The Downside of the IPhone and G5

This evening I was out at a restaurant and my iPhone5 deauthorized itself. My password was safely back at the hotel on my iPad and although I thought I remembered the password, it didn’t work. Even with the iPad, I ended up having to set a new Apple password.

Finally got things working, but the Dexcom G5 app had a lost signal and had been in that state for 2 hours. Got it reconnected and I immediately received an alarm that I was high. Certainly would have liked to know that an hour or two ago…

Actually I wasn’t quite sure why I was so high. Oh yes, forgot my Lantus injection at 8:00 which normally my iPhone alerts me to take.

So definitely a Tech Fail tonight. I do need a new phone but trying to make it until May when both my husband’s and my contracts are up. My gmail account was hacked this winter and I set new and complicated passwords for all of my devices. Need to simplify them, but even when I had the correct Apple password this evening, t didn’t work.

Maybe when I go out of town, I should have the receiver with me in case the phone with the G5 app fails.

Amy over at DiabetesMine encountered a similar debacle but a bit worse. The FDA doesn’t check for the hazard to users when their iPhone reauthorizes or loses power. And when you can cobbled together a bunch of stuff like a pump, CGM and smartphone into some “system” to you depend on it is important to not have single points of failure. I think you are probably right it is important to have key backups even if all this work nearly all the time. Murphy’s law is relentless.

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No risk, no gain. What I would see as the biggest problem in the whole story is that we have all forgotten how we used to manage things less than 10 years ago, when there was no CGM, i.e. we measured the blood sugar 4-6 times a day, and no smartphones to remind us about things. And we did well anyways. Think about that. :slight_smile:

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2 hours seems like a long time to reconnect. When this happens to me, I sometimes close–then re-open the app or toggle the Bluetooth on the apple device off/on. This sometimes helps to re-establish connection.

My Dexcom G4 was on the fritz yesterday (kept going to ??? all day), and although I tested at least eight times, it’s definitely not the same. I had long stretches where I was teaching and couldn’t easily test (when I normally would have been able to glance at my Dexcom), and I was much more nervous giving aggressive corrections when I knew I wouldn’t get any warning of going low (I don’t get low symptoms until I’m already quite low, no pre-warning that I’m dropping). I ended up spending most of the day and last night high, so may need to make some basal adjustments (agian), but I probably would have done so already if I’d had my CGM.

As for passwords, I updated all my passwords a couple of years ago to much more complicated ones. But mine all follow a pattern. So if you know the pattern, you’ll know the password for almost all my accounts. But if you don’t know the pattern (which I haven’t told anyone), every individual password is quite long and complicated. The pattern makes them all easy to remember, though.

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Hi Jen,
Did you speak to Dexcom technical about the frequent ???.
From past experiences, some reasons are a sensor going bad, a transmitter
or receiver acting up. There could be items in play that could be
addressed. The Dexcom staff is there to help. As always have a
great day.

Good reminder to us phone users to bring the receiver (and charger) when we travel!

That’s one of the things that REALLY worries me about Bigfoot Medical’s AP solution (much as I hope it’s successful and somehow I can get one - and in the process get my Snap back, sorta…). Aside from sometimes not wanting to carry a phone at all, I worry about the problems with phones in general.
( I understand that such a system is intended to be set-and-forget and intervention “free,” but I’m also realistic about technology, having spent my career messing with it! )

The reason the Dex was off for so long was that when the phone deauthorized, I had no access to anything on the phone. And apps and my alarm clock did not function. It was a much more major fail than just losing phone or internet service.

Still not quite sure why it happened, but everything seems to be working fine now. Thanks for your reply.

@Jen, I definitely plan to review my passwords and like the idea of having a system to remember them. It turns out that once I was back at the hotel with the correct password, the phone still wouldn’t take it. But I set a new password and am OK for the moment.

Hope you get your G4 ??? figured out. I’ve never had too much problem with that except did learn that the transmitter doesn’t do well when exposed to static. I used to wear the sensor on my thigh and it turns out that my athletic pants which are synthetic were causing static which resulted in ??? And Out of Range errors. I didn’t initially believe the Dexcom Rep who suggested that, but once I didn’t put the transmitter on my leg anymore, it never happened again.

@BK1112 I have used an insulin pump for over 12 years. I have recently added one injection of Lantus a day to my regimen to cover about 50% of my basal needs. It is called the “untethered regimen” and has a lot of benefits for me. I am still working to have it second-nature to remember the injection, but am not quite there yet.

I have had Type 1 for almost 40 years and definitely know the basics. I was diagnosed before there was even home BG monitoring. But I do like technology which definitely makes my D-life easier. Except when it fails…

Laddie, thanks for passing along your experience that illustrates a weakness of the G5 system with using the iPhone as the only receiver. I’ve never been attracted to the idea of “one less device.” I don’t see the current G4/G5 receiver as a burden or penalty. When my G4 transmitter runs out of juice, I am ready to switch to the G5 but I will carry a receiver with me. Your story shows how the usual convenience also can penalize you if one component fails. It’ll be nice when things get more robust and become more reliable living in a real world environment. Glad you adapted OK.

@Dan23, @Laddie: Thanks for both of your suggestions. Dexcom technical support is great, and I wasn’t aware of the static problem. I push my sensors to their limit so that I have as low a cost as possible (my insurance nor government covers CGM). So my sensor is on week three or four. I think it’s back today - hopefully - after two restarts and a bunch of calibrations to get it accurate. If it fails again within the next few days, I’ll give up and put in a new one.

I’m in that camp as well. I carry both, and I also have the Share app on my phone because the display is easier to read when I’m biking. But the main thing is that when one device drops the Bluetooth connection the other usually has it and I’ve rarely had 'em both drop at the same time. Never, I’m pretty sure. The phone is way more prone to dropping the connection than the receiver is, also.

One less device has ended up being more important to me than I thought it would be.

Pockets are often difficult to find in women’s clothes especially for anything fashionable. I’m not very hip and survive well with a couple of styles of slacks/capris from LLBean. But the weight of what is in my pockets gets significant: pump, Fitbit, glucose tabs, phone, CGM receiver, and occasionally car keys. So doing without the Dex receiver is nice and frees up one pocket.

Initially I used the Dex receiver along with my G5 to eliminate the gaps and sometimes switch alarm scenarios. But then the alerts from two devices drove me crazy. And using my iPhone for an increasing number of activities including Fitbit and Dexcom has increased my “coolness” factor exponentially:-)

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I may come to appreciate that once I start on the G5. I wouldn’t like answering duplicate alarms, either. But I don’t like the idea of significant data-dropout. I’ll have to try it and see how it goes. Thanks for adding your experience.

I find I don’t lose much data with the phone and one less device is nice. Plus sometimes the receiver would cause the phone to lose signal. At least that was the Dexcom tech support explanation.

@Laddie. I have found that if my calibration is quite different from the dexcom value–it will cause the ???.

Hey Laddie - I am definitely in the “one less device” boat and have had pretty much zero issues with the G5 iPhone set up.

I’m confused though . . . what do you mean your iPhone “deauthorized itself” ???

The phone vibrated and then gave a message that the phone was deauthorized. Essentially it was like a brand new phone. Without putting in a password, I couldn’t access anything on the phone. It wouldn’t accept my Apple password and when I returned to the hotel, I had to use my iPad to ask for an email to set up a new Apple password. Very weird, but also a reminder that I count on my phone for so much information and maybe that isn’t always a good thing.