receiver to see if it was charged (as if it would be fully charged in one hour, but I was kind of hoping). I then flipped through the User's Guide and Start-up pamphlet. I had already watched the tutorials online and Kerri's video for several weeks before Constance's arrival. Now I just had to wait for it to charge (longest 3 hours, ever!).
I had some distractions in the form of going to pick corn and visiting some friends who recently adopted 2 adorable kittens. Finally, 3.5 hours after I plugged it in, we arrive back home.
Next, I programed the date/time, made sure the transmitter ID was correct, and prepped myself for the sensor insertion. I grabbed a sticky alcohol wipe from my pump stash, pulled out a sensor from the FedEx box, and took a deep breath. Opened the sensor packaging, peeled off the tape (I concur with Kerri, very tricky that sticky tape), and placed the sensor on the left side of my stomach parallel with my belly button. Pressed down on the tape to make sure it was stuck to my skin, and took off the safety. Using my right hand, I pressed down with my thumb on the plunger to insert the needle, and pulled up the other plunger with my index and middle fingers removing the piercing needle. It kind of hurt going in, but I think it hurt because I was nervous about it, making my muscles tense. After I took out the piercing needle, I barely felt it. The hardest part for me was putting in the transmitter! It took me several tries before the latch inserted the transmitter into the sensor. Go figure, it wasn't the whole inserting a needle into my body thing, it was putting the transmitter in (but I was never that good with Legos, which is what it's like).
Next, I began the sensor calibration which takes 2 hours. This happened about 9:15 PM, which is typically my bed time these days. I tried staying awake by watching The Office and Family Guy, but alas, I fell asleep on the couch before the end of the Family Guy's intro. Luckily, I woke up with 10 minutes left in my calibration. I started watching the receiver like a hawk anticipating the two blood drop calibration request screen. BZZZZZZZZZZ! "Enter two BG readings."
I entered two readings from the same finger (and the same prick, too. yay, a bleeder!): 216 and 201 mg/dL (I'm not sure why I was high because it had been over 6 hours since I ate dinner, but like I've mentioned before, I test at the same every day. And 11:15 PM is not a typical test for me; therefore, I have no idea what goes on during this time.) Immediately after I entered the two BG's, the tracking screen came up with 204 mg/dL followed by a High alarm. "Well, the alarm works."
Exhausted from it being after 11:00 PM and the general excitement from it all, I headed off to bed. However, almost as soon as walk to the bedroom, I get the "???" error on the screen. "Great, what did I screw up?" I get back up and go look at the starter pamphlet and read the "???" error description. It said that this error is normal and to just wait. No problem. Sleepy time!
I vaguely remember waking up in the middle of the night to a High alarm: 323 mg/dL. But since it was just a few readings surrounded by "???", I ignored it. The sensor came back to life around 3:00 AM and showed a little snake-like action around 250 mg/dL. I'm not sure how much stock I'd put in the numbers, but it did show a trend where my BG starts to spike (thank you, dawn phenomenon). This made me happy, and hopeful, that I could eventually conquer this DARN phenomenon! It went back out again to "???" until about 5:30 AM after I started eating my oatmeal breakfast. It was kind of perfect timing, because I started seeing a major spike about an hour afterwards around 280 mg/dL and a decrease starting about 30 minutes after that. "Hmmm, I guess I SHOULD take my insulin a little while before eating."
Kind of crappy resolution and glare, but you can see the spike from my oatmeal.
First impressions: it was a little frustrating when I couldn't even put the transmitter in! I called my engineering husband over to help me investigate, but immediately when he started walking towards me I got it in. (He's my force field of positivity. *smile*) I also didn't anticipate having so many "???" for the first 6 hours or so, but I've heard this is pretty common and the numbers are more accurate after 24 hours (or so I've read via the DOC). But once it started working this morning, I was giddy. I was checking it after every step in my routine. Brush teeth, check Constance, dry hair, check Constance, pack lunch, check Constance. On the phone with Trey going into work I said, "I am such a nerd right now." I could hear him rolling his eyes on the other end of the phone. "Bionic woman, eh?" "Yep," I exclaimed.
The obligatory belly picture: Dexcom sensor and receiver on the left, insulin site and tube on the right.
P.S. Just did a test. Meter: 96 mg/dL. Constance: 121 mg/dL. I'll take that. =)