Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Good . . .

Yesterday was all about The Ugly.  I showed the big bruise from my CGM sensor and complained about the ugliness.  But I don't want to give anyone the wrong idea, so today is about The Good.  I love having my CGM.  On the rare occasion that I don't have it on, I feel lost.  Yes, I still test just as often, if not more.  Yes, sometimes the numbers it reports are a bit off.  But usually they are within 10 - 15 points of my finger stick.  And it has helped me catch more highs and lows than I can count!!

Just the other day, I answered some questions Cherise posted as she debates whether a CGM is right for her.  Here's what she asked, and what I answered.

1. What CGM do you have?  Minimed because I have a Minimed pump and like to have everything on one gadget.

2. How long have you had it? Almost 10 months.

3. Does the insertion hurt? Often, yes, it hurts when the needle goes in and comes out. Sometimes it even stays sore for 5 or 10 minutes. Sometimes it doesn't hurt at all, although that is rare. That said, it doesn't ever hurt badly enough to make me not want to use it.

4. How long can you wear your sensor? Usually 6 - 10 days. Sometimes as many as 12. Once in a while, they only last 4 days.

5. The one thing you love about the CGM? It alerts me to highs so I can correct them sooner. It alerts me to lows that I hadn't been feeling. I've been known to go into the 30s before I even felt low, and that was scary. I also feel so much safer sleeping at night with it on.

6. What is the one thing you hate the most? I have to admit, I hate the big needles. I know I said it doesn't hurt THAT bad and it doesn't. But the big needle is scary and makes me nervous every time. Then I insert it and I'm usually thinking "that wasn't so bad, why do I let it psych me out every time?".

7. What feature do you wish your CGM had? Well, I love that the screen shows arrows up or down if my blood sugar is spiking or dropping rapidly. But I'll only see them if I LOOK at the screen. I wish there was a little alarm to alert me to the rapid changes if I don't happen to be looking at the screen.  Otherwise I likely won't know I'm spiking or dropping until my high or low alarm beeps.

8. Have you seen any overall improvement? Yes!! At my last endo appointment in July, my A1C was 6.1 - which is the lowest I've EVER been!!

9. At what point in your life did you decide "I need to get a CGM?" Once I got myself comfortable with the idea of a pump and loved having one, I felt ready for a CGM pretty quickly. Especially when I started having lows in the 30s and high 20s that I barely felt. However, I believe only you will know when the time is right for you!!

Do you have a question I didn't cover?  Submit it in the comments, and I'll do my best to answer it!


  1. Thanks for this post. I ice the area that I am going to put that long needle in for a few minutes before I put it in. Not sure how much it helps but it has really never hurt me so I just keep on doing it!

  2. Karen-

    thank you for your response! I have decided to try the dex on a trial bases. I learned a lot about the cgm and it's purpose from everyone's response. Who knows maybe a cgm will work it's way to my heart:) Thank you for sharing the good and the bad about the cgm:)

  3. The information you provide is wonderful, I'm sure that you are helping so many people, especially is someone is new to their diagnosis. My father became a diabetic in his 50's and I am there now, so far - so good. I get checked yearly- just in case. Thank you for your bravery and sharing your trials with us. It's funny because when I read the first comment, that's what I had thought of, ice works well for numbing the skin (carefully of course).

  4. my daughter uses a dexcom7+ and has a really hard time getting the adheseve off her skin. Does anyone have a tip to remove the stickiness. My gal is very, very fair and scrubbing really irritates her skin. Small thing vs the benefit of the CGM, but we are girls after all!

  5. Hello! How are you? I have added your blog on my Diabetes blogroll, can we exchange link?

  6. Good info. We use the medtronic CGM for my 5 year old daughter Sydney. It has helped us to find good trends in her numbers (like sugars rising in the wee hours of the morning) so we could then adjust basals. I like it, although the alarms drive me nuts. We have to use a baby monitor so we can hear it when it goes off at night.

  7. I'm glad I bumped into your post. We are thinking about getting CGM for my 12 year old. He's been pumping since April 2009.

  8. Oooh, I hate the long needles, too. They usually do not hurt, but I totally psych myself out... I get nervous hours before I know I need to change them, sometimes days! It's silly really, because I LOVE my CGMS, especially now with a baby on the way, but those needles do a number in my mind!!

    Also I have to use bandage tape to keep it on; I cover the entire thing and about 1/2 inch on top/below to make sure it sticks and doesn't flop around.


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