When CGMs ATTACK!
I first tried out the Dexcom back in June 2007 (here's that first blog post - forgive the inquisitive cat photos), when it was the Dexcom 3 system (with the crazy shower patches I had to put over the sensor and transmitter because it wasn't waterproof - that was fun, and was like saran wrapping myself every morning before work). Even though I had reservations about wearing a second medical device and feeling a little gunshy about the potential data overload, I committed to the Dex technology almost right away because it made me feel safe.
It wasn't a matter of not trying other CGMs - I did give the Minimed system that was available in 2007 a try, but it wasn't a good fit for me. (Here's a detailed post about why I wanted a continuous glucose monitor and my experiences with trialing both systems, and also has a lovely .gif of some soap on a box. So there's that.) The Dexcom has been a huge safety net for me, especially during the before, during, and after of Bird-Building.
More often than not, this system works for me. It's spot-the-eff-on and it often triggers me to double-check my meter results when they appear to be roaming around unsupervised. I rely on the Dex. It wakes me up when I'm low, it rattles my cage when I'm high, and Birdy thinks it's the best thing since Siah's tail.
So when it's off, I'm thrown. Last night, before I went to the gym, my meter gave me an 87 mg/dL and the Dexcom was in the same range. When I came home from the gym, I was 215 mg/dL, but the Dex was lazily meandering in the lower range, yawning and eating potato chips and watching Are You Being Served. Not even remotely tuned in to the fact that I was above 200 mg/dL.
"Nope." I said, yanking the sensor out of my thigh.
"Ouch," I said, as the new sensor slid into my other thigh. (Usually they don't hurt, but this one burned a bit on reentry.)
I don't know what causes some Dex sensors to give up so easily. And I'm not sure what makes me so stubborn. This troubled little sensor gave me pause earlier in the week with a result much higher than my meter, but because I'm dia-frugal (read: aware of the cost of these sensors, and see also: aforementioned stubbornness), I restarted the sensor instead of pulling it out and putting in a new one. Whatever the cause of this hiccup, I'm glad I caught this one as it went rogue, and I'm thankful I didn't make any treatment decisions based on the Dex's "recommendations."
New sensor is in. So far it's in line with my meter. And today I will test its legitimacy with plenty of coffee.