Last week around eleven in the morning, Arden texted from school to say that it was lunch time and she couldn't get any of her test strips to work. "I've tried five and they've all errored", her text read.
No problem I thought, "What's your CGM say?"
"???", Arden replied.
We found that Arden could still deliver insulin with her OmniPod PDM so we bolused for lunch in the blind and I told Arden that I was leaving to bring her a backup meter. On the way to the school I spoke with OmniPod customer service (Picked up on the first ring!) and they suggested that I try a new vial of test strips. The CSR finished the conversation by saying that if the test strips weren't the issue, they would happily overnight us a new PDM.
I met Arden in the office a few moments later and we tested successfully with the new strips. The CGM sensor however, was toast, so we changed our testing strategy slightly and synched our reminder alarms. Arden went back to lunch and we managed the remaining four hours of the day the ole fashion way... with a meter.
In all of the years that Arden has had diabetes, this is the first time we've experienced a total and simultaneous loss of the ability to quantify her BG. Even though the timing couldn't have been worse, I never felt frazzled and I can only attribute that calm to having so much experience. I'm quite certain that this moment would have given me an aneurysm five years ago.
Before I say this next bit, I want to remind you that I am not a medical professional and that the things that I share on Arden's Day are never meant as advice. There is a disclaimer at the bottom of the page if you'd like to read it. I gave Arden her lunchtime insulin in this situation without testing or the benefit of a CGM based on a number of factors. Time of day as it relates to her last bolus, we spoke about how she felt at length, based on historical data - Arden's BGs at this time of day over the week, the fact that she was going to immediately begin eating and I would be there with a new meter and strips in less than 10 minutes. I would never bolus without knowing the state of her BG in a normal situation.
We swapped Arden's DexCom G4 sensor (It had done more than its fair share... if you get my drift) when she arrived home and we were back on the path of technology based diabetes care, by dinner time. The PDM/meter has not given us a problem since, so I'm chalking this all up to an anomaly caused by faulty strips - but who knows.