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A Little Bit Naked.

For the last five months or so, I've been wearing the Dexcom with frightening regularity.  Having it on the bedside table or on the headboard became commonplace, and the receiver laying on my desk at work was as normal as my Blackberry sitting there.

The Dexcom Seven Plus upgrade bit made a difference for me, too.  It updates in accordance with my calibrations wicked fast now, instead of taking anywhere from 15 - 30 minutes to synch back up.  The trending arrows are awesome and very helpful for me, because my blood sugar skyrockets and tumbles fast at times.  I know when I heard about the new system I was a little "Ooooookay,"  because it didn't LOOK any different.  The sensors are the same, the transmitter is essentially the same (gray instead of black), and the receiver is the same.

I missed this thing.

Only it's not.

The size and shape of the device and it's components hasn't changed, but whatever they tweaked on the inside there really made a huge difference.  Since switching to the Seven Plus back in March, I've seen big changes in how this system performs.  It was accurate enough before, but now it's scary accurate.  To the point where I've eaten based on double-down arrows, and I've conservatively corrected the highs.  (Note to readers:  CGMs aren't supposed to replace blood tests, so this is definitely a "do as I say, not as I do" moment.  Test before you treat any number.)

So anyway, I'm all nice-nice with the Dexcom these days.  But just like with the pump, my skin gets a little irritated from overuse.  Shuffling around pump infusion sets and Dexcom sensors for weeks on end, coupled with my abdomen avoidance techniques, left my hips and thighs a little tender.  I needed a few days to let my sites heal.  So I went home to RI last weekend without my Dex.

And I felt a little bit naked.

I didn't miss the sensor being on me, but I felt weird not having access to that information.  I took my mother out to breakfast for her birthday on Saturday morning and I felt the need to test three times over the course of a three hour breakfast because I "needed to know" how I was trending.  Same thing at dinner that night.  I've grown accustomed to the graphs and charts and instant blood sugar information, and being without it made me feel exposed.  My numbers were roaming around unsupervised, or at least not with the supervision I was used to. 

I went to calibrate it before bed and didn't realize it was MIA until Chris said sleepily, "It's at home."  I spazzed out when I couldn't find the receiver in my purse.  And when we were driving on 95 on the way back, I checked the center console (where it lives when I drive) and actually felt sad that it wasn't there.  I missed it - is this possible?  To miss a device? 

So weird.

I wondered how long it would take for this to happen.  I felt the same way about my pump when I took it off two summers ago for a white water rafting trip.  I was used to the pump, so to be without it was odd.  And now, I'm finally used to the Dexcom, so taking a break for a few days threw me off my game.  Even though I am not always comfortable wearing the physical hardware, I'm more comfortable managing all this diabetes crap when I'm wearing the devices.  More information, at least for me at this stage in the game, is better.

The Dexcom is back on.  I haven't decided fully if it will travel on our cruise with us, but at least for now I'm fully dressed.

[Dexcom disclosure]

Comments

I did the exact same thing last week. Just didn't have it in me to stick that sensor on so I freeballed. For the first couple of days, I was so happy about not having that thing in me, but so sad about not knowing what is going on. I tested sooooo much more than I did before I ever had the CGMS because I couldn't stand not knowing. Am happily, yet sadly, CGMS-ing away this week. I'm also eating pizza for lunch, which is something I just don't do without the CGMS to catch those "surprise, not enough insulin" or "insulin faster than the cheesy mess" moments.

Isn't it funny what we get 'used to'?

In the picture of the receiver, I love the faded out lens cap. Awesome shot!

Ditto. I check non-stop when I don't have my sensor in.

This is my biggest fear about switching from injections to a pump or similar device. I'm already addicted to the internet and all the up to the minute information it provides. I treat my iPhone in the same way. It's a matter of staying connected. I think I would become physically and emotionally dependent on a dexcom. I can't accept the idea of being dependent upon yet another device.

In contrast, this device looks amazing. I'm going to need to check this out. DO WANT.

Kacey just started a trial on the Dexcom and yesterday was her first day. I must admit that thing is very big but for Kacey it meant she was "safe". I caught her several times glancing down to see what her number was on the screen. We're hoping to have some useful data at the end of 7 days to help us tweak her pump settings for those climbs at school. When her CDE told me they wanted her to wear Dex for a week, you were the first person I thought of! :) But I can see how "naked" you could feel and we'll probably go through that at the end of the week.

Dang CGM junkies, all of you! Hoping to join your ranks soon...supposedly mine will be delivered tomorrow.

I felt like that today. My husband and I are up in Yosemite on the sensor (medtronic) died on our hike. I hated being "blind" to where my sugar were heading.

What a post title.
Got people's attention, then disappointment....
I say because not many comments. Hmmmm.
Just sayin'.
;-)

You will be on vacation soon, woo hoo!

It's weird how "attached" we get to our gadgets. Nah, not weird, understandable, we rely on them.

holy crap..... a THREE HOUR BREAKFAST?!?

I'm so glad to hear you see real improvements from whatever they tweaked. I still feel like this is new technology, and although I love my CGM, the thought of how much better they will get in the next few years is exciting.

I wear my Minimed CGM almost 24/7, but on the rare occasion that I don't have a sensor in I still find myself hitting that Escape button on my pump to bring up the CGM screen. And it takes me a minute to realize why it doesn't come up!

Only in New England could a Dexcom update 'wicked fast.' =)

"My numbers were roaming around unsupervised, or at least not with the supervision I was used to. "

This is exactly how I feel about my teenage daughter. LOL.

Teenage blood sugars is what you had. ROFL.

Kerri - as long as you've brought it up again here, let me mention that I *might* have a solution for your IR against the Dexcom Sensor adhesive: Have you ever tried Smith+Nephew's "Skin Prep"?

This product is MADE to coat the skin and mayn kinds of skin versus adhesive problems (tape stripping, irritation, sweat-induced adhesiion problems. "IV Prep" is NOT the same thing, and back when I used "IV Prep" I got some significant skin reactions.

BTW, I've sent some SWAGs about the changes in 7+ programming to Kelly Close. You should not only be seeing better numbers, AND prompt "respect" for adjusting to newly-entered calibration readings-- you should also be seeing longer Sensor life. (If skin irritation isn't forcing you to remove it long before the Sensor dies of "worn-out-wire" syndrome.) I never got more than 12 decent days from the original "Seven". So far, Seven+ pretty much ties the old STS, giving me 17-20 days of good data per Sensor.

Now if only they'll give us that "emergency high alarm" feature-- an alarm which buzzes every 20-30 minutes while you're over an extreme value, and DOESN'T SHUT UP until you recover. Just like the "below 55" alarm repeats itself, we should have one for extreme high bG which doesn't go quiet as you drift past 200, 250, even 300 mg/dL, just because you saw and OK'd the high alarm back at 160 or so.

Me too! I've been wearing Medtronic CGMS for over 2 years and on the rare occassion I don't have it on, I do a blood test, see I'm a 5 (90) and think that's great but meaningless. With CGMS, I can see whether I was falling or rising. Without, it's just a number out of context.

I've never had a thing like this, and I have always dreamed of one. I am always imagining the gradient of my blood sugar; it sometimes feels more important than the level itself.

A nurse told me recently that I should only check before meals, not in between. Almost felt like she was saying I was worrying about nothing when I checked between meals, and if I didn't look then I would maybe live a more "diabetes-free-like" life - "what you don't see, can't hurt you", I guess?

I disagreed strongly, though was too polite to get into the argument - she's not a diabetes nurse (mine is brilliant) so I didn't worry too much about what she said. I figured that my life *is* full of diabetes, and it's more important to keep well and keep checking than let it wander off by itself... after all, like everyone else, every day is different for me, I need readings every day to adapt day-to-day! Knowledge is power!

But reading this blog made me think... would I really want this much information every day? Would it really give me power?
Injecting by pen means I don't want to do it much more often than I already do, for risk of fatty lumps and bruising. If I had a device like this would I want to inject all the time, eat all the time, check all the time? Having my meter means I can check whenever I want to, but if I don't want to, I don't have to. As someone who can barely resist the lure of facebook whenever I am near a computer, I don't think I would be able to stop myself checking a device like this every 5 minutes!

I've never had the chance to try this, I've never pushed for it. I'd love to have a go in the interests of research, to give me a better idea of what really happens to me as I go through. But every day? How is it not information-overload?

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