Thursday, March 3, 2011

the love/hate relationship

I've been a little behind in the blogging world this last week, but I have to say that I appreciate everyone's comments! It's wonderful hearing that support and knowing there are others out there who truly understand the ups and downs of having diabetes.

OK, I'll admit it. It's a little too early to have a love/hate relationship with my CGM. I'm excited to be hooked up (literally, it is IN me) and I am not upset that I have to have another thing in my body 24/7, but I just don't know what to think of it yet. It has already failed, and it's been only TWO days. I'm not really sure what happened, but it predicted that I was going low with 1 arrow down and a 90 BG. I checked my # and meter read 130. I thought maybe something was wrong because I had turned down my basal and just ate a small snack, so it shouldn't be heading I calibrated and shortly after, I got a calibration error. Say whaaaaaaaat?! I did what it told me to do, and then it went back to "warming up" mode, and then told me to "change sensor." I called my CDE and she told me that when I calibrated during a down arrow, it knew it wasn't on target and that may be a reason for why it failed. That seems weird to me! But now I have to change it after only 2 days and I am a little nervous about it. She helped me do it the first time, and it was mostly her doing it because I always feel so awkward with all the little steps. I was that way with my first pump change though and now it's like second nature, so I know it won't be a big deal...but I also don't SEE the needle going in me with a pump change. The needle with the CGM is a little intimidating!

I don't have too many thoughts on my CGM yet...I know that I need to give it time and it's mostly for trending, but I still don't know what to do with that info yet. Except for this reading today, it's been right when I was heading down or heading up, and knowing that has been a comfort and a relief. Sometimes the readings were within 5-20 points, and sometimes they were 40-60 points off. A couple times they were 100 points off! Sometimes the CGM showed me I was doing better than what my meter showed, and sometimes it showed me doing worse. I also wasn't sure if the calibrating was helping it figure things out. I know they said being within 20 pts is great, but it can be such a big difference! Being 40+ pts off was really frustrating, especially when it showed me a worse # than the BG test. If I want to see the up and down graph of my levels, I don't want to see a 180 on the graph when I'm really a 140. That's a big difference! However, I also remember reading that the sensor takes time to catch up to the actual BG reading. With all the high-tech stuff out there, I'm not sure why this hasn't been figured out yet. I know it only reaches your interstitial fluid and that's one reason for not being completely accurate. I guess it's just slightly disappointing and frustrating, even though I know it's used mostly for trending and spotting patterns. But if it's off 40+ points, what are you supposed to do with that?!

I am already missing it a bit though, now that I need to replace it with a new one. I like getting an idea of what's going on inside my body. Also, I'm slightly obsessed with it. I've been looking at it constantly! I find it really fascinating, even if it isn't always accurate. I'm hoping that the next sensor will go more smoothly and as time passes, I will know what to do with all this info. Also, I definitely need to brush up on my pumping skills. Meeting with my CDE made me realize there are certain features I wasn't taking advantage of, and I know I really should re-educate myself.

And yes, you do have to charge the transmitter. But it only takes about 10 minutes.


  1. Hey Val...I just looked all over your blog...and could not find the CGM type you are using. Are you using the Dexcom? It is frustrating when the numbers are WAY off. We had a few of those about a month ago. The last two sensors have been spot-on! Which has made this type 3 one happy lady. It takes a while to get used to. Chin up girl! And...Joe LOVED looking at his when we first got it. It is like a window to the depths of the ocean.

  2. Oooh, sorry, I thought I mentioned it somewhere. I'm using Medtronic's CGM that links up with my Revel pump. I hadn't done my reading yet, so I didn't know that you aren't supposed to calibrate when arrows are showing--oops! I put in a new one last night and it's been pretty spot-on so far today...I hope it stays like that!

  3. Let us know how you like it once you have used it a while. What do you find to be the biggest advantages..etc...

  4. Hi Valerie:
    I think learning how to put the cgm in is a little frustrating at first. I finally just put it in without my husband's help for the first time last night. Like you said, you get used to it...And, what you say sounds kind of accurate. Numbers aren't always right on, but sometimes they kind of get used to the unpredictability, and learn when things are going well...overall, much better to have it than not to have it. But, if you don't like your cgm, maybe at some point you could trial a dexcom.

  5. You use the revel like my hubby! Yeah, the CGM was a little frustrating to learn but once we got the hang of it it was a godsend. Sometimes it is off and sometimes it is right on but like our trainer explained, it is not perfect technology, but it helpful to know what direction the sugar is going. I could go on and on about the CGM. After some very very bad episodes, it was a gift from god to have this to protect my hypo unaware hubby :)