Straight Dex'ing It.
It's official: I'm applying to have my Dexcom 7 covered by insurance. I'm choosing to make the Dex part of my management plan. Over the next week or so, I'll be battling my insurance company to cover my sensors. Yes, I'm taking the leap. I don't plan to wear it every single day, but I know I will be sporting it several times a month, more so when I'm closer to planning a pregnancy.
"How's the accuracy?"
It's as accurate as can be expected for new technology - and by accurate, I mean that the Dex7 says I'm 143 mg/dl, my meter says I'm 154 mg/dl. Those it's higher than I'd like to be (more on that in a minute), those numbers are close enough for me to trust both the trends and the snapshots of Dex. If I'm going to bother wearing a second device, I want it to be worth it. And for the last four days, these numbers have been close to one another, so long as my blood sugars are under 260 mg/dl. Above 260 mg/dl and the gap starts to widen, but I'm not shocked by that considering how my MiniLink trial played out.
"How about comfort? Is it comfortable to wear?"
I have to be completely honest - comfort is the other deal-breaker for me. My criteria for a CGM is a. be accurate and b. be comfortable. Accuracy is reasonable (as stated above). The only other CGM I've used is the MiniLink, but the Dexcom is far more comfortable. And I know exactly why. The MiniLink sensor is not completely adhered to the skin, leaving the "shell" part flopping about a bit. Even when I taped it down, the sensor still had mobility and the needle shrugged around uncomfortably in my skin. It made the site ache something awful, regardless of whether I wore it on my arm, my thigh, or my abdomen. The benefit to the Dexcom sensor is that it's all one piece that is backed by an adhesive, leaving every part of the sensor stuck to my skin and holding steady. Therefore, it didn't hurt me at all and once it was installed, it didn't feel much different than a pump infusion set (only it's slightly bigger).
I realized this crucial difference in the sensors this afternoon. For the last three days, my Dex sensor has been securely stuck to me. But I shower every morning before work and go to the gym every night (then shower again), and the combination of shower, intense workouts, and snug clothing rubbed the sensor a bit the wrong way. Even though it's meant to last for seven days, it peeled away from my abdomen and came loose a few minutes ago. Blast. And for the last 12 hours, it's been floppy and felt sore, leading me to believe that it's the steady adhesive of the Dex that makes it way more comfortable than the MiniLink. It makes sense - who wants a wire scraping haphazardly around in their skin for hours on end? Not me. I want that wire to sit still and behave itself.
"I heard software comes with this one?"
I loaded up the Dexcom software this morning for the first time. It's remedial-looking (much like the OneTouch software I have at home), but it serves its purpose of downloading and organizing blood glucose results. This is a definite upgrade from the old Dexcom software, which was nonexistent. ;) And thanks to my ridiculously awful blood sugars all week long, I've been able to really see all the pretty colors that the Dex software has to offer.
"So what now?"
Now I'll make use of the sensors I've received (taking a few days off and reinstalling another one on Sunday morning, post-bachelorette party) and move forward on the insurance verification and approval. I'll be sure to document my progress with the insurance approval, because I know that's a concern for many people considering a CGM.
"You mentioned a rough week of numbers. What's going on?"
Dude, I have no idea. My numbers have been grossly high all week long, highs in the "Hey, I'm a newly diagnosed diabetic" range like 409 mg/dl, 363 mg/dl, and my favorite, the stubborn 212 mg/dl that visits me without calling first. I'm changing out my infusion set tonight after work, in hopes that a dodgy set may have been the problem. Or maybe it was a busted bottle of insulin. Either way, these blood sugars are reflecting a botched set, or raggedy old insulin, or work/wedding stress, or just plain Blech. Or maybe all of these things. One way or the other, I know I need to get things under control FAST because I feel like garbage. My days with Dex showed me just how bouncy my numbers have been.
Time to buckle down and focus on what matters most - not deadlines or scheduling or planning, but getting these numbers back under control. It all starts here.