My Pros and Cons of the CGM

It’s 2 am on a cold blustery night. I’m snug as a bug in a rug with my down comforter tucked up to my chin, my 6 pillows lying in wait around me ready to cushion my head in whichever way I decide to sleep and all this on top of my pillow-top bed that’s basically the best thing ever. Life is good. Dreaming the dreams, keeping it real. Don’t have to wake up for work for another 5 hours. Woot woot. Pure bliss. Oh but wait…something is insistently beeping. What is that? I try to ignore it, but it is gradually getting louder and louder until I can’t take it anymore. (Insert cuss words of reader’s choice)

What could possibly be so annoying as to wake me from my precious, blissful sleep, you wonder? The continuous glucose monitor (CGM). A loud, annoying, wonderful invention that makes me want to both leap for joy and stab someone at the same time.  Stab? That’s kind of extreme….maybe I’ll change that to punch a wall. Yeah, less violence… Punch a wall. Hard. Then stab it. Whoah whoah… deep breaths. I’m good now. Lightly tap the wall in just a slight bit of anger and that’s it. No stabbing.

For those of you who don’t know a CGM is something that you pray your insurance covers (because it is exxpppppeeeennnnssssiiiivvveeee) and it attaches to your body sort of like the insulin pump without the “beeper” portion. It then tests your fluids (some sort of fluids that is right under the skin) and tells you your glucose levels every 5 minutes and wirelessly tells your pump what’s happening. That’s a pretty unintelligent and generic answer…look it up if you want more info. There are different kinds that work different ways and I am only talking about my mini med CGM.

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I’ve written about the CGM before, but it was mostly me complaining about not getting it to work right. I wanted to write one that was more legit. Too legit, too legit to quit. Hammer time.

Cons:

The alarms – They go off constantly. People probably think I have some sort of bomb attached to me. The alarm will go off when your going high, going low, losing signal, need to check your blood sugar for calibration. Some days it feels like it is beeping at me every 3 seconds. I tend to ignore alarms and then they just keep going off, so part of this con is operator error. The worst is at night though as I have explained above. I love sleep. I hate anything that interrupts it. I’ll stab it.

The beeper – I’ve mentioned this in my pump cons before. People think I have a beeper. Really? It’s 2013…you know me, I’m not a doctor. I do accounting…

”Oh, the taxes are due?”

“Hurry up! Page Emily on her beeper! Stat!”

Use some sense people.  Do beepers come with tubes attached that disappear under a persons clothes? I mean seriously.…..whoah…I’m not annoyed by it or anything….clearly…haha. The point of this rant is that because the CGM is constantly feeding my pump information about what kind of shenanigans my blood levels are up to, I am constantly looking at my pump in fascination checking my levels and making it more noticeable to people than the times before I had the CGM when I only had to look at my pump when I ate and needed to bolus or correct a high. In the past month I have had 5 people ask me if I had a beeper….that’s quite an increase from the once or twice a year I used to get the question.

Pros:

Awesomeness – There is a sense of calm and control when you know your blood sugar is dropping or raising and you can correct accordingly.

Graphs – You can see a graph of your blood sugars over a 3 hour, 6 hour, 12 hour and 24 hour period. I just think it’s cool to look at.

Drinking – I know that Type 1’s shouldn’t drink alcohol, but seriously, it’s going to happen. Alcohol (at least with me) can take your blood sugar high and then drop it real fast. If you are a little tipsy (ever’body in the club gettin’ tipsy) it is nice to have the CGM and actually see when your levels start to drop. This happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I hadn’t gotten low yet, but I could see it was dropping so I ate a few crackers and all was good. Crisis averted.

Exercise – Same as drinking….you can see when your levels are dropping. In the past high intensity work outs were scary to me because I was afraid of what my glucose levels would do, but the CGM gives me more comfort and confidence to get the job done and not worry about what my blood sugar is doing. Booyah.

Welp, that’s all I got for now. I have songs stuck in my head that are driving me mad and preventing me from thinking clearly. Good day. I said good day!

Fancy Pants

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Pretty exciting day for me today. My new skin is here!

I saw on my Medtronic (makers of my insulin pump) website a few weeks ago that you can order these things called “Skins” that can be placed on your insulin pump (or phone, computer, etc.) to add pizazz. You can pick out skins from designs already on the site or you can create your own. I chose to create my own. I liked the idea of jazzing up my pump. A little jazzercise, if you will. It is probably geared more to children, but whatevs! I did it and it makes my heart happy.

I used the image I have as a tattoo and put a background color of purple and it is the most awesome thing ever! I’m getting all fancy up in here!!

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