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The Saddle.

Continuous glucose monitors are expensive to purchase and maintain, with costs approximating around $900 for the device and $40 for the individual sensors.  Insurance coverage for this technology is tough to wrangle, even though there have been a few break-throughs in the last month or so. 

Bottom line:  This stuff is expensive.

I have a box of MiniLink sensors in my fridge that I am able to trial at no cost to me, and I have access to several Minimed representatives that have been very helpful in getting me rolling.  I owe it to myself to give this thing another try, aiming to be more levelheaded and patient as I adjust to this technology.

Other Bottom Line:  I'm a fool not to take advantage of every opportunity I am given. 

Therefore, after a weekend home in Rhode Island spending time with friends and family and generally chilling out, I came back to work today feeling calm, collected, and not ready to give up. I'm not the giving-up type.

This afternoon, during my lunch break and at a level of low stress, I installed another MiniLink sensor.  I'm going to try this again.

Admittedly, I have a short fuse.  Things piss me off pretty quickly and are often thrown as a result.  I'm a little ashamed of my hot temper and I have trouble controlling it sometimes.  So when the CGM was pinging away, beeping and hollering and throwing inaccurate results, my fuse was lit and my temper flared.  My numbers weren't steady as a result and I ended up contributing to the problem.

I was frustrated with this thing.  Chris and I talked about it, weighing pros and cons and figuring out ways to integrate this device into my already busy agenda.  Wearing a CGM may not be the best decision for me at this point in my life, but I need to give this a solid and fair trial.  Instead of letting myself fly off the handle because the results aren't completely accurate or the device isn't completely comfortable, I need to just take what I can from this experience.   

I'm going to wear this sensor and see what I can learn from it.  I'm not expecting precision.  I won't let it replace my blood sugar tests or dictate my insulin doses.  I'll simply wear the damn thing and see whatYes, it's My Little MiniLink ... Pony.  happens.  I'll download the numbers from my pump and see what kinds of trends I can isolate from the data. And I'll continue to give you guys an honest assessment of how I feel about this technology.

Either way, I am very lucky to have access to this kind of device and this kind of outlet for discussion.  I need to make the most of it and hopefully learn something about it. 

In the process, I'm hoping to learn a little about me, too.

Comments

Kerri,

What can help with the "just wearing it" and not letting it intrude on your life, is the ability to turn OFF the alarms, both high and low. (well.. maybe leave the low one on if it it's useful and not interrupting you're sleep)

just go to sensor -> sensor setup -> edit settings -> high glucose (or low glucose) and turn it off.

Way to go Kerri! We are looking forward to hearing how it all works out. You are doing a great job and your smiling posts keep me smiling and optimistic that my smiling daughter has such a beautiful life ahead of her. Thanks for your candid honesty and your envious self awareness. Relax and keep thinking about how much fun the wedding will be!

Kerri, I'm very interested to hear about your experience. Elizabeth will get her CGMS during the next couple of weeks. It will be interesting to see if it revolutionizes her glucose control or is merely an incremental improvement.

Kerri,
I'm glad you are giving it another go-round. As irritated as I am that the Dexcom hasn't been the "magic bullet" for my daughter, I have found some value in watching trends and picking out problems that might have been missed between BG pokes. If you can get past the aggravation factor, you may find some worth in it too - or not. :) Either way, your sharing the info with the rest of us gives us all one more reason to either look at the technology or ignore it for a while longer.

Glad you had a relaxing weekend!

Kerri,
I'm glad you're giving the Minilink another try and I hope you have a good experience with it.
I had a really hard time with mine at first (and some days I still want to throw it against the wall...) but after a few months I got a better feel for how to interpret the data - and now there's no going back! Best of luck to you.

Wow Kerri,

I am impressed. I started the day after you, had a few good days then a week of yuck and I stopped and never started again. I keep saying that I am going to try it again as I have mine paid 100% after a long appeal process and like you I have a box of sensors in my fridge. You have given me inspiration to try again, but like you I feel that my bgs are never truly stable. Keep us posted, ooo and where did you stick it?

I give you credit for trying again. I'm glad I can live vicariously through you for a bit. I think turning the alarms off or changing the number at which they alarm may help lower annoyance.

You mention there has been some breakthroughs in insurance coverage in the last month or so - can you elaborate on that? ....

I think I had that My Little Pony!! :D
Actually, I don't remember any of them frowning.

I think I might be hopping on the saddle. Upgrading to a 522, might as well do it all at once, right? What else is a tax return for?

That is the saddest My Little Pony I've ever seen. :P

I'll be interested to read about your ongoing trials. I'm still hesitant to try CGM for the same reasons that you're frustrated with it. I don't know if I could wear it for more than a week at a time at this point. I feel like the systems themselves are helpful but still a bit too flawed to be as useful as we'd all like them to be.

This is just my viewpoint. I'm with Amylia though--I'm glad to have someone to live vicariously through, for the, um, ups and downs. (yes, d-pun intended.)

Hi Kerri,

Long time lurker, first time writer :)

Just wanted to let you know - CGMS is a great technology, and it's worth giving another shot, but don't feel bad if you feel it's not the right fit for you. I had (have) the Minimed CGMS, and after using it for 3 months I decided I preferred not to use it on a regular basis. I take reasonable care of myself, and sure - the CGMS can help me improve on this care - but diabetes is a lifelong companion that you have to make peace with. I already carry around a pump 24/7, check my sugars, and think about diabetes all the time - but I don't want my life consumed by it. I didn't like having yet another thing attached to me, beeping at odd hours throughout the day. I'm a very patient person, but every time my pump beeped I found myself going nuts. For whatever reason, I can handle all the other diabetes gadgets in my life, but the CGMS puts me over the top.

Anyways, just wanted to let you know that if you choose not to use CGMS regularly, it doesn't imply that you are crazy.

There's no doubt the current CGM systems are imperfect, sometimes even useless.

I've been advising people to get trials of the two systems out there because until they've tried them, for at least a week, they can't tell which (if any) will work for them. I've been fortunate that my Dexcom works, most of the time, for me. But there are days where I want to throw it out the window. For example going to a party on Saturday night and feeling good knowing the Dexcom would help me, only to have the thing crap out on me as we drove the hour to the party. Gack.

I like to brush Jessica's My Little Pony's hair.

Good luck and I think it's a great idea to not look at each and every individual number. Going the "trend" approach sounds more manageable.

Good for you for taking a slightly different angle and giving it another try. It's good to look back and have no associated "what if's", regardless of whether you continue with the CGM long term. One thing I disagree with though. When you said.."I'm a fool not to take advantage of every opportunity I am given." Perhaps that is true in this case, but to generalize that is a recipe for exhaustion in my opinion.

Hi Kerri,

I feel your frustration about the inaccuracy of the CGMS!

I have been fortunate enough to be able to borrow the MiniMed system for my current trip to Scotland (in the hope that it will be able to "look after me" when I'm here all by myself since I have had way too many hypos the past few months). I put in the first sensor Sunday morning and calibrated it while being in perfect range, but for the following 5-6 hours the sensor was way out of sync with my BG-readings. During those hours I had meter readings of 5-8.5 mmol/l (90-153), but the sensor had me cruising at an altitude of 16-18.5 mmol/l (288-333)- the 18.5 was at a time when a meter reading had me on 6.0 (108)! Obviously, I couldn't live with these huge differences, I mean, should I go low and not notice myself, such a sensor would surely not catch it before I would be unconscious. Because I didn't want to put in a new sensor just then, I decided to use the "start new sensor" option. It only took about 10-15 min before a calibration was requested and I entered the 4.7 (85) that my meter told me, and actually the meter and CGMS has been very close since then, sometimes even spot on :-)

I'm glad you decided to give the device another try, and hope that you will succeed!

Best wishes,

Heidi

Kerry, have you ever read Wil's site at http://lifeafterdx.blogspot.com? He has you listed on his site. Wil started with a CGMS in 2005 and he wrote his first post on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 about the experience. I read two years of his posts to learn all I could about continuous glucose monitoring. I don't think I could have found a better site to learn everything you ever wanted to know about it . Read it and if I'm wrong I'll send you one of the Starbucks cards I got for Christmas. Of course, you have to read it all. If you already did, then my offer is null and void.

Laughing at RichW. :)

Only $900 for a CGM? WOW! Here in New Zealand they are closer to NINE THOUSAND dollars each. Which is why I don't, but would desperately love to, have one.

Being able to get some sort of picture of my dawn phenomenon, etc. would make such a difference.

Alas, at nine grand each, it ain't likely to happen.

I envy you. :)

Thank you Karen. I don't think Kerri likes Starbucks.

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