Thursday, October 11, 2012

Device Story.

If you follow people with diabetes on social media, it's likely you've noticed a flurry of excitement surrounding the new Dexcom G4 Platinum continuous glucose monitoring system. It's slimmer, it's more accurate, and it makes the Seven Plus system seem like the Tommy Lee Jones of this CGM family. Type 1 diabetes, especially, requires that we make hundreds of decisions and judgement calls each day about how to care for ourselves, and wearing a device like a CGM helps us make those decisions in a more informed way. If finger sticks can be considered still photographs, a continuous glucose monitor is our live-streamed video. It may still have some buffering issues, but some data is better than none.

I've watched this week's conversation arc of "I want this so bad!" to "On hold with Dexcom now" to "It's how much?", sometimes progress to "I'm approved! It ships in a few weeks!". (I called Dexcom on Monday morning and heard back Wednesday afternoon - pending my doctor's approval, all systems are GO.) With so many upgrading to the new system, I'm now wondering - what will we do with the old ones?

I mean, has anyone stopped to consider good ol' Seven's feelings about this? It seems like someone could write a whole new version of the Toy Story movies, with characters like Jessie swapped out for a Dexcom receiver. (So, Device Story?)

Once a precious and valued member in our collection of medical devices, Seven will be ousted by Platinum (Platty? Plato? I'm still working it out) and suddenly, he's no longer needed. He'll have to watch from a drawer, shelf, or cabinet as we discover, with wild fascination and anticipation, why our new "toy" is so much better. He'll collect dust. He'll think back on the "good ol' days" when he so proudly alerted you to the times you were under 80, and then 81, but hang on you're 78, scratch that you're 82, and now you're 75. He'll regret the times he became confused and couldn't tell you anything useful. He'll be happy for you and the joy your G4 brings you, but inside, he'll be so disappointed that your joy was found elsewhere.

Maybe my Seven needs a proper send-off to honor his service. Should I release doves? Recite a poem? Take it out once last time and buy it a shot of whiskey?

Or maybe I'll keep him on standby - just in case.

Andy: Oh no!
Andy's Mom: Andy? Let's go! Molly's already in her car seat!
Andy: But Mom, Woody's arm ripped!
Andy's Mom: Oh no! Well maybe we can fix him on the way.
Andy: Nah, just leave him.
Andy's Mom: I'm sorry, honey, but you know, toys don't last forever.


  1. Love this post. I have to wait a few months before my wanrranty is up. I am anxiously awaiting the reviews.

  2. Oh man! I have never thought of this! The guilt! The guilt is too much to bear!

  3. In a hypothetical world we could start an underground supply of old Seven receivers, transmitters and sensors for those who need spare Seven supplies but can't afford them. I know, I know this is totally not medically acceptable since it's a prescription. That's why it's totally hypothetical. Totally.

  4. My last two receivers have died in glorious times of frustration, and the first one had quite the send off between the concrete driveway and a hammer. The second one is sitting around me, still, and I'm always afraid that I'll accidentally pick it up instead of the working one...

    I called yesterday and my g4 will ship sometime between now and mid-December. I'm feeling a little like Veruca Salt.

  5. 'when somebody loves you....'
    I totally have to skip that part in Toy Story 2 because it always makes me cry!

    Now I feel bad about coveting the new G4!

  6. Denise - I texted that line to Kim when I saw this post this morning! LOL!!

    Then I texted something about angry eyes :D

    I feel like the aliens though when I think of my Dexcom - "You have saved our lives. We are eternally grateful."

  7. We will love our "old, but pretty new" Dexcom until next summer, at least. I will have to remember to let him down easy before I put him in the draw.

  8. It would be nice if there were some sort of a "buyback" program, or even a "donate to the less fortunate" type situation (seriously though, how much does the receiver cost in comparison to three months of sensors? This is a real question - I don't know the answer).

    I'd be willing to try out someone else's shelved Seven+ for a week or two, just to satisfy my own curiosity on what it's like to carry around another device and deal with the quirky differences between Dex and Medtronic.

    And is the new receiver really sleeker and smaller? I haven't seen a side-by-side comparison, but it seems the Platinum just filled in the corners that its predecessors had so graciously rounded and cut out.

  9. Hi Scott,

    I should be getting the new DexCom sometime in November and would be willing to let you try my Seven+ once I get going on the G4. Also, the new device is supposed to only be 1/2 inch thick. The current device is thicker than that. Feel free to email me at and we can work out details on you trying the Seven+.

  10. <3

    you have a big big big heart.

  11. we just got three months of sensors for Dex7+. $1000. holy shit!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.