Friday, April 10, 2009

CGM Update

The Mini Med rep was the same guy I had talked to on the phone in December. He called to update info about me at Mini Med and to recommend endocrinologists to me since the one I was seeing was no longer going to practice endocrinology. He was a super nice guy on the phone and really easy to talk to. He's just as nice in real life.

I know you are all on pins and needles waiting to hear how the inserting of the CGM went. He was talking about how it worked and mentioned that he would put it in. I wasn't sure if I heard right because I had it in my head that I was going to have to admit to being a baby about the whole thing. My adrenaline was pumping over this whole appointment. In fact, my triceps are sore from gripping the steering wheel so tightly as I drove to my doom! The anticipation was killing me so when he was ready to insert the device I was visibly nervous. He kept asking if I was ok and reassuring me that it feels the same as inserting an infusion set. I told him I was fine and to just do it. He offered to count. No, just do it! Even though it didn't hurt at all I still flinched a little when it went in.

When he was done he asked again if I was ok and I told him that I was nervous because I was expecting him to tell me to do it. Then I told him that I don't change my own pump sites. I told him my husband does it. So he told me to tell Hubby that he is a great husband! He is a great husband but maybe it means even more coming from a Mini Med rep.

He had a soft board in his bag with CGM devices and infusion sets in it. Using that, he demonstrated how to insert the device. It goes in at an angle and you slide the inserter back at an angle to get it off the device once it's in the skin. He calls it the moon walk to get the inserter off.

At the end of the appointment he asked if he had completely overwhelmed me with information. I told him I was fine. But once I left I felt like I had walked out of math class or something. Do you remember how you understood everything the teacher said while you were in the room but as soon as you had to leave and do it on your own your brain turned off? I do have his business card with his cell phone number in case I get lost.

If I understand everything he said correctly, he said I have to calibrate it twice a day 12 hours apart. Or before I go to bed so I don't get an alarm to calibrate at 3 am if I calibrated at 3 pm! So that means I only have to test my blood sugar twice a day! He said that most likely there will be a discrepancy between the CGM and my meter. That's because different parts of the body absorb sugar at different rates. He said that you could prick 3 different fingers and get 3 different blood sugar results. I have done that! He also said that even though the numbers may not match the CGM device will show which direction my blood sugar is going. So I could get some number like 300 and rather than immediately think to take insulin to correct the high, I can see that my blood sugar is heading down. I guess this is supposed to be more accurate than meter testing and blindly correcting highs and lows. He said that most likely in the next 5-6 years, meters will become obsolete.

He set up my pump so it will alarm me when I have a high blood sugar reading or a low blood sugar reading. So I can react accordingly. I can snooze either alarm. The high alarm can be snoozed for an hour while a low alarm will be like 5 minutes because I should do something about a low alarm faster!

It's completely waterproof so I can shower, bathe, swim, or hot tub with no issues. I am not allowed to go scuba diving however. It will hold information for 40 minutes while I'm disconnected from the pump. When I reconnect to the pump, it will download the info from the time I was disconnected. For anyone who doesn't know, the pump is not waterproof. I have what is called a quick release on the infusion set so I can disconnect the pump to shower, swim, blah blah blah while the infusion set stays in my skin.
Speaking of infusion sets, apparently I am one of very few people to still use a Paradigm Sof-Set Ultimate QR. He doesn't even carry those around anymore and told me that he thinks they may be discontinued in the next 2 years. He kept apologizing for being so surprised to see my sof-set infusion set. He said there was nothing wrong with using that type of infusion set and he wasn't judging me. I joked that he shouldn't judge me out loud anyway! That's the type of infusion set I have used all 8.5 years I've been on a pump. In fact, when I switched to the Paradigm pump the Mini Med person I talked to on the phone suggested I keep the same infusion sets because I was used to how they work.

He showed me one type that doesn't even use an inserter. I would have full control to push the needle into my skin on my own. The needle was the teeniest thing I've ever seen too. Ultra short and thin. But I don't know if I could do it after all these years. I'm probably stupid for making the pump correct my highs all the time. If you have a couple of highs in a row, doctors suggest you inject insulin and change the pump site. I have not given myself an injection in 8.5 years. I hope I never have to as long as I live! I have a syringe that you can dial in the dose. My endo's nurse gave it to me when I was pregnant with Baby Girl because it delivers insulin faster than the pump. I was annoyed that it would take almost 20 minutes to deliver 20 plus units of insulin. I could eat faster than my pump was delivering the obscene amounts of insulin I required while pregnant. I have never used it. It's still sitting in my cupboard.

So this little device the rep put in my side will stay there doing its thing until next week when I go back to the office to have it removed. Right now I can't even feel it. At first I could kind of feel it. It's higher on my abdomen than my pump site right now. I can always feel my sights more when they are high. That is one benefit of 3 c-sections. I have almost no feeling in my lower abdomen because the nerves have been cut.

Driving home I was thinking that maybe the benefits do outweigh the drama. Maybe I do want to permanently do this whole CGM thing. It's smaller than I thought it would be. If I were to point out where it is on my side you could tell even under my shirt. But the pictures I have seen make it look much bigger than it really is. I don't know.

I also thought that I really hate being me sometimes. Some days I hate being "spirited" and being so intense over everything. You know how people like to say that some people have the challenges they do because they can handle it the best? It may be true but it doesn't mean that the challenges are any easier. Hubby always says that he could never do the things I have to do. Some days I don't want to do them either. Some days I wish I could just be normal.

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Now that I've shared my thoughts, what are your thoughts?