My Decision to Begin Using a Continuous Glucose Monitor
When I made the leap from multiple daily injections to using a pump more than five years ago, it was a tough decision for me. Last year I wrote a post about the fears that held me back for so long and why I’m so glad I finally overcame them. But after I had been pumping for six months I decided to add a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) to the mix, and that decision was quite an easy one for me. The contributing factor was simple, and it’s still the main reason I take very few breaks from my CGM – I stopped feeling low blood sugars.
I clearly remember the exact moment I decided it was time to try a CGM. I was in Louisiana for my uncle’s funeral. Travel always makes my blood sugar more volatile, and this trip had a lot of stress and emotion that messed things up even more. The day of the services was a long one that ended at my cousin’s house with a large buffet of Southern food prepared by members of their church group. That evening my husband and I were resting back at our hotel and I felt a little bit queasy. I figured it was due to the long somber day and the wonderful Louisiana cuisine that my New England stomach wasn’t accustomed to. I decided to just do my pre-bed blood sugar check and try to get some sleep. I was very surprised when my meter flashed back a blood sugar of 29! It scared me so much to realize that my blood sugar was under 30 and my only symptom was a slight bit of nausea, and I knew it was time to take action to prevent this from ever happening again. As soon as we returned home I called my endocrinologist and we put the wheels in motion to add a CGM to my regime.
Hypoglycemic unawareness is still the main reason you’ll find that I rarely take a break from wearing my CGM, but I’ve found it helps me in other ways too.
• For example, about one week each month, hormones randomly make my overnight blood sugar skyrocket. My CGM alerts me to this by waking me up so I can check my blood sugar and correct instead of just waking up to find my fasting sugar is in the high 200s.
• I find that the information on my CGM screen makes me feel more secure because I can tell which way my blood sugar is heading in instances such as before bed, before exercise and before driving. After all, the number on my meter might be good for before bed if I know my blood sugar is stable or trending upward, but that same number might mean I need a snack if I see that I’m trending down.
• I also believe that my CGM plays a big part in keeping me at my A1C goal for the last five years, because the CareLink reports give my endocrinologist all sorts of information that helps him tweak my pump settings when needed.
Sure, I’ll admit, there are times when I’m happy to take a day or two off from the alarms and information overload a CGM can bring. But soon I’m longing to pop in a fresh sensor and have my safety net and blood sugar crystal ball back in place.
If you wear a CGM too, what are the benefits you’ve found it gives you? Do you wear it all the time, or do you like to take breaks here and there?
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
- Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.
Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps
- Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
- Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.
Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
- The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
- Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.
For more information, please visit: www.medtronicdiabetes.com/importantsafetyinformation.