SUM Questions Answered.
I've received a few questions about the Minimed CGM in the comments and I wanted to address them here, because when I started to answer in the comments section, I was waaaaaaay too wordy. Here's the MiniLink FAQ, answered with my limited three day knowledge base.
Did your insurance cover your CGM?
I had the good luck of finding a Minimed Representative who would let me trial the CGM for a few weeks in order to make a decision about making the MiniLink a permanent part of my diabetes management plan. So this CGM is cost-free at the moment, or at least until I give it back and buy my own. ;)
However, I have spoken to my insurance company, my various medical representatives, and other diabetics about getting insurance to cover a CGM. The feedback varies, but the common theme seemed to be "need-based coverage." At this point in my life, I have an A1C under 7% (believe me, this was a battle), I have not visited the emergency room as a result of diabetes issues, and I have not called the paramedics due to hypoglycemic unawareness. From what I'm told, insurance companies look at me and think that I did fine without a CGM before, so there's no need for me to have one now.
Per usual, I don't agree with the sentiments of the insurance companies. With my wedding in less than 5 months and motherhood on my radar, I want my diabetes to be as tightly controlled as possible. Wearing a CGM to ward off excessive highs and to protect me from debilitating lows sounds to me like a terrific way to prepare my body for babies. That's not reason enough to be approved for coverage? I don't like being told that the only way I'll get a CGM approved is if I'm visting the emergency room. Shouldn't the point of having access to this technology be aimed at preventing those moments, not reacting to them?
More on insurance coverage in the coming weeks, as I decide what role a CGM will play going forward. But believe me, I will not go quietly into that insurance mess.
What I want to know is how you got the sensor in your arm.
Ah, tricky one, this. Thanks to my friendly neighborhood Minimed rep and my inability to be completely shy, my rep helped me place that sensor on my arm. Otherwise, I'm not sure how I would have held the sensor in place while withdrawing the needle. Even now, as I change the bandaids that hold the transmitter in place, I need to enlist Chris's help. I don't think I could have placed it effectively without help.
Does it feel weird to have it in your arm, though?
Not really. Since I don't like employing my abdomen as a holding place for diabetes devices, I was happy to use my arm for this first sensor. I have to be careful when I take my clothes on and off (like last night, when I almost ripped the transmitter from my arm with my bra strap), but I encountered that with my thigh sites when I first started using those for pump sites. My brain just needs to adjust.
I did have a little trouble at the gym two nights ago, during my run. Thanks to the bandaid becoming a bit unsticky and the fact that I was wearing a sleeveless shirt, the transmitter became a little loose and started shaking about. I had to cut my cardio short to keep the sensor from flying out, but my next plan is to wrap a light ACE bandage around my bicep to hold the MiniLink in place.
I wanted the CGM to be unobtrusive and discreet for this debut. The arm placement helped me achieve that comfort level. Now I feel less daunted by the technology and more apt to try different placement sites.
I'm happy to share my experiences with this device, and to answer questions as honestly as I can. Thanks for your questions, and let me know if there is anything you're curious about, or what your experiences have been like. I'm so new to this device that I appreciate all the feedback on it, good or bad, that I can find.