Dear Dexcom: When Thank You Isn't Enough

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Diabetes Blog Week 2011: Letter writing day - Tuesday 5/10: In February the Wego Blog Carnival asked participants to write letters to their condition.  You can write a letter to diabetes if you’d like, but we can also take it one step further.  How about writing a letter to a fictional (or not so fictional) endocrinologist telling the doctor what you love (or not) about them.  How about a letter to a pretend (or again, not so pretend) meter or pump company telling them of the device of your dreams?  Maybe you’d like to write a letter to your child with diabetes.  Or a letter from your adult self to the d-child you were.  Whomever you choose as a recipient, today is the day to tell them what you are feeling.

This was an easy choice for me. I've been wanting to write this letter for two weeks.

Dear Dexcom,

Where do I even begin to tell you this tale.  I suppose I should begin at the beginning.

A year ago, we did a trial run with your Seven Plus device for our four year old daughter.  We were lured in by the thought of having a pair of eyes on the inside and a better understanding of what her blood sugar does during the day - and most importantly, the night.  Pictures of graphs and continual readings caught - and held - our attention.

But... We were worried.  The sensor is kind of large.  When you are a small little person, like Sweetpea, it takes up a lot of room!  We worried about her needing to wear another device around her waist.  Worried that she wouldn't like it.  Worried that it would be uncomfortable.  Worried that it wouldn't work the way we hoped.

Night one... after watching the gray bar turn - like magic - into numbers....  We were hooked.  The Seven Plus was a very welcome houseguest!  One we knew we needed to add to our family immediately.

It was really hard giving it back after seven days.  I did not want to.  But we did.  Luckily, our own "Dexie" arrived soon after.



And we have been continuously monitoring glucose ever since!

Our worries were quickly put to rest.  Our daughter didn't mind wearing the receiver.  In fact, she became quite attached.  We were surprised to learn that she felt safer wearing it.  Here we thought that was just us!  The size and comfort has never been issue.  It's become just another part of her.

Sure, we have times when we see the ???.  Or times when the numbers are off.  Even one time when we got a ! message and had to return ours for a replacement.  But nothing and no one is perfect.

And we are thankful for all the times it has been right on with accuracy.  Which is more often than not.  Dexie is a keeper!  And it has even saved the day!

I can't tell you how much having the Seven Plus means to us.  It's changed the way we manage Sweetpea's diabetes.

Being diagnosed at three years of age, we learned to bolus AFTER meals.  We were still doing this when we started using the Seven Plus.  Well.... it didn't take more than one time looking at the graphs and SEEING what her blood sugar does with a post bolus to realize that we needed to start working our way to prebolusing for food.

But more than that... The Dexcom Seven Plus CGM saved our daughter's life.

Literally.

A few weeks ago, we had a problem with her pump.  It's a long story.  It was The Scariest Night of My Life.  We learned first hand how diabetes can change in a heart beat and go from normal to emergency faster than you can blink.

We still don't know exactly WHAT happened or WHY.  We probably never will.  What we do know is that her blood sugar was 500.  We corrected.  An hour later she was 400.  She went to bed.

Dexie was hanging on her bedside rail.  Keeping watch over our slumbering girl.

An hour later, we heard the three beeps through the baby monitor.

We assumed she was coming down fast.  My husband went upstairs to check.

Dexie said 80 double arrows down.

He tested her and she was 32.  Most of a juice box later, she was no longer able to drink.  The meter just read LOW.  She had two seizures.  We grabbed the glucagon.  We called 911.  She was not with us... We truly thought she was going to die.

She's fine now.  The glucagon worked.  Her blood sugar came up.  She was in the hospital for a day.  She remembers nothing.

But we do.

We will never forget those three little beeps that alerted us that she was in danger.

Without the Dexcom... I can't even imagine what we would have found when we checked an hour to two later.

You saved her life.

Plain and simple.

But it's not simple.  And a simple THANK YOU seems so inadequate.

YOU.  YOUR company.  YOUR product.  That little piece of gold she wears every single day.  Saved her life.

Because of you, she can run and play like every other five year old.
Because of you, she gets to enjoy gymnastics class.
Because of you, her teachers don't worry all day.
Because of you, her parents don't worry... as much!
Because of you, the parents of her friends are more willing to invite her over to play.
Because of you, she gets to be normal.
Because of you, we can SEE what certain foods do to her blood sugar.
Because of you, we can see trends faster and more effectively.
Because of you, her care is better.
Because of you, her risk of complications is less.
Because of you, we are not totally afraid to sleep at night.
Because of you, she will grow up.
Because of you, she has a future.
Because of you, she is alive.

Because of you.



Thank you.

From the bottom of our hearts.  From the depths of our souls.

Thank you.


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18 comments:

  1. I do hope you send this to the company - she could be their next spokesperson!!! Truly a lifesaver. Great post.

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  2. AMEN!!! Thank you to all our Dexcoms!!


    Everytime I read about that night I cry. Thank GOD for Dex....truly.

    Awesome post Hallie!!

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  3. I loved him/her before AND love him/her even more now. What a heart-felt letter to a wonderful product Hallie. I think they should use part of this in their marketing.

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  4. wonderful, wonderful letter!! You really need to sent this to them!!

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  5. You should send this letter to Dexcom. Seriously, Dex prevented a tragedy and saved her life. Maybe Sweets could be a part of Dex getting approved by the FDA for pediatric patients.

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  6. My hubby has hypo unawareness and his CGM has been a life saver as well. Yes its not accurate 100% of the time but it is truly a guardian angel to watch over him and protect him when I am not by his side. So glad to hear it is working out for you guys as well! Your little one is soooo cute :)

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  7. Thank you Dex for saving our super sweet Sweetpea!!!
    I still cry everytime I think about that night (as I'm sure you do too!)
    And I.CAN.NOT.WAIT until we can get our very own Dexie!!

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  8. What a great letter... I hope you do send it. They need to know how important their device is for our little ones!

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  9. Put her in front of the FDA and tell them about their so called "not approved for children" bs!!!!

    I don't care how much time passes... I think it will always be hard to read about this.

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  10. I love this letter -
    I love DexCom for saving SweetPea's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart too, Dex!!!

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  11. Incredibly well put! It still gives me chills to think about that night. I am so thankful she doesn't remember it and I pray that your peace about it increases daily!
    "Thank you" indeed!!!

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  12. and i'm crying again! beautiful post, hallie!

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  13. Great letter! And I agree that you should send it to Dexcom! We just got ours the other week and are loving it! Thank you Dexcom for helping give us a little better peace of mind and keeping our CWD/PWD safe!

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  14. I agree. Send this letter to Dexcom or direct them to your blog. And direct the FDA to your blog as well. Only the Minimed cgms, which most children will find so painful to wear, is approved by the FDA for children. It is Dexcom that is a good fit for most pediatric cases. I hope your pump problems have been resolved. And what an adorable child!

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  15. I still cry too whenever I think about or re-read your story! What a great letter..I hope you do send it along to Dexcom..they need to know!!!

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  16. Thanks for the insight. I've been worried about approaching Joyful Monkey about the CGM, thinking she wouldn't be too thrilled by the idea. I think I'll start talking to her about it.

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  17. We love DexCom too. It's really such an integral part of Caleb's care. But it's a love-hate relationship. There is so much more this thing could be. For now, we take the good with the bad and look forward to more good in the future.

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  18. My son was diagnosed 3 months ago and continuous blood glucose monitoring definately seems like something we need to look into. What an amazing post. It definately had me in tears.

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