I bought a Boost Mobile Moto G, a cable and a Grid it. With a good sale at Target, total cost was about $73. I spent a few hours following the Nightscout Project instructions, and we were up and running.
Initially, it’s like the first time you get CGM data. You can’t believe it’s right in front of your face and you keep looking at it (as if to confirm its reality) and soaking up the perpetual stream of easily accessed information. That novelty does wear off. We quickly got to an as-needed access basis.
With the rig packed in Caleb’s bag, I could watch his BG while at school using the school’s wifi. Then, Caleb had a Gymnastics lesson and with their free wifi, I could run my errands and keep mindful of his BG. It became clear that having access to this information when he’s at baseball practice and dance class (places without wifi) would certainly be beneficial. I added a data plan via Ting for about $9 a month and gained continuous access to Nightscout.
We aren’t really doing anything differently, but Nightscout has enhanced our ability to manage diabetes in some subtle, yet meaningful ways:
- Caleb’s middle school schedule is jam-packed. Clearcut breaks for daily BG checks don’t exist like they did in elementary school. He and I being connected during the day via Nightscout allows flexibility for him to check his blood sugar when it’s convenient for him. If I haven’t heard from him by 9:15 – when he changes periods – rather than strum my fingers in anticipation and wonder, I just take a peek at Nightscout and stop wondering. Caleb can focus a little more on school and a little less about when exactly he needs to check his bg.
- Caleb is active. Gymnastics, baseball, tap, jazz, ballet, swimming, trampoline – they all have different levels of intensity and each activity can vary in intensity from one day to the next. It’s often just a guess about how to compensate carbs or insulin to mitigate.. We don’t always (if ever) guess correctly, so there are adjustments along the way. By watching remotely, I can be prepared to help him. I know if I can take my time with my errands/chores/shuttle service. I know if I should come back prepared with a cupcake for the impending low that 45 minutes of intense tapping just caused, or whip out his PDM to nonchalantly infuse some insulin because they decided to sit and review the baseball rulebook rather than run bases at practice.
- When he checks in with me, I am more prepared and he doesn’t have to spend time giving me information. We are already on the same page and get right to business, so he’s spending less time away from whatever he’s doing.
Overall, there is an added peace. Caleb is less distracted because he knows someone else it watching. Rather than wondering if that light-headedness is because of playing flute for an hour or if his BG is dropping, he is more likely to just keep playing. He does not seem as preoccupied about what his blood sugar might be. Even though he has DexCom in his pocket with him to alert him, there’s something comforting about knowing the responsibility isn’t all on him. Knowing that there is a safety net lets us all relax our shoulders a bit and focus more on life and less on diabetes.
Pictured above : Nightscout on my phone’s home screen. I see Caleb’s numbers as easily as accessing any app.
Related posts: Nightscout | Getting Started
More to come on Nightscout including: Impact on Self-Care Development, Nightscout at School, Bumps Along the Way, The New Rig, Pebble Watch.