Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bye-bye CGM...I'll miss you!

I recently tried out a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). A CGM reads your blood sugar every 5 minutes so you can see what your blood sugar is doing throughout the day. It's also good for spotting patterns and making tweaks. My CGM was blinded, which means I wasn't able to see any of the readings. After a few days of "wearing" it, I went back to my endo's office so the guy from Medtronic could take it out and download it. It was really interesting to see the graphs for each day. My blood sugar testing was mostly on target with what the CGM read, which is reassuring.

I feel like having a CGM would be so beneficial for me at this point in my life. I've had a harder time lately with recognizing lows. Sometimes I feel "low" but I'm really not (maybe it's my blood pressure dropping -- it's hard to tell). Other times I feel "off" and I am actually low. I also feel like sometimes my blood sugar just drops, even though I gave myself the right amount of insulin. It's almost like it can be really sensitive at times, which is the part that's hard to figure out. There is a method to the madness, but that method can change on a daily basis! It's not always easy playing pancreas.

Back to the CGM... I really, really want it. The annoying part is that even though it's been out on the market for 10 years, I have to PROVE that I need it. And what do they look for? The extremes: low #s and high #s. In my opinion, if you have a chronic illness and need/want a tool that might help you be in better control, you shouldn't have to prove anything! It's not like I want it for the fun of it or because it's the "cool" thing to have. This last month I actually have experienced some lows and a lot of highs, but I'm afraid it's not enough for them. I wish I could explain to them that I also have a low blood pressure issue and sometimes the symptoms feel exactly like low blood sugar, so of course I'm going to test more! This seems like proof enough (to me, anyway) that I need a CGM. The thing is I'm on an insulin pump so I can easily tweak it whenever I want. I catch lows pretty quickly and if I see that # falling below 70, I treat it immediately. I have become pretty sensitive to #s in the 60-70 range, whereas in previous years I still felt fairly "normal." I know they look for the LOW #s (like the 50 range), but I'm sorry...I TRY not to let it get that low because I don't want to feel like shit. I don't really like when I feel like I can't think clearly and my hands are getting shaky. I don't really WANT to get to the point where I'm in the 50 range because that could easily turn to the 40 range and lower. No thank you!

So to sum it up, I think it's absolute bullshit to tell a diabetic that you need to PROVE why you should have a tool that will help you control your illness and live a more "normal" lifestyle. Hopefully when I send in my log book, that will be enough for them.


  1. so far, whenever we've had our doc write a letter, we've been able to prove a case about why we need something or other. So, write a letter, have your doc look at it, sign off on it. maybe they just need the documentation. You're a writer, so write a great argument that they can't refute!
    Also, I guess you can always find out cost without insurance, though that might be astronomical? Worth a call to the company, though, if you couldn't get it through insurance...

  2. Thanks, that's a good idea! I'm scheduled to see my endo soon since I just had the CGM taken out and she wants to talk to me about it, so I'll write a letter and see what she thinks.

  3. I agree. B.S.! Insurance companies care so little about PREVENTION.

  4. It should come back approved. My educator told us that one has to send in blood sugars to just prove they are type 1....Isn't that funny? like who would want to wear one of those if they didn't need it? crazy..