Friday, November 20, 2015

Phone Ettiquette

I felt about two inches tall. It has been a long time since I've been chastised by a nun, and even in those days of elementary school, very rarely. She shook her head and looked at the back where I was sitting, my cell phone in my hand. "We will have to revise our cell phone policies to make them more clear." She wanted undivided attention to her talk on the history of the beautiful mother-ship we were visiting with an eight grade religious education class.

Protestations arose in me: "I'm using a medical device here!" I wanted to shout. Instead, I pocketed it until I slid out of her radar. Normally, this would not have happened. The iPhone receives from the "cloud" data on William's blood glucose levels. I have my iPhone paired with a Pebble watch and under many circumstances, have a continuous readout of William's blood glucose on my wrist available at a glance. This Church, however, was built to withstand a nuclear or radio wave attack, and I was getting no data on my Dexcom Share app (which needs cell phone coverage to run), and in turn, the watch also showed "NO DATA". As a chaperone, I sat down in the back, taking the opportunity to see if I could get it working again. William's BG will often drop low when casually walking around.

Her irritation with iPhones is justified, yet it made me aware of the disadvantage of using the iPhone as our receiver for CGM (continuous glucose monitor) data readouts. People will likely think we are checking our Facebook or Twitter feeds or texting friends. How dare we pull out our phone in a meeting? Even when I glance at my watch, it appears I'm checking the time, an "are we done yet?" sign. I wonder how many times I have said, "No, I'm just looking at his BG, we're good!"?

Though I tried to shake it off ("she has too much starch in her drawers"), I was raised to be the good little Catholic elementary school kid. It did make me think more about the use of iPhones as medical devices, though, and the need to educate the public that sometimes, they are a lifesaving tool.

We have the Dexcom G5 transmitters now for continuous glucose monitoring, and William is anxious to change over from his current system. The G5 eliminates the need for him to carry anything other than his iPhone. He no longer has to carry a small receiver every where he goes. You might think what is one small receiver? Well, when he leaves the house, he currently has to count nine things which must be in his bag and must go with him everywhere. If he is outside, he used to have to have his iPhone in one pocket, Dexcom receiver in the other. And, remember to bring them. I know to you that sounds like not much, but to a 13 year old boy, having to remember to get both pieces to just go outside to shoot some baskets - big deal. I do my best to stay right on top of the best technology, so here we go. I hope we like it.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

My wife is a diabetic, and I had to turn off the Dexcomm share alerts because they happen with relative frequency, and it sometimes seen as rude to be using your phone in meetings.

I can only imagine how hard conversations with a "low" teenager are, and how important getting some pop, glucose tabs, whatever before they get low could be.

But I think we need to sometimes get over the jump and tell people that it is a medical device, and a small burden that we live with to help someone with a much larger burden. And I think that is something a nun or a co-worker could understand.


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