Doh!

My CGMS Struggle

My girlfriend and I went over to my hometown, about 90 miles away, and spent Christmas day playing with babies, laughing with family, and preparing and eating all kinds of delicious food, including pork chops, chicken & dumplings, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, salad, and more desserts than a PWD can shake a vial of insulin at.

I’m a big dummy though. I ran off for Christmas festivities and forgot to put a new Continuous Glucose Monitor Sensor (CGMS) in before I left. So there I was, eating whatever I pleased, trying a little bit of this and that, SWAG bolusing like crazy, and running all over creation making my rounds. It was kind of like being Santa Claus…in a Scion. We finally made it back home that evening, and as soon as I got out of the car and inside the house I felt a headache coming on at full speed, including a feeling of just all around weird.

Fortunately, I still maintained enough lucidity to dash back out to my car and grab my kit.

5…
4…
3…
2…
1…

BG was 63.

Now, I knew from the sudden headache and overall weirdness that my blood sugar was dropping, but at that moment I felt I should have cashed a $20 bill into quarters and backed up to the ass kicking machine. Why did I run off traveling without my CGMS? After fighting and longing for this amazing near real-time blood glucose monitoring technology for so long, I still struggle with wearing yet another device on me, attached to my skin. This isn’t the first time I’ve been cavalier about wearing it, just the first time I’m willing to admit it.

I can’t explain it. I feel stupid for not wearing it all the time, but sometimes it is just too much. Or is that just what I tell myself? I know that as PWD’s we rely on data above all else to help us manage and keep the tiger on the other end of the diabetes leash tamed. So why am I so reluctant, stubborn, or just down right stupid to not wear my CGMS 24/7/365?

I love how I can see the trends of my BG’s when I’m wearing my CGMS. I feel like I am in much better control when I wear it as well, seeing which direction my BG’s are going, and being able to correct quickly. It also encourages me to test more frequently, keeping a close eye on where my BG’s are at any given moment. I like that I can catch a low before it becomes headache inducing, or worse. I also am making adjustments so that I can catch the high BG’s as well, when they happen. So it isn’t that I don’t like using the CGM. I actually find it quite fascinating.

I truly think my biggest hurdle with CGM, after having it the past three months, is that it is still another infusion site. It’s still something else that is poking through my skin. It’s still something else that I lose sleep over, not because of the beeping (that’s saved me more than once already with severe night time lows), but because I’m still not used to it being there. I’m so aware of it and don’t want to roll over on it and feel that agitating pinch, especially when I wear it on my arms.

I wish I could just put the CGMS on my forehead. I don’t really sleep on that. Of course, that might prove problematic on days like Christmas when I want to smack myself in the head for being selfish and just flying by the seat of my pants, instead of giving diabetes its proper respect. After all, each of us has had experiences with diabetes putting us in our place and reminding us that it will not be ignored.

Doh!

For those of you with CGM, do you wear your CGMS all the time?
What is your strategy for when to where your sensor and when not to?
Have you experienced any challenges in adding CGM to your diabetes arsenal?

Inquiring CGM-ers want to know.

5 comments

  1. Other than the constant bombardment of information, and negative reinforcement with all those alarms, and oh yeah, the way the adhesive burns through Caleb’s skin like acid, I love DexCom! Lol

    Seriously though, all those things plus an added site and an added thing to carry are discouraging. Nevertheless, the information I have received and been able to use to better Caleb’s D management have been wonderful. CGM is a completely fabulous tool to help, though I am anxious to see improvements in the device to make using it easier and less intrusive.

  2. How long have you had the cgms? My first thought is that you may need to give yourself more time. When I first got my dexcom (about 2 years ago I believe) I only used it now + then. And although that does give you good insight to what your bg does when you’re not testing, for me the real value came when I started using it all the time. It’s been close to 18 months now that I’ve been using it continuously (no pun intended!) and since then is when I’ve noticed a difference in my overall bg management + a1c. I don’t even go over downloaded results except when printing them for appointments. I get the real value of being able to monitor and act on as you call it real time bg results. But don’t push yourself. You’ll know when you’re ready 🙂

  3. I think it’s fair to say that everyone’s CGM strategy and viewpoint is a little different.

    To answer your questions, I wear mine all the time. *Maybe* I’ll take 12 to 24 hours off in between sensors, but for the most part, it’s an all-the-time thing with me. Having all of that information available to me has made trying to live without it an uncomfortable situation.

    My favorite place to wear the Dexcom sensor is on my hip/side-butt. I don’t notice it as much there, it doesn’t get in the way as often, and the adhesive stays stuck longer as well. Just a thought, if you haven’t tried there yet!

    I can’t say I’m ever a fan of wearing another “thing”, but in some ways, that “thing” lets me feel more normal (so to speak) and free.

  4. I wear mine about 99.9% of the time. I just feel so vulnerable and exposed without it.

    I do think it is fair, and totally normal, for us to NOT want another thing attached to us from time to time. I mean, it’s a freaking WIRE poking into our bodies! That’s not normal!

  5. When I was using the Minimed CGM I would not wear it for a few days and then wear it again for a while. Back and forth it went for months.

    But now with Dexcom I put a sensor on immediately after taking one off. I cannot stand to not have it on now.

    And never on my forehead! LOL

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