I’ve had Type 1 for well over 20 years. I’m pretty sure it’s 22, maybe 23 years ago now, actually. But time goes so fast, and I’m not one of those people that knows my exact “diaversary”, so I can’t be totally sure.
But for sure, it was a long time ago.
I can still remember some things about my pre-diagnosis symptoms . And I can still remember a few things about that big learning curve I went through during those first few months upon diagnosis. And there’s little funny stories and things related to my “diabetes journey” that I can still recall.
It’s fun to remember back to something that happened so long ago, and that I was so overwhelmed by at the time. I love looking back, and then seeing how far I’ve come. Type 1 turned out to be a lot less life altering than I first thought it might be. So, I’ve been jotting down a lot of those stories lately, in hopes of preserving what’s left of those memories. I’ve actually been working on this off and on for about a year now.
There’s a website called CreativeLive.com. They offer all sorts of online classes ranging from jewelry making, to photography, to podcasting. This weekend, they had a 50% off sale on all classes so I gave myself a few early Christmas gifts… and one of them is a class called “How To Write and Publish an E-Book”.
When I saw that class title, I immediately thought that yes!, I’d really like to turn this writing I’ve been working on into a little e-book. It feels like it’s a great time to hunker down and do a little more writing than usual. Then, maybe I can finally say, “I wrote a book.” #lifegoal
Back when I first got my Dexcom, two or three years ago, I downloaded the Clarity app on my phone and also looked at Clarity on my computer. The phone app had very little to offer, but it did tell you an average of your readings over a 30, 60 and 90 period. It also gave you a A1C predictor, based on your readings that equated with that average. But that was about all it showed, that I recall.
If you went to Clarity via a computer though, you could view a lot more information. There were various graphs that showed different things, like an overlay of your blood sugars over an entire month. But I never became very familiar with it because it was on my computer rather than my phone, and I never spent the time looking at it. It just wasn’t all that convenient.
Eventually, the app did away with the predicted A1C number. I’m not sure why. But I can look on a chart and figure that out anyway as long as I know my blood sugar averages. So really, who cares? I didn’t and I still don’t.
This week, I had an appointment with my endocrinologist. The nurse asked for the code generator for them from the Clarity phone app so they could view my Dexcom information. It just happened to be, that out of boredom, while I was waiting for the doctor, I was playing around on my phone and noticed the app had all sorts of new bells and whistles since last time I had looked out it. I use the term new loosely, because honestly, I have no idea when these new features were added. I hadn’t looked at it in well over a year.
So, this may or may not be news to anyone but me that uses a Dexcom.
But if you haven’t looked lately at the Clarity phone app, it’s worth looking again.
You can now look at your average blood sugars for 48 hours, 7, 14, 30 or 90 days. I like that! Sometimes, it’s nice to just take things week by week- or less.
But wait, there’s more!
There are now 8 different reports to view. If you click “reports” at the bottom of the screen, something similar to this pops up. Then, click in the middle box portion, just below 7/14/30/90 days, and above where it says “view report”. You’ll then have a list of all 8 reports you can view:
You can then select one or all of those 8 reports by clicking on them.
Some of the reports are a little hard to look at due to screen size on phone, but you can zoom in. When I looked at some of the graphs, for example the AGP (that stands for Ambulatory Glucose Profile- I looked it up!) I was able to see a repeating pattern I want to improve on. Around 3-4pm most days, my blood sugar is usually at it’s highest. I have some ideas on why that’s happening, and how I might improve upon it that I will try over the next few weeks.
I plan to learn a little more about how to read these various charts provided with the Clarity phone app. Having the Dexcom has provided information that has helped me get me tighten my control since I began using it, and maybe these new features will motivate me to tighten it even more! It hadn’t really dawned on me how almost every day around 3:30pm, my blood sugar is at it’s highest. Now that I’m aware, I want to see what kind of an adjustments might make sense.
I’ve said it before, and fortunately, I get to say it again: I just had my best ever A1C with my most recent lab work. Knowledge is power. I know a lot more about how things effects my blood sugars, thanks to Dexcom. I continue to tweak the way I do things regarding my blood sugar control. Those tweaks are subtle, as they should be. But little by little, things are getting BETTER.
It’s NaNoWriMo season. And in case you’ve never heard of that, I’ll fill you in. NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month.
I can’t imagine writing a novel. Let alone writing it in just a month’s time. But what I can imagine is me finishing up my collection of a couple handfuls of essays about my T1 diabetes. I’ve started and stopped this project a couple of times already. I always start it because I really want to… I like looking back at how things, and seeing how far I’ve come. I think you can only recognize your best kind of growth when you look back. I think all of our stories of diagnosis, and how we dealt (and are dealing) with it are interesting. Every now and then, I get on a roll with this writing project, but then lose steam when I get busy with something that needs my attention.
But hey! This NaNoWriMo thing is a great kick-start to finish the first draft of my book about Type 1. I’ve already written an outline and maybe about half of it the essays. With one dedicated month, maybe I can pull it off. One month. That’s 4 weeks. 30 days. Actually, 29, since I’m starting on November 2nd.
So here’s my pledge- to myself more than anyone else really-
I will write each day this month towards finishing my book about diabetes. According to the outline I made last year anyway, it will have 14 chapters. I feel like I should be able to get the first draft done for all 14 chapters. That’s my goal. It’s doable.
And yes, I realize it’s not technically a novel. But like I said, I can’t imagine writing a novel. Not yet, anyway. But I can imagine writing the book I have in mind. I don’t think the NaNoWriMo rules are real strict, so I’m sure it’s okay.
I’ve heard it said before, “Write what you know.” I KNOW you, T1 Diabetes. I remember how we met, and I know that whether I like it or not, I’m stuck with you. I choose to see you as a good thing in my life, and I’m going to keep on making that choice daily. Just know, the tell-all is currently being written.