Dexcom cover to prevent compression lows above
I don’t know why, but I’m convinced Dexcom doesn’t want you to know about compression lows. I have no idea why you never hear about them. Did you even know there was such a thing? Likely not, proving my point.
Compression lows happen when pressure is applied to the CGM sensor on your body. Most often this happens during sleep when you roll over on it, especially if you wear it on your arm, as so many of us do.
Here’s a fuller explanation of what a compression low is and why it happens. This is written by a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes. These explanations are much easier to find from those of us living with diabetes, than the manufacturers of our CGMs.
Compression lows also happen during the day. If I’m wearing my CGM on my arm, I’ll notice all of a sudden I drop like 20 points for no reason. It takes me a minute or two to realize it’s not a true drop, but the CGM on my arm is pressing against the side of my armchair, or the side of the bus I may be seated on. Move myself away from the source of pressure, and voila, my blood sugar reading rises, once again reflecting reality.
Here’s my compression low the other night while I was sleeping. Can you spot it? Pretty easy.
This is why I keep my iPhone (where I see my Dexcom readings) in my living room and not my bedroom, so these fake lows don’t wake me up in the middle of the night.
Trust me, I’m not telling you to do this. I know my body well enough after living with type 1 for five decades, and I make sure that before I go to sleep I’m at a safe number, even if I have to stay up to 2 am to make sure, which I do.
The only thing I do want you to do is to know about compression lows. Because if you don’t, it’s possible you’ll treat them, and then curse your blood sugar (and yourself) when it goes unnecessarily high. And, you know, that’s just another kick in the head living with diabetes when we already have enough.