The other day was my one year anniversary using a Dexcom G5 continuous glucose monitor (CGM.) I can’t resist a good music pun, so this post’s title references where I usually attach said CGM (and by the way, that’s tape around it on the pic below – my skin is not that crinkled – yet!)
I was so hesitant to use this. I felt that way when I first started using an insulin pump 15 years ago. I didn’t want something attached to me. With the pump though, I had the fact that I wanted to get pregnant, so I had someone else’s life to think about. It’s always easier to make those decisions when it affects someone else instead of just you. I was also having many serious lows at the time and it was getting dangerous. MDI (multiple daily injections) just weren’t working for me anymore. So, I got the Minimed pump – that’s what my doctor prescribed. I don’t think there were a lot to choose from then. I could be wrong. I probably didn’t look around too much at the time either, but 15 years later and I’m still using a Minimed (Medtronics) pump and it’s been good to me. I can’t even contemplate another brand of pump though, since I have United Healthcare, but that’s a horse of a different color and a story for another day.
Back to the Dexcom CGM, I had some issues with it at first. Right off the bat, I had a bad transmitter, so it just never connected, and was making me seriously question why in the hell I decided to get one of these things in the first place. To be fair though, Dexcom’s support hotline has always been great. Someone always answers, there is never a long hold wait, and if they can’t troubleshoot me out of the problem I’m having, they immediately send me out a new transmitter or sensor. So, big kudos there!
I mentioned in an earlier post that both my and my daughter’s “diaversary” days are within a week of each other (albeit decades apart,) and as odd fate would have it, she just started on a Dexcom CGM one day post the day I started! Weird.
I was hesitant to start this with me – I didn’t want another thing attached to me. I was hesitant to start it with her – how will she handle another thing attached to her? Again, it’s someone else’s life and someone I love, so it was easier to make that decision. But, will she be able to navigate the app? A surprising big YES to that one. She took to it way faster than I did, so that’s one of the good things about kids today growing up with technology at their fingertips. None of it was strange to her. We’re on day three with the CGM for her and so far so good. We’re still checking her at 2 a.m., but now just looking at the phone – a couple things to sort through, but all-in-all, we’re all settling into it pretty well.
I love that she, her father, her grandmother, and I can all see what her blood sugars are doing day and night. I’m hoping it will make an easier transition for her to middle school next year.
I must admit I still have issues with “things attached to me” and worry about my daughter with that too. She is way more resilient than I am though and has taken to it quite easily – in fact, much more easily than I thought she would!
Now, through the miracle of technology, I have two apps on my phone to give me blood sugar readings – one for me and one for my daughter. It’s dueling alarms at times already. It’s so worth it.
And then, I always come back to this point – it’s expensive. It’s expensive to stay healthy. And I do stay healthy. I will never understand the mentality that does not see that making these things available to us at affordable rates is better for everyone in general – not just us. It makes us more productive employees because we are healthier and we are not so preoccupied with how we are going to afford these supplies and medications for us and/or our loved ones. We take fewer days off because we are healthier and we are not so preoccupied with how we are going to afford these supplies and medications for us and/or our loved ones. Our kids do better in school and have fewer days away from class because they are healthier and their parents (say it with me) are not so preoccupied with how we are going to afford these supplies and medications for us and/or our loved ones. It makes sense to any sensible person, if you ask me. You can help make this a reality by signing the JDRF’s Coverage2Control petition. It calls for affordability, choice, and coverage. Learn more and sign at this link: http://www.jdrf.org/get-involved/jdrf-advocacy/coverage2control/
I started this post off saying that I was hesitant to start on a CGM, but one year later, I can’t imagine not having it. It has completely eliminated severe overnight lows for me. My boyfriend gets alarms on his phone too, so it’s a huge relief to him to be able to see what’s going on even when I’m on the other side of the country. Now that my daughter has a CGM too, I get to be in those shoes as well and it really is a huge relief.
Technology is great. We just need to have realistic and affordable access to it for all.