As I mentioned a few weeks back, diabetes technology is moving away from batteries and toward rechargeable devices. And I can really see the appeal.
I’ve already explored the impact of all these charging devices on our family a little bit in my other post. Today’s exercise is really about finding the right location to put in a charging station to manage them all. It was more challenging than I ever would have thought!
I wanted my charging station to be centrally located for many reasons, but honestly the biggest is that I want to be able to HEAR from my devices while they are charging. Obviously, I want to hear my phone, but the other device that we use all the time and find absolutely essential is James’ continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) receiver. Our house is small enough that if the receiver is in JUST the right spot, James can wander the house freely and always be in range of the device. So central location was the first and biggest consideration.
Next, I needed to keep these devices in a logical spot that is out of harm’s way. So the charging station must be out of the reach of little hands. James’ 1-year-old sister is into EVERYTHING and LOVES cords. Whatever solution we came up with had to be high enough for her not to reach.
Almost immediately I started planning on putting my charging station behind my laptop in the living room. It seemed perfect, and I had a “vision” of exactly what I wanted. Unfortunately, there were some problems. The sticking point was really the CGM. Craig and I love to be able to consult James’ CGM while James is in his room and sleeping. There are exactly three spots in the house where the CGM receiver can read his blood sugar while he is in his room asleep: a tiny corner of the kitchen near the stove, the boys’ bathroom, and the front hall closet—and there are problems with all three of those locations. The kitchen spot was out, since I’d have to run a cord over the stove, and that just defies logic. The bathroom was less than ideal as well, since it’s frequented by three little boys who make wet messes of all descriptions! So I thought the best spot was the hall closet …
The hall has a lot going for it. It has some great built-in shelving and a sliding door that can hide any kind of mess. I started planning out some ways to accommodate the various devices, organize the cords, etc. However, there’s one significant problem with this location: There is no power supply to the closet! Charging stations don’t work without outlets! For a while I considered hiring an electrician to put an outlet in the closet. I still think this might be a good eventual solution. But we’d have to coordinate with our landlord (we’re renters), and it was more expensive than I had considered.
So…it seemed at first that there was really NO good solution. Then I realized that I could “divide and conquer” and get the best functionality by separating the CGM from the rest of our devices. This could work!
The kitchen and the hall were still definitely out, as in totally impossible. The bathroom still seemed less than ideal, but I think I figured out a way to make it work. The outlet was actually in a great spot. My biggest gripe was dealing with possible wetness. Rechargeable devices and water are not friends! I think we made a pretty decent “hack,” however, by simply placing our CGM setup (receiver, charging cord and baby monitor to amplify sound) on an inexpensive tray. Voila! Water on the counter can no longer get to the device! Is it weird to have these devices in a bathroom? Maybe. But take a look and see for yourself if it is something you could live with. In the meantime, the CGM is working great. Stay tuned for pictures of the rest of our charging station solution!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.