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Dexcom Days.

Thanks to the wonders of my pre-wedding disorganization, I managed to misplace a Dexcom sensor.  Luckily, I found it in the linen closet on Monday night and slapped it on.  Just in time to see some weirdo numbers, apparently. 

Since I've been back from my honeymoon, I've had some trouble getting my numbers back under control.  Seems like all the basals and ratios I was using as "Kerri Morrone" don't seem to work for "Kerri Sparling."  ;)  Thanks to the CGM big picture, I'm trying to isolate what's causing me to go high and low at different times.  Like the morning highs. 

Part of the reason for these highs has to be my morning shower routine.  I have a tendency to wake up, test my blood sugar, disconnect my pump, and then hop into the shower.  After the shower, I need to blow-dry my hair.  Then find something to wear.  (Notice I haven't mentioned reconnecting yet. Whoops.)  Suddenly, I realize that over 35 minutes have passed and I haven't been tethered.   

This wouldn't be such a big deal were it not for the fact that my morning basal rate is cranked up to 1.0u (vs. my normal 0.4u) between the hours of 6:30 am and 10:00 am.  Therefore, I'm losing over half a unit while I'm showering and getting dressed.  This insulin-skip causes my blood sugars to leap up around 9:00 am on some days, leaving me mucking around with a high until almost 11 am.  

"Armed" with the Dexcom 7.

Armed - literally - with the Dexcom, I was able to view this phenomenon first-hand yesterday.  Holy spike.  Today, I tried bolusing 0.3u before I disconnected for my shower, then taking another 0.7u once I reconnected.  The results were much better, and I'm hoping to see even better results tomorrow.  (Has anyone else worn a Dex sensor on their arm?  How did it work for you?  Getting it on there was a hassle, I'll admit.  Thank goodness for Chris's patience!)

Last night I was able to see my overnight patterns.  Dex woke me up at 3:00 am, hollering that I was 49 mg/dl.  I didn't feel low at all, so I tested to confirm the result.  My meter claimed I was 64 mg/dl.  Fourteen point spread, but close enough that the wake-up BEEEEEP! was timed early enough for me to catch the low before I hit the trenches.  I grabbed a swig of juice and checked the graph on Dex - sure enough, I had been falling for over an hour.  

It's very enlightening to have access to these patterns.  When before I thought my mornings were decent, baesd on a test at 7 am, 9:30 am, and 11 am, I'm now seeing that there is a significant amount of fluctuation between these snapshots.  I'm curious to see what the graphs show me tomorrow, when I tweak a bit further. 

And THANK YOU to everyone who offered their insurance battle feedback.  I'm in the 30-day waiting period now, compiling data and trying to follow everyone's suggestions to present my second appeal.  Thanks to Manny for his compelling video, and to everyone who is fighting this same fight.  The technology exists, and we should all be able to access it.


Kerri, the insurance battle rages on. The sad part is that we, as diabetics, know the benefits of this new technology, and the insurance companies don't.

I know the results aren't perfect but the knowledge you get from trends seems priceless!

thanks for sharing.

Ohhh how cool to have a CGM to play with!
I think I'm really lucky that I don't have to deal with insurance over here in NZ - The govt help me out with my medical expenses and I don't even have to fill in a form. Sounds good eh - right up until I hear about things like CGMs and pumps, which I have nooooo help with at all, would have to pay full price - a huuuuge price at that. THEN I'm really jealous of Americans!

P.S the link to Manny's vid is a dud

Good luck with the insurance appeal! Are you paying for the CGM that you use now out of pocket? It is so frustrating when we have to battle the insurance company for things we NEED, things that really help us.

Seems like Americans are always fighting insurance ;-) Like M in NZ, I don't have to worry about insurance issues when it comes to D-treatment here in Denmark. It's not all good though, as it is still not that easy to get pumps and especially CGM devices because those things have to be paid by the hospital treating you, and they don't always have enough money.

Anyway, about having the sensor on your arm; I haven't tried Dexcom, but I had the pleasure of having the MiniLink when I was in Scotland earlier this year. During that period I tried placing the sensor both on the abdomen, thighs and arms. I had good results with all, but did notice that meter and sensor readings seemed to be closer to each other (i.e. less lack time) when the sensor was placed in the abdomen or on the arms, compared to the thighs. Also, I actually found that sensor arm sites were easier to deal with, as the sensor was sort of out of my way, and I didn't have to worry about getting too close to new or old insulin pockets under the skin because I never use my arms for infusion sites or injections. Inserting the sensor on the arm was indeed a bit tricky, but I was actually able to do so all by myself. I didn't go as far back on the arm as your picture illustrates, though :-)

So glad you founbd the Dex sensor and can be alerted at night and adjust your basals and ratios with its help. I want to offer you some of the info I've picked up around this conference....lots of medical journal articles and other resources that may help in your battle. Let me know if you are interested and I'll be happy to either scan and email or send to you via snail mail.

God bless Chris, that can't have been easy to get in!

Interesting observation about long disconnects. I've not tried it yet, but the Cozmo has a disconnect feature that offers to give you some of the basal as you disconnect and some again when you reconnect.

If you're tracking your daily totals, bolusing your basal will screw that up. It'll also mess with your insulin on board number.
You can use the load feature on your pump and pretend you're priming. That way the bolused basal (stick with me here) won't affect other things as much.

Just testing out the comment function ... testing ... testing ... my blood sugar ... :)

re: Bernard's comment-I 'prime' missed basal so it doesn't count as bolus or in TDD - I do it after my shower. I suppose it would work same before.

Good luck with your insurance fight! It is so worth it. My daughter has been wearing her minilink in her arm for over a year now with great results. We now use the arm only for the cgms and the rest of her body for her pump sites. By the time we are ready to put in a new sensor her other arm has healed nicely. It was really frustrating in the beginning because we had terrible results with the cgms until we started inserting it into her arm. We wish you the best of luck on your insurance battle and your prepping for starting a family in the next year.

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