When I offered to “follow” Shannon's Dexcom Share, I thought I’d simply have her back if she needed someone. After all, I know she is well equipped to take care of herself. But I also know there have been times when I’ve been in the throes of a low, sitting with a packet of fruit snacks in my hand and trying to figure out if I should eat them. Sometimes we just need someone to tell us to “Drink your juice, Shelby”. If needed, I was happy to do that for Shannon.
Share-ing with Shannon has been what I expected . . . . but it’s also given me something unexpected. You see, I know what it's like to have a low blood sugar. I can easily list the vast and varied symptoms that might pop up with any given low. But I realize I had no idea how it feels when someone you care about is having a low blood sugar. In this way, Share-ing has given me a peek inside the world of my loved ones.
To clarify, our Share is one-sided - I don’t use the Dexcom CGM so I can’t Share back with Shannon. (Although soon MiniMed Connect will allow me to do something similar with my 530G with Enlite!) The only notification I’ve set up is the “Urgent Low” one, because I know she can handle the highs and the slight lows. But when we fall under 55, sometimes we need some help. At least, I sometimes do. (No data in the picture on the left, because I respect Shannon’s privacy.)
Getting a peek inside the “Type 3” world has been interesting. Although I hope I have a bit more insight coming out of the gate, since I've experienced tons of lows myself. I’m definitely careful with the words I chose when texting to check in on Shannon. Usually my texts simply read “Hi!! You okay?” Because I don’t want to nag her and I don’t want to interrupt her. She needs to focus on treating that low - so as long as I know that’s happening I can leave her to it. I actually feel guilty for bothering her when she’s probably feeling crappy. But I know that if the low has her too confused to treat, I need to nag her!
The really eye-opening part for me happened about a week ago. The “Shannon Is Low” alarm buzzed around 4:30 a.m. I texted . . . and waited . . . and didn’t get a response. Panic rushed in fierce and quick! I texted again, and then I thought about how we’d never discussed what I should do if the alarm buzzes and she doesn’t respond. I was hesitant to call her in the middle of the night knowing she has three small boys in the house that need their sleep. Just as I was deciding it was safer to just wake up her whole household, she replied and my panic was washed away on a wave of relief.
We talked about it the next day and agreed that yes, I should call her, and that the boys probably wouldn’t hear her cell ringing anyway so no worries there. But I have to tell you - that moment of panic has made me love and admire our Type 3s even more. I’m great at complaining about all the diabetes crap I have to deal with. But the fear and helplessness my husband must feel when I’m in the throes of a bad low? I hadn’t fully comprehended how that feels until Shannon didn’t answer my text. And I’m grateful to understand it better now. It’s made Pete an even bigger hero to me than he already was . . .
You can check out Shannon’s take on “Share”-ing over here.