"If this book were a video game it would be rated 'Mature' for a sprinkling of explicit language and for deadly serious subject matter."

— statement kicking off the "Preface" of Wil Dubois' latest book, Beyond Fingersticks

Whoa.

While I might have to disagree with Wil's idea of "sprinkling" (I lost count of how many choice four letter words there were in this pint-sized, yet heavy-duty instruction manual), I completely agree that discussing CGM use is "deadly serious."  Continuous glucose monitoring has been around for several years, but has only recently made its way into the lives of many PWDs. Wil has the distinction of being on CGM longer than any other known patient; his first foray was way back in 2005, when he became the 30th patient in the United States to use a continuous glucose monitor. And he's still on it. To say he knows a thing or two about his subject matter is an understatement.

News nuggets from around the diabetes community

NEWSFLASH: FDA Clears Dexcom Share Direct
Dexcom gets regulatory approval of its 'on-the-go' mobile apps for CGM data-sharing.
State of the Union: It's Time to Cure Diabetes
President launching new precision medicine initiative to better treat, cure diseases like diabetes.
'Robotic Pancreas' Appears On American Idol
Carlos Santana's nephew Adam Lasher shows off Dexcom G4 during live performance.

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{NOTE: Wil wrote a great guest post previewing the book here this past summer. Worth reviewing!}

Beyond Fingersticks lays out the dirty laundry of CGMs. They aren't completely accurate. You still have to prick your finger (so you're not completely "beyond fingersticks"). And they certainly aren't a cure. The book lays out the groundwork, however, for why — in Wil's words — the CGM is also the Third Revolution in diabetes management, with the first two being the invention of insulin and  at-home glucose monitoring systems. Wil writes: "Most importantly, CGM is a new mindset. A new way of thinking about our bodies, our food, our movement, our disease. CGM is a whole new approach to diabetes health that has the power to change our lives completely."

Wil doesn't just pontificate on the glories of CGMs (though he does plenty of cheerleading). He also has no qualms about telling the reader what they could be doing wrong. Whether you are new to the D-scene or a veteran, Beyond Fingersticks is chock full of useful nuggets for everyone. The book covers the nitty-gritty details of how a CGM actually works, why it is scientifically different than fingerstick testing, how to use it properly — with a healthy emphasis on callibration, and how to integrate it into your daily life. An important tip to remember: it's not just the number you see that's important, but the context (i.e. post-meal, pre-exercise, etc.).

Although the CGM does have the power to be a useful tool for PWDs, it is certainly not easy. I can attest to that myself, having given up using one due to all the added inconveniences.  As Wil says, "CGM has the power to help you get your diabetes very well controlled, but it's no shortcut. There are no shortcuts in diabetes." (Bummer)

Beyond Fingersticks is the kind of guidebook that we ought to carry in our pockets for the plain old daily grind of diabetes. It is frank and honest, but not patronizing or boring like many medical guides. Wil is clear and informative while staying convivial, funny, and down-to-earth. If you don't mind the many F-bombs, I daresay you will love Wil in this book.

 

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To order your own copy for $15, head over to the Red Blood Cell Books website. Wil also shares his wisdom via his personal blog, Life After DX.

 

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.

This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.