Above is a screenshot of my Dexcom just a short while ago. Months ago when I’d look at my Dexcom screen I’d only see that arrow going up and think I needed to take more insulin to stop the spike. (Of course depending on how long ago I ate and took my insulin and when the next meal was coming.) But I learned an enormously valuable tip from Dr. Stephen Ponder. Ponder is a beloved pediatric endocrinologist, type 1 himself, and inventor of what he calls ‘sugar surfing.’
Ponder’s book, Sugar Surfing: How to Manage Type 1 Diabetes in a Modern World, gives many guidelines and strategies for managing your blood sugar by watching and evaluating the spikes, and shall we say valleys, you see on your Dexcom – what Ponder calls ‘trendline pattern recognition.’
Here’s the simple tip he gave me that I use: see the arrow, and then look at the last three black dots that represent your blood sugar. Are they going up, leveling out or going down? As you can see the last two dots are leveling out. That means my blood sugar will not be rising much, or for long. The best action then to take is – do nothing.
Sure enough, the screenshot below was five minutes later. Had I taken more insulin my blood sugar would crash within an hour. I know, I’ve done it many, many times in my fierce desire to avoid high blood sugar.
This was a simple case, luckily. Ponder’s book gives you a world of guidance how to read your Dexcom numbers and trends from every angle so that you can be pro-active, to keep your blood sugar in range. As he calls it ‘sugar surfing,’ to ride the waves and stay as stable as possible (on your board).
Of course, as a girl who grew up in New York City, surfing is not exactly my sport, but I’m grateful to anyone who can help me stay on my board.