CGM Data: Around the World and Back Again – to my Pebble Watch

After attending the DiabetesMine Innovation Summit last November and being inspired by the Nightscout crew (and pretty much everyone else there as well!), I finally decided to take the time to set up a Nightscout website. I’ve had it up and running since Dec 2014. Being an adult with Type 1, I monitor my own blood glucose levels. I don’t have anyone that would be interested in following my data on a daily (much less hourly) basis, so I wasn’t sure if the functionality of Nightscout would be worth it for me. After 8 months, I can say with certainty that it has been…and then some!!!

I don’t actually use my NightPebbleWatchscout website or phone app very much but I LOVE wearing my real-time data on my Pebble watch. I’m probably 1000 times more likely to glance at my watch to check on my blood sugar than I am to dig in my purse (through all the snacks and toddler/kid gear) and haul out my Dex receiver or my phone. The setup to get my data to my watch was somewhat complicated but with the addition of the Dexcom G4 receiver in May, my data is almost 100% constant without much involvement from me other than occasionally restarting a few apps on my iPhone.

Last week, however, it suddenly quit working and I got emails written in what may as well have been a foreign language, saying things like “your Heroku app on free dynos needs to recharge.” I’m pretty techno-savvy and am generally an early adopter of new technology but I’m not a programmer and certainly don’t fully understand all of the ins and outs for each step I followed in the pipeline to ultimately setup Nightscout. Going back through them to figure out which accounts I used in my setup needed changes and what else it might affect wasn’t quite like starting at the beginning for me…but it was close.

There are so many different ways to setup Nightscout, including what hardware you’re using, what service providers you chose, what account parameters you chose with some of those service providers, etc., that it’s not an easy task for me to filter through the Nightscout setup guides and Facebook group looking for clues related to updating each piece of the specific pipeline that I selected to use. So, after I finished getting my data stream to my Pebble working again (took me about 3 hours), I decided to make a little diagram to help me understand how all the pieces I’m using fit together. Disclaimer: I’m pretty sure I have my pipeline figured out correctly but wouldn’t bet my house on it : )


My hope is that next time I need to make a change, I’ll be able to get it corrected more quickly…and with a little less terror! My current pipeline configuration prior to last week was free and now, with the required changes, looks like it will cost me $14/month, but it works for me and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

MeandKidsI can no longer imagine not having my data on my Pebble. I feel so much safer. EVERY time I’m with my kids at the park, or the market, or driving in the car, and I glance at my Pebble, I’m thankful. Quite simply: I want to be the best mom I can be; I want to stick around to watch my kids grow up…and Nightscout helps me do that.

3 thoughts on “CGM Data: Around the World and Back Again – to my Pebble Watch

  1. I went through a similar journey with my Nightscout setup. I deployed to Heroku and was enjoying it until they changed the pricing. I was unwilling to spend the $14/mo so I lost my Nightscout site. I’ve been trying to figure out if I can install it on a server I host myself, but unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be clear guides on installing it on your own run of the mill Linux web server with a DB.

    I did however get an Apple watch and can view my blood sugar on it, although it’s not as quick of a glance as the always on Pebble was.

    • Hi Dave,
      I believe I recall seeing on the Facebook group that the developers were working on building the bridge into the Nightscout app, so they would’t be separate. I think, theoretically that would mean users, like you and I, would be able to switch to a free Azure account (ditching Heroku) and go back to not having any charges :) Ironically, I had Azure to begin with and switched to Heroku because at the time, it was the Heroku setup that was free…haha. I’ll post here if that happens and I switch back to Azure. Let me know if you find any free solutions you’re happy with. Thx!

      • That would be sweet if the two were built together. A free Azure would be awesome if due to simplicity it’s all the community wants to support, but I would still love to install it on my own private linux box. I might be the only one interested in such a setup though.

What do you think?