Monday, November 3, 2014

Doing the Work: Back on Continuous Glucose Monitoring (#NaBloPoMo 3)

Back during my May stint of #NaBloPoMo, I posted that I needed to get back to using my Continuous Glucose Monitor in order to get better control of my blood sugar and diabetes. It took me longer than it should have, but I finally started again a week ago.

That's my insulin pump that I'm not using as an insulin pump (not yet, anyway) over there. It wirelessly communicates with a sensor that I have to inject into my stomach every six days. The sensor and the surgical tape take up about a two inch by two inch square on my stomach, and have to be placed somewhat precisely: not close to where I do my insulin shots, not where your body naturally bends, not where it would rub against clothing. The sensor measures the glucose in the interstitial fluid and sends a reading to the insulin pump, which then displays on the screen for me, and is stored. Every so often I can download all the data and analyze it, sharing the records with my doctor as well. I still need to check my blood sugar fairly frequently, as those results help calibrate the sensor. It's not painful, but it is kind of a pain. Having all of the data is really amazing though.

I like data. I like looking for the patterns and trying to figure out where I can make changes. That's not always easy, because diabetes is not a very predictable disease. But small choices can make a big impact, so it's worth looking into what I can do. It's hard not to get obsessed with all the data, too, since it's right there hanging off my belt. And it's hard not to get upset when the results aren't good, even when I know what's wrong and how I can fix it. The CGM does hold me more accountable, though, and that's what I'm trying to do here, and I'm working on being kind to myself when I miss the mark.

At some point, I need to consider if I want to start using the insulin pump portion as well. I don't qualify for the newer, better version of the pump until next fall (thanks, insurance), so it's tempting to put it off until then. I'm frankly scared of how I'll feel when I'm tethered to the pump by its plastic tubing ALL THE TIME. As it is, the CGM frustrates me with its need to be on my body essentially all the time, losing the signal if I shower too long or accidentally leave it in another room.  But everyone tells me it's life-changing, and that even if I hate it, I can always go back to my pen injections. It's a lot to think about.

That's the problem with this disease: it is SO much to think about. It's thinking all the damn time. And I'm busy. I don't want my life to focus so much on this disease, but I have to devote some of my life to it. The consequences of neglecting it are very real. So I'm back on the CGM. I'm trying to do the work.

Wish me luck.

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate you sharing the ins and outs of diabetes management, Cheryl. As someone who knows very little about diabetes, I am grateful for the opportunity to be better informed.