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Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Emojis for texting DexCom data: A New School Plan Update

Scott Benner

We are three weeks into the 2012 school year and I am back to report some amazing news. I'm not even sure I believe this, but Arden has yet to visit the school nurse for anything diabetes related. Not once, nada, zero times!


Our New Plan is working even better then I imagined due in large part to how smooth technology has made the transition. Apple's latest upgrade to the iPhone software included the addition of an emoji keyboard and we are making good use of it in our conversations about type I.

We try to keep our interactions as short as possible to minimize the time Arden is distracted from her school work. I estimate that our plan saves Arden from missing between forty-five minutes and an hour each day of class time, but there is always room for improvement. So when I noticed that our texting conversations were taking more time then I thought they should, I wondered why. Arden and I spoke and it turned out that she was struggling to spell some of the words that we use to discuss her DexCom CGM data. Words like, diagonal and horizontal. Other issues were less to do about spelling and more about word count. For example, "189 diagonal up" or "143 straight across". That's when I thought, "if there is an emoji of a heart, dress, shoe and dog pooh there must be arrows".

and there was...

So now we are speaking to each other with even more economy of time and our texting conversations have been trimmed in half, which makes more time for learning.

Emoji can be activated on Apple devices running iOS 6 like so. Settings>General>Keyboard>Keyboards>Add New Keyboard>Emoji. If you talk to your child about their DexCom data via text message this is more then worth your time to set up.

imessage read_Arden's Day.tiff

Another nice feature to check out is 'Send Read Receipts'. This one is great not just for diabetes, but for every parent/child texting conversation. Send Read Receipts allows you to see when the person on the other end of your conversation has read your message. It looks like this...

Text arrows for DexCom_Arden's Day.PNG

This setting is accessible by taking these steps. Settings>Messages>Send Read Receipts. Changing the setting to on "Allows others to be notified when you have read their messages". No more wondering if the person you are texting with has seen your message. Turning this feature on is a no-brainer for parents, but if you are trying to avoid someone... that's a whole other consideration.