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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Continuous Glucose Monitoring: One Month In

So for those of you keeping track at home, it's been just over a month since I started using my CGM. And no, I haven't been sailing yet.



I just wish that box has contained the keys to my yacht and not an insulin pump, but alas.

You might remember that I was fairly nervous about all this, but it has gone remarkably well. I spent an hour and a half getting trained on how to use everything, and how to change my sensor location every three days. It was a lot to take in, and I was very grateful for my more visual and technical husband when it came time to insert the sensor on my own for the first time. I've got the details of that (thankfully, pain-free) process down now, but it doesn't always go smoothly. Since I'm not using the insulin pump, I'm not physically tethered to anything, but if I'm apart from the pump for about 30 minutes, an alarm will go off. So the pump is always on my person, usually in my pants pocket. (Side note: am now on a quest for more pants with pockets.)

There's also a lot of STUFF required with all this. I am constantly restocking my needles and testing supplies, since I'm still required to test at least three times a day, plus five insulin shots a day. I'm fortunate to have access to three month prescriptions, but that means boxes and boxes of needles, lancets, test strips, sensors, surgical tape, alcohol wipes, and of course, insulin. I haven't figured out where to store it all yet.

BUT. The information. It is so, so much information. At times, it's completely overwhelming to know what my glucose level is 24/7. It's infuriating to see high numbers when I think I've been eating well or exercising. And yet, it's totally amazing that this little thing is figuring me out all the time too. I finally can see the times my blood sugar is rising all on it's own, and figure out how to cut off those highs. My AMAZING doctor is totally convinced we will solve the puzzle of my body and how best to treat it. We've been tweaking my insulin a lot over the last few weeks, adding shots at different times and reducing other ones. It's ever-changing and variable, but I know CGM will be an excellent tool in decoding just what's going on. It's also a great safety net, sounding alarms when I get too low, which is a frequent issue for me at night.

Finally, thinking so much about diabetes has made me look for other resources to compare experiences, and of course I found those on Twitter. I've found some great people to follow and it's been really helpful for feeling a bit less frustrated with this journey. When I see other people posting crazy results or combating lows, I know I'm not the only one dealing with it.

So that's why I'm posting all this - in the hopes that some newbie out there will find it some day and get a more detailed account from a real person of what CGM is all about, at least so far for me. If you have a question on any of it, feel free to ask me in the comments.

And yea, no sailing, but maybe this guy is more my speed anyway.

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