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Real Talk with Dave: All about the Dexcom G6

Many people have been eagerly waiting for the Dexcom G6 to be announced.

Well, it just so happens that it is now FDA approved and available in June. I had the special privilege of being sent a Dexcom G6 to try out and so far, I am loving it. As promised, I wanted to share my open and honest opinion about this device, so I thought what better way to share my thoughts than through a blog.

First and foremost, I want to say how incredible this device is. I had the opportunity to see a mock-up of the device at the JDRF Type One Nation Summit and was even more excited to use this new product! The whole site and transmitter is about 33% thinner than the Dexcom G5. It is much more user friendly and has a longer wear time than the G5. You can now wear your site and get continuous glucose readings for 10 full days before you have to change out your site. You can also view your blood sugar readings on your phone, watch, and receiver that comes with the device.

One really exciting feature is that the Dexcom G6 does not require any fingerstick calibrations, which means you no longer have to prick your fingers for a manual blood sugar check anymore. You can now fully depend on this device to be even more accurate than before and allow you to have even more freedom in knowing what your blood sugars are. I have been wearing the Dexcom G6 for about a week now and have been comparing the G6 to the G5. For the first few days, I was wearing both CGMs just out of curiosity on how much more accurate the G6 really is. From what I observed, the G6 was way more accurate in comparison to the G5. I also would still check my blood sugars manually just to compare the numbers and my Dexcom was very close to the actual reading. It is intended to be 20 points above or below the actual reading, which it has been.

The device also has a new app in which there is a whole new design (similar to that of the G5, only better), and there are now more options for alerts and settings in which you can customize to your liking. Now, when having a low blood sugar, this device will alert you 20 minutes before a predicted severe low of 55 mg/dL, which I think is amazing that it can detect that for you. It truly does give peace of mind in knowing what to expect and when, giving you alerts ahead of time so you can try and prevent a bad low before it hits you.

The part of this device that I cannot praise enough is the insertion. Before, you would have to plunge a big needle into your skin and then remove it, leaving a plastic cannula deep into your skin. Now, all you do is apply to device to your skin, push a button, and within seconds, the device is in your body! When people ask me what it feels like to insert the G6, I like to describe it as “a puff of air hitting your skin, that’s it!”. The first (and only) time I inserted my CGM, I was blown away at how painless it truly was. This is going to be a huge game changer for children who have to wear a CGM as they will not feel a thing when the time comes to insert the device into their skin.

All in all, this device is great. I am obsessed at how this product works and helps me feel as a Type 1 Diabetic. It definitely allows me to live my life and not worry as much as I truly can trust what my readings are and know what is going on inside of my body. If medical technology is this good now, I am even more excited as to what the future holds for Type 1 Diabetes. With the Dexcom G6, Diabetes is not all bad.

Live well,

Dave

Diabetic Super Bowl Champion

The most popular sport in America is football. The NFL dominates conversations between friends, family, and co-workers; as everyone enjoys relaxing on Sundays watching one of the games. Since the Super Bowl is right around the corner, I wanted to highlight Kendall Simmons, a former Pittsburg Steeler Super Bowl Champion and type 1 diabetic.

Kendall Simmons must have felt like he had the world in the palm of his hand. He was a 6 foot 3 inch 315 pound lineman coming out of Auburn. After a tremendous collegiate career in the SEC, the Pittsburg Steelers picked in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He signed a big fat contract, made it through his first training camp; and in his rookie season, he started fourteen games, another tremendous accomplishment. Just when Simmons was on a life high, things took a turn for the worse. He felt unusually tired, weak, irritable and having to use the bathroom non-stop. Over a two and a half week period, he lost 43 pounds and Simmons was diagnosed with Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults (LADA or diabetes type 1.5). Simmons did not want his promising football career to end after just one season in the NFL, so with the help of his endocrinologist, team doctors and coaching staff, Simmons changed his life to manage diabetes. He knew he would have to adjust his diet and be much more meticulous in his daily regiment to keep his career alive.

By the time the first game of the season came (second year in the NFL, first year diabetic), Simmons and his staff had a plan in place to keep him on the field for the Steelers. He would check his blood glucose six to eight times while at the stadium on game day (before the game, between quarters, half time and post-game). Depending upon what his readings were, he would make the necessary adjustments with small snacks if he had hypoglycemia or insulin injections if he had hyperglycemia. Needless to say there were bumps and bruises along the way, but this allowed Simmons to start all sixteen regular games for Pittsburg. Two seasons later Simmons went on to start all twenty regular season and playoff games and lead the Steelers to the championship by defeating the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. Simmons continued his career in the NFL until retiring in 2009 with the Buffalo Bills.

Kendall Simmons is an inspirational figure. He is a living example of how when life hits you with adversity, rather than feeling sorry for yourself, you make the best out of the situation. Winning a Super Bowl is the ultimate goal for every football player and Simmons did not let diabetes stop him. He now works with a variety of organizations including the JDRF, Swing 4 Diabetes, and Novo Nordisk to help improve the lives of people with diabetes.

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