Thought for the Day

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wearing the D Gear

What seems like many years ago I read about Bill King running marathons with a glucose meter strapped on his wrist. I tried a few ways to do that myself, but it seemed like more hassle than it was worth. It's really not easy to insert a strip, get a drop of blood, and touch it to the strip, all pretty much using one hand. It's more convenient to carry the meter elsewhere, like a SPIbelt, and take it out when you need it.
But at Ironman Arizona in 2009, I saw Bill Carlson with a Dexcom receiver in a plastic bag duct-taped to his forearm. That looked convenient, but painful to remove. Bill had his current blood sugar trend at the touch of a button, right there like a wrist watch.
So I've given some thought, and done some experiments, in that direction.
My first thoughts went toward sleeve-like things, cheap garments from a thrift store, cut-off tube socks or sleeves with some modification to hold the Dexcom.
I had this idea that all I really needed to do was to wrap the Dexcom in plastic wrap. Then I thought, well, just wrap it all the way around my arm. It's actually difficult to wrap my arm and the Dexcom together that way, though, and it would become a sweaty mess very quickly.
I had used stretch bandage that comes in rolls, one brand is called Co-Band, to attach some things to my bike before. It's the stuff they wrap your elbow in when you give blood. It seemed like this might work for this purpose also.
So here's something that seemed to work, the Dexcom receiver wrapped in plastic wrap with lots of plastic hanging off the ends, then the ends wrapped onto my arm using stretch bandage material.

This seems to hang on well enough while biking. I haven't tried it on a run yet. I'll probably go back to the sleeve idea, since it would save a lot of time in the swim to bike transition to have something I could just pull on, instead of wrapping my arm. I can't see fitting my wetsuit over this, even if I wanted to.



Jacquie said...

That impresses me and makes me itch so much at the same time. Too bad we can't just super glue these things to our skin, right?

Anonymous said...

My Dexcom fits perfectly in the front pocket of my Nathan racing vest.


Rachelle said...

wouldn't it be great if Dexcom offered a product to help with this? I think you should contact them about it!

I do have a pump holder type of device - the pump slips into a fabric pouch and wraps around your arm or leg with a velcro strap - would be nice if the "pouch" had a clear plastic window.

Crandell Fam said...

I've been keeping mine in the pocket of my cycling jersey, but it is kind of a pain to check sometimes. It could also fit in the bento box on your bike...but again you have to take it out to look at it. I do love having it, but I've found when it's not attached to me, but close to me, I get more accurate results.

jpnairn said...

Thanks all for your comments. I have belts and pockets and things to hold my Dexcom receiver, but that's not really what I want.
I will get something figured out, but as Rachelle said, it would be great if Dexcom would help. The help I would rather have than a nice holder, is a redesign.
The Dex is a wonderful piece of electronic wizardry, but there's nothing in it that's too complex to fit into the wrist watch form.
Consider a Garmin running watch, costing a few hundred dollars. It gets signals from satellites and triangulates location, elevation, speed, incline, can auto-pause, compare to goal pace, show a map, save data from hundreds of runs, pick up signals from a heart rate monitor and include all of that data in records also.

The Dexcom has only four buttons, and the thing I usually want to see when I look at it is a number and an arrow.
There's no reason I shouldn't be able to wear a CGM receiver on my wrist.

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Mark said...

Very good idea, may try this myself.

jpnairn said...

Hi, Mark,
I have found a velcro iPhone arm band made by New Balance that is actually ideal for this.

Anonymous said...

If you're looking for something for your Dexcom, check out
They have a waterproof one, as well. I am in no way affiliated with the company, I just swear by their product! I got mine several months ago and wear it 24/7.