TD is sitting on the edge of the bed, holding a clove of garlic as if warding off evil spirits or fleas, and we are discussing this blog. I initially was going to tell you all about the MiaoMiao, but she thinks it is too soon. So she was suggesting other topics : the garden, Andrew and my 30th wedding anniversary, tortoises, our mother/daughter relationship, the weird dreams we had last night, arum lilies and water systems of plants. Meanwhile Andrew is bringing freshly baked cheese biscuits for us to sample - they are delicious - and I realize that there is beauty in the mundane.
So - the MiaoMiao. This strangely named device is new to our household, so maybe TD is right - it is a bit soon to write about it, but I will give you some background. TD uses the Libre Monitoring System for measuring glucose, and it has changed her life. It replaces the 12+ finger prick tests she had to do for all those years (can you imagine inflicting that sort of pain on your child day after day, year after year with no possible holiday to let her fingers recover?) The Libre is a sensor that is placed on her upper arm and has a filament that sits 5 mm beneath the skin to measure interstitial fluid. It needs no calibration (finger pricking) - unless something major is going on, and it reads the glucose every 5 minutes and can be read via a hand held scanner. The sensor gets replaced every two weeks. Sounds good, doesn't it!
|Libre sensor and reader|| |
But the thing the Libre does not do, is alert TD (or us) if she is in danger. And not to hammer home the point, but all type 1s live with the daily danger of losing consciousness and going into a coma. Hyper vigilance is key to good management and safety, but I am sure you can imagine how exhausting that can be over a sustained period.
Introducing the MiaoMiao. This device sits on top of the Libre sensor and has a Bluetooth connection to any smart phone. Several apps have been developed which interpret the data that is conveyed from the Libre through the MiaoMiao and onto the phone. And it sends out alarms when the glucose is too high or too low.
|The MiaoMiao sits on top of the Libre Sensor|
We are still figuring out all the processes and best usage. One of its strong points is that it can be used as much or as little as liked; TD is using a sweatband to hold it in place, so that she can take it off and put it on with no fuss. Andrew and I have been routinely checking TD's glucose at around 2am, and an alarm system will allow us to sleep longer and respond to emergencies.
Not yet, of course. We still need to learn how trustworthy the device is, because complacency is not an option. There have been a few hiccoughs - The Libre readings (which we trust) and the MiaoMiao readings have not always correlated - sometimes being wildly different.
TD is happy to try this new tech. She was delighted with how small the device is, and the ease of use. She does not want us, as parents, to have constant access to her glucose numbers, so the app is on her phone only. We respect that.
It is early days. We are holding thumbs this will be a great success and that technology will do some of the hyper vigilance for us.
And the idea of writing about tortoises is growing on me, so to whet your appetite for the next blog, here is a picture of Tolstoy for you:
|Tolstoy the tiny tortoise|