On The Cusp.
I have a confession to make: I have been having a hard time making peace with the CGM.
There's been a lot going on in my little corner of the internet. I've been very busy with dLife items, personal freelance work, and some exciting side-projects. But aside from the worky bits, there are the general "life bits" that everyone contends with, from housework to financial obligations to being an equal and active member of my new little family (even if the family is only a fiance and a handful of grumpy cats at the moment). Now add some diabetes management to the mix, with a dash of wedding planning.
These days, my life requires a lot of work, and there are moments when To Do lists become encyclopedic in volume.
At the risk of sounding a little overwhelmed (is it possible to be just plain "whelmed?"), I need to step back from some of these spinning plates and see if I can regain better balance. Unfortunately, the CGM is not playing according to my master plan.
On Tuesday morning, I put in a new sensor early in the morning, before I had to catch the 6:44 am train to the city. Since I didn't want to wake Chris up and ask for his groggy assistance, I opted to place the sensor on my left thigh. Standing in the bathroom, I leaned against the counter and pinged the sensor needle into my leg. I pulled back the needle and gave the site a little press to secure the sticky tape underneath. Looked up at the counter quickly to gather up the medical waste, then looked at my leg.
Which appeared to have been shot. With a rifle.
There was a ton of blood streaming from the site, running down my leg. I had to grab a quick wad of toilet paper and mop it up. Knowing the train was coming in twenty minutes and I was still standing in my bathroom, I had to slap on several bandaids, hoping I wouldn't end up with a stain of sensor blood on the leg of my pants. No time to become upset. Must work through the frustration.
Grabbed my stuff and ran for the door, scurried downstairs and bolted to my car. I drove to the train station and ditched my car in a no-parking zone, seeing the lights of my train in the distance. Running like a madwoman, I dashed for the train, the site aching with every sure-footed step. My tickets were printing as the train was pulling up to the platform and I raced into the nearest compartment.
After finding my co-workers on the train and connecting the transmitter to my sensor site, I hoped that the day would settle down and I'd enjoy the seminar in NYC in freaking peace.
The CGM pinged all day long. "Bad sensor." "Cal error." "Enter BG Now." I calibrated the damn thing four different times, had to restart the sensor once, and even after it settled down and started throwing results, the numbers were in a completely different path than my meter numbers. Meter said 130 mg/dl, sensor claimed 246 mg/dl, throwing high glucose alarms and generally wagging it's finger at me.
Yes, I was calibrating while my numbers were steady. I was avoiding eating so that I could hit some semblance of stride and ensure that the sensor was getting solid results. It just wasn't working fast enough. I understand that this technology takes time to become acclimated to and that the first day of a sensor is the most trying, but the ache in my thigh, the blood dried on my leg, and the frustration of dealing with a crying sensor instead of focusing on the seminar put me over the damn edge.
I ripped out the sensor on Tuesday night, upset and frustrated, burnt out and discouraged. I haven't put another one back in yet.
I pay my diabetes plenty of mind on a daily basis. I test very, very regularly, I eat well, and I wear an insulin pump in efforts to deliver my insulin doses with precision. I exercise more than most non-diabetics I know. I feel like I give this disease - this body, this life - my all.
I'm not sure I can give it more than I feel it deserves. I'm struggling with this issue today, unsure of how to proceed. I know that real-time results can show patterns in management and can also help protect me from the ebb and flow of highs and lows. But when the numbers aren't correct, the alarms are beeping, and I'm spending more time dancing with a device instead of enjoying the day, I start to question the quality of life associated with some of this technology.
I know many of you have worn CGM devices. How do you feel about them? From your experience, is there a "best time" to start on one? (As in: Am I over-extending myself by trying this during a very stressful and chaotic time in my life?) For someone who has worn a CGM long-term, how long did it take for the sensor to become part of your routine? Are the results worth the hassle?
I'm at a diabetes crossroad, frustrated and not sure what to do. Any advice you guys have to offer would be greatly appreciated.