Sunday, December 2, 2012

One Too Many And Eleven Short.

I just spent 39 minutes on the phone with Peyton, a member of Sanofi's iBGStar tech support team. What we determined (rather, what I unofficially deduced from our conversation) is that the iBGStar is not a fan of tequila. And neither is an 18 day-old Dexcom G4 Platinum sensor, for that matter.

Verio, my hero.

When I use the iBGStar meter, I typically keep it attached to my phone all day and use the case that encloses them both. I don't open the iBGStar app every time; actually, not even every day. When the app is opened, it automatically syncs the meter with your phone, and thereby downloads all of the readings it has recorded since the app was last opened.

After consuming a few margaritas and checking my BG eleven times throughout the course of yesterday evening (this is how I drink with diabetes - YDMV), I noticed that my last three readings were suggesting a pretty steep drop - and no thanks to my CGM, I couldn't verify this via visual aide - 356, 226, and then 184. Pleased that I was dropping but concerned with the velocity, I decided to open the app on my phone to help me remember the times of those tests. I had a need for speed (information).

Instead, I was informed that I would be on my own with this one.

Excuse me, what? I then clicked the (only) button on the meter, to see if I could scroll back on there to see the times there.


What I realized, as did Peyton by the end of our lengthy phone conversation, is that there is no good reason my meter wasn't tagging date and time on those eleven readings. We tried everything to figure out why - close the app. Restart the app. Unplug the meter. Replug and sync the meter. Check the phone's time/date settings. Check the meter's time/date settings. Make sure the meter is fully charged (it was). Make sure the meter was fully plugged into the phone (it was). We must have gone through 30 different potential factors. (I also elected not to delete the app and re-download it. While I was able to back up the iBGStar data through my iTunes account, you can't actually look at it. Petyon told me that if I deleted and then downloaded the app again, I could reinstall the old data. I didn't want to muck around with it.)

We have no idea why, but the good-ish news is that it's recording those things again. I tested twice, voluntarily (he suggested I use control solution; I laughed) and both of those readings downloaded just fine, while continuing to ignore the previous 11. I could manually enter them, but seeing as how I don't know the times for most of those, I'm hesitant to do so.

Tidbits I learned:

  1. it's recommended that you plug the meter into the wall, using the micro-USB cable provided, at very minimum once every six months - more frequently if you're a more frequent user. I asked him the logic behind this, seeing as how the meter is charging every time my phone is active, and he mentioned something about it being a more potent power source. I still don't get the reasoning - if it says 100% charge, is that a lie? - but okay, fine. I'll do it.
  2. it's also recommended that when you first get your meter, you should charge it with the wall outlet cable for three to five hours. Again, I don't know why, but just do it.
  3. Sanofi really wants you to be happy with this system, and will do things like send you more strips to replace the ones you used when the meter wasn't marking a time on them (they're sending me 20, which is lovely) or replace the meter if you feel it isn't working to your liking (I declined this time, but if it acts up again, yes please). I know that the test strips are where they make their money, and so a replacement meter really isn't that big of a deal, but it was still nice to find out.
I also was reminded that you always need a back-up for your back-up. CGM won't give you readings? Time for a fingerstick. Meter won't function properly? Use a different one. 

It's possible that everyone in your usual device line-up will fail you at the exact time you need them most. Channel your inner boy scout, and always be prepared.

Because I know some of you will like "closure", here is what
my graph looked like from midnight to noon.


  1. What, meters and CGMs don't like Tequila?!?! What is WRONG with them!?! :)

    Glad you were able to get some good customer service and some answers, although they were kinda odd. It makes issues a bit better when someone is helpful in trying to figure them out!

  2. Control solution...hahahahahahaha.

  3. When my iBGStar bit the dust (a different problem from yours) they asked me how long it had been since I last used it. When I replied that their statement implied that I had ever used it, they sent me a new bottle (that I still haven't open).

  4. Just started following your blog... might be asking a dumb question but what does "YDMV" mean?
    I have yet to try Tequila with my CGM, but I will heed your warnings.

    1. Hi there! :) No worries; it stands for "your diabetes may vary". (It's also the name of a blog, authored by the awesome Bennet Dunlap:

  5. That happened to me when I was travelling to the west coast - something to do with changing timezones? But how would the meter know? Anyway, when I plugged it in and synced it with my phone, it synced the clock too. I've been able to avoid it happening again by syncing at least once in a new time zone before testing.

    No idea if you traveled or not, but thought I'd at least throw my experiences out there.


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