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CGM Sensibilities.

An Exercise in Jotted Thoughts, by Kerri Morrone:

Ahem.

I am on day five of the sensor (placed it last Friday into my arm) and it seems that the longer I MiniLink transmitter - photo from Google.wear this, the more accurate the results become.  Last night, I tested with my OneTouch and saw 132 mg/dl.  My CGM said 130 mg/dl.  I'll take that.  I just want accurate results.

The thing is, this sensor stung a bit going in.  The site itself is slightly reddish and a little sore to the touch.  I know I should change the site today, but I'm reluctant to because I don't want to wait the 24 hours for decent results again.  I spoke with another Minimed Rep last night and she told me that the first 24 hours tend to be a little dodgy for everyone.  It's a difficult decision, making the leap from "trialing" to "purchasing."  Every time it buzzes when I'm high or low, it's hard to think about taking it off.  But every time it buzzes because it's bored or lonely (or whatever the hell it's buzzing about), it's hard to think about not feeding it to the cats. 

I'm still on the fence as to its place in my diabetes life.  But for now, I'm trying to learn from this experience.

I was working out last night at the gym and during my run, watched my numbers hold steady for about 15 minutes, then make a sharp turn towards hypoglycemia.  Testing to confirm and then taking a quick swig of juice, I finished my cardio workout at 108 mg/dl.  Watching workout trends helps me better determine when I should hit the ol' juice bottle and when I need to watch out for falling sugars. 

Also during my workout, while wearing a sports bra and a tank top on the treadmill, I noticed a woman staring at the exposed sensor on my arm.  It made me feel self-conscious for a minute, then oddly empowered.  Go ahead and stare, lady.  See if you can find it next week, when I put the transmitter somewhere else. 

One thing I'm definitely picking up on, like I did with the Dexcom, is that my numbers cruise around when I'm not counting carbs with precision.  I know this sounds like diabetic common sense, but when I bit into that sharon fruit this morning, I didn't bolus for the actual carbs, but I dosed instead for the estimated carbohydrate content.  Apparently, this sharon fruit had more than 18g of carbohydrate in it - more like 22g - and my numbers after consuming were in the 190 mg/dl range.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  If I want a tight A1c, I need to buckle down and pay attention to all the details, both delicious and detrimental.

It's been a week of serious diabetes stuff, with tangled emotions and blood sugars alike. 

Good thing I had a little Siah Sausage to wake up to this morning, her small nose pressed against my cheek and her paws on my face, the sound of her purring like a jet engine in my bedroom.  It felt strange to wake up laughing.  Damn cat.

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Comments

When I tried the CGMS for 72 hrs from my doctor's office, the first day was dodgy at best. The second day better, and the last day I had it was great. I think it just takes it a while to get caught up and accurate. The good results are wonderful.
I really wished I had the CGMS this morning when I woke up at 59. And I have spend the rest of the day hovering around 70. I don't like it. I'm scared it will drop really fast.
:( But I suppose it is better than the high bg that just won't come down...

Hi Kerri,

I, too, notice more accurate CGM readings 3-5 days into the sensor life. So why the heck is it only approved by the FDA for 3 days of wear?

I've also gotten bruises from my sensors lately. I like to wear them on my abdomen below my waist, as pants/shorts/underwear assist in holding them snugly in place. But lately, I've gotten "gushers" on insertion (read: lots of blood). And the extra blood seems to affect the sensor sensitivity in a negative way...how ironic...go figure.

Anyhow, I can totally identify with your posts. Sometimes I need to take a sensor hiatus for the day. But one day away is enough to make me want to have the sensor back on. The help in heading off low/high BGs is wonderful. If only I could figure out the dang alarms that insist on persisting...

Question on your leg sites. Do you use the outer or inner thigh? I'm considering trying my inner thigh, but I don't know if it's okay or not.

Chelle

"Watching workout trends helps me better determine when I should hit the ol' juice bottle and when I need to watch out for falling sugars."

That's EXACTLY why I want it... CGM for a marathon race would be the complete and total rocking bomb. :)

Thanks for sharing. I love reading about this stuff. It is helping me decide if I want to this CGM thing and if I should get a kitty! :)

Chelle--I've heard the inner thigh is fine. Some people have a hard time with the pump on their legs, if they have stretch marks, but I've read posts from a couple of people who use the sensor on their thigh and it's been fine. And Kerri--I've also heard that having it on the arm is the most painful place, I guess since the skin's thinner and you have less fat, and it rubs up against clothes. (Which would probably make the leg a problem too, unless you want to be running around in your undies.)

I'm just counting down the days till insurance covers the CGM for people with good A1Cs, and getting awfully tired of counting. My endo told me a year ago that for sure they'd be covering it by now. Meanwhile, I'll live vicariously (and be jealous.) And I guess grateful for not being woken up in the middle of the night, which tends to make me very, very grumpy.

Oh--and I read your description of the Sharon fruit, Kerri, and all I can say is, gross...

Cara - I want to keep them all contained, both highs and lows alike. :(

Chelle - I use my outer thigh, in the same region I gave my injections. I haven't had any absorption issues and the site remains intact for at least four days on average, unless I'm wearing jeans. Then it turns blue-ish and starts to peel away a little. I wear less abrasive fabrics on the whole, so it's not mucked up with for the most part.

Marcus - It's been great for workouts, that's for damn sure.

George - Get a CGM and a kitty! :D

Elizabeth - I've worn both pump sites and CGM sensors on my arm now, and it hasn't been too uncomfortable. But I haven't done either too many times, so only time will tell how truly comfortable this option is.

And I just started the process for insurance coverage for the CGM today. I agree - getting it covered when you have an A1c under 7% and very proactive control is tricky. But I am the proverbial squeaky wheel. I will either get this covered or rally every damn troop I can find in efforts to make our collective voices heard.

And ... LOL at the sharon fruit comment. I still think they're delicious. :)

Good to read your update.

As mentioned I use the same equip. After a month of use I'm still having some "flat periods," where my numbers are a bit slow to catch up or fall when rising/falling fast. Overall my Guardian maintains accurate readings - but in those instances I have to be a bit patient and not overcorrect. (And of course manually test.) Eventually they balance out.

A few weeks back I read a post about someone who had a bad sensor insertion and "re-threaded it." "Hope I never need to do that," I thought.

This morning I inserted a new sensor, but forget to take off the small second piece of tape right under the "bee's tube." I call it that because the whole sensor/needle apparatus looks like a big bug.

So I cleaned it off with some alcohol wipes, delicately "threaded it," - inserted it again - and six hours later no errors.

Obviously this isn't proper protocol - but if you can't afford to be liberal with sensors it can be done.

My endo's office is rallying for me to get on one for a bit. I've been having some hypoglycemic unawareness/impared liver response issues that have resulted in two ambulance trips in the past two months-- compared to one in the entire preceding 14 years.

I'm still really nervous about the sensors so posts like this help a bit. It might be nice to get on one for a month or two just to see what my sugars do until my awareness comes back.

Hi, Kerri. When I was using the sensor I found it really started hurting after day five...and super hurt after day six...and the accuracy nose dived after six as well. The frustration of not being able to keep the darn thing in longer than 6 days, as well as the incessant beeping and the fact that I couldn't insert the sensor myself was enough to help me decide it was *not* worth it. (Plus, I'm lazy, truth be told).

I wanted to thank you, as I just began using an insulin pump yesterday. I finally foun the courage to do so after 32 years because of your blogs. Last night , I felt extremely emotional an couldn't stop crying. I wondered why I was so wiped out. This morning, I read your post of January 11 and it really helped me to understand y my mini breakdown took place. Putting our livs and trust in these little machines takes a great deal of mental iron and I am at a bit of a disadvantage, as I m blind and will not be able to operate my pump at certin times with out the help of my husband. I m grateful for such an incredible man who loves and comforts me through it all. This mornig, when I woke up with a BG within 10 of my target range, walked three miles, then came home to a BG of 131, I knew I'm making the right decision and that the learning curve will pos some swings in my emotions. Thanks for baring your soul, so that the rets of us can feel less lonely, les scared, and less crazy. You also emailed the information to me a few months ago about beaded alert bracelets, which I now proudly wear everyday. Your words have so much power and courage and impact. Please always know how appreciated you r in the diabetic community. Especially by this diabetic and new pumper.

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