Last Friday I went to meet with my Medtronic rep to get a “blind” Continuous Glucose Monitor sensor to wear for a few days. A “blind” CGM sensor is exactly the same as a regular CGM sensor, except I cannot actually see the BG readings in real-time. They are stored onboard the sensor for my rep to download and report for insurance purposes, so that I can get my new Revel (insulin pump + CGM) this week.
I really didn’t think much of it, and in fact was kind of excited to see how it was going to feel. I had participated in a one week Dexcom trial a couple of years ago without much success, so I have been interested in trying Medtronic’s version in hopes that it will work better for me.
The sensor itself has been a breeze. Besides the slight pinch when I put it on, so far it has been painless and worry free for all three days that I’ve been wearing it on my left arm.
The hard part for me has been what I hope is a temporary moment of self-consciousness. Friday morning when I got the sensor, I was so excited about it that I wanted to show anyone. For future reference, most of the people that I showed it to cringed when they saw it, so don’t do that. I think that’s the natural response. Maybe it was because there was this foreign object now connected to me in plain sight (unlike my insulin pump, which I usually keep quite hidden). Or maybe it was the tiny amount of blood just slightly visible under the clear adhesive.
As the day wore on, this trend continued, even without me necessarily pointing it out. That night my girlfriend and I went to a comedy show with friends, and the lady sitting beside me was boring holes in my arm from staring at my CGM sensor so hard. By the time we got back home, I was practically in tears, which is totally not like me to be affected so much by other people’s reactions. We ended up canceling a day at the beach that we had planned for this weekend, mainly because I’m just not as comfortable with this new, additional doohickey on my body as I’m sure I will be in time.
With all the finger prickin’ and technology that comes with diabetes, it takes a conscious effort sometimes to not let the world and other people get to you. Some days are easier than others. No matter what though, my health and my future is more important to me than what anyone else may think or how they may react to what I need to do to stick around. If anybody doesn’t like it, they can put it in their meter and check it!
Great blog! Keep writing the public wants more 🙂 I think that you should have nothing to be self concious about. I think people cringe because they think about how painful it looks. Most of us are lucky enough not to have to poke ourselves or have anything attached to us. So if people cringe think of them cringing in empathy.
Hey, I hide my CGMS. I put it on my thighs. It helps with that. But I sometimes use my arms for infusion sites. And let me tell you, I get more comments on the stupid thing. Even my 2 yr old godson says, “owie?” cause he thinks it’s a bandaid. Sigh. I’ve learned to pretty much let it go. But sometimes it still bothers me. The visibility is the main reason I don’t go on the Omnipod. It’s too big and bulky and I don’t want to deal w/ people. At least with the CGMS and infusion site on my MiniMed, I can pretty much hide it 80% of the time.