Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Book Review: Beyond Fingersticks

Last year, when I was researching CGM options, I read through Wil's posts on the Life After Dx blog and several others to get an idea of what using one would be like in the 'real world' and which model to choose. Getting the Dexcom and wearing it has easily been one of the most important changes in my diabetes life, and I'm grateful for the technology even when it has a whoops! moment every now and then.


So I eagerly dove into Beyond Fingersticks, Wil's recent book about CGMS. I really liked the structure of the content--I remember reading Wil's original post and 'Art of War' analogy, and it makes perfect sense to base the book on it. One thing that really rings true for CGMS for me is "watching the flow" instead of the actual numbers. It has been priceless to know whether I'm dropping or rising, even when the values are several points off from fingersticks. I also liked Chapter 9's advice on calibration. This was totally new information to me and is already helping me get more out of the readings. Before I was feeding every value to Dex even when results were 60-70 points off.


I really appreciated the data overload discussion in Ch. 10. Seeing my blood sugar move in real time was wonderful, but trying to decipher the patterns drove me nuts for a while. It's really helpful for someone new to CGMS to realize that some of the difficulty lies in the software, and some in the way we veteran PWDs were taught to look at our numbers. Wil also covers some real-world issues in section three (chs. 11-13) that CGM makers usually leave out when they tell you about their systems. (For example, it's comforting to learn that I'm not the only one who ever ripped out a sensor in the bathroom!)


Between Wil's book, his blog posts and others (like Kerri's extremely helpful vlog on applying a new sensor!) I was ready to go on CGM without the Dexcom rep's help. Beyond Fingersticks brings the blog into your hands and is a great resource for someone thinking about getting a CGMS. For people who have been using it a while, it's still a helpful guide. Clearly written in Wil's unique sardonic style, it's an engaging read that I burned through in one sitting. It's long enough to engage in discussion, yet short and compact enough to work well as a reference book. Type 1 PWDs have more reason to gain from the content, but anyone with diabetes regardless of type will appreciate Wil's real-world explanations and wealth of information.


Order yourself a copy here!

1 comment:

Reyna said...

OH, I will have to check this out. I didn't even know a book existed..and I don't know of Wil...so I guess I'll go check him out too.

Thanks. Joe has been using "Dexter" (Dexcom 7+) for about 1/2 a year now. We love it for exactly what you stated...the "trend" not necessarily the numbers. Great post.