CGM Chapter One — Uh?

“A continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS) is an FDA-approved device that records blood sugar levels throughout the day and night. There are several approved devices — Medtronic’s MiniMed device, DexCom, and the Navigator, for example — that can provide up to 288 blood sugar measurements every 24 hours. The system is used to measure an average blood sugar for up to three days, while the person with diabetes continues daily activities at home.” Diabetes WebMD 

As now a CGM-wearing constituent, I would like to make some corrections to the above block quote.  One, it doesn’t actually measure blood glucose, it measures glucose in the interstitial fluid (fluid around the cells).  The makers of CGM decided it wouldn’t be a good idea to let normal people access their veins, i.e. blood, at home.  I completely agree.  Two, the Dexcom is approved for seven days before a site change.  But a little secret?  Nobody actually wears their sensor for three days, that’s ridiculous and a waste of money.

This is my new friend.  And I don’t trust him.  When we were first acquainted he freaked me out by telling me I was low again and again, seemingly stuck in a CGM version of a skipping record.  After a helpful calibration nudge back on track, he proceeded to go the opposite direction of my meter, prompting another nudge.  Not a great start for the arranged marriage that is me, my chosen career, and Dexcom.  Well, after a canceled sensor for a night free from alarms, I awoke this morning feeling better about my new relationship with this little guy.  After all, he can’t help it if he’s a loaner, a lemon used for diagnostics, and has probably seen the undersides of more arms than I could shake a stick at.  He’s not my first choice either.


Me and my loaner Dexcom 7 — If I like this one, I might purchase one for my very own!

So, with this new perspective we began again.  And I think my ridiculously good A1c is actually pretty indicative of my control…boring.  I really was starting to think the sensor was on the fritz because so far my arrow has been stuck squarely on its side.  My CGM number has gone up and down, but that all-important trending arrow has still not budged from its perpetual right-facing direction.  It might also have something to do with the fact I’ve been hyperaware of actually taking insulin before a meal, not after (which is the usual).

So far the CGM has been spectacularly uneventful.  So much so, it’s making me jumpy.  I never realized how much I really believed my numbers were actually the crazy mess of multi-colored lines that I saw every time I went to the doctor.  Even after I told the doctor I only check when I feel bad.  It’s true though.  Other than those times (which I’m hoping to lessen) my numbers are very boring.  Something I will have to get used to I guess.

Updates to come!

Note: This was written last week when I had first received the CGM, but I wanted to keep my experiences fresh when I wrote them.  An update is the post I Don’t Know Anything. from later in the week.  It’s much humbler 🙂


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