A New Outlook on Using a CGMS
I’m making a change to my diabetes management next week! The Dexcom 4 should be in route to my house later today. I excited to try continuous glucose monitoring again and wanted to share my thoughts and feelings on embracing this technology differently this time around.
When I used the Dexcom system several years ago and then the Paradigm integrated CGM and insulin pump, I often found myself overreacting to the information. I felt like I was on more of a rollercoaster on the days I wore the system than when I relied on finger stick blood glucose readings. Information overload was basically my take on continuous glucose monitoring.
However, as I’ve recently been looking at ways to simplify my life and my diabetes management, I talked to a new co-worker who has the Dexcom 4. He would casually reach over and check his blood sugar while we talked and I was envious of that simple task. Also, I noticed he didn’t correct for blood sugars automatically, the way I so often did.
I came to realize that my issue wasn’t the CGM system itself, but rather the way I was interpreting and using the information. When I saw my blood sugar raise after a meal, I would anticipate my blood sugar staying on the same upward trend, project that trend forward, and preemptively give a correction bolus for the high blood sugar I anticipated coming an hour or so later. When in fact, the better way to use the CGM information is to note my blood sugar is rising and wait to see if the trend continues over the next hour. If it does, and I do end up with a high blood sugar, then correct. By trying to guess my blood sugar based on the trending information, I’d often give boluses that simply weren’t needed and then would have to eat to correct an inevitable low blood sugar.
So, this time around I’m trying to embrace patience and keeping my blood sugar in a healthy range, rather than at an ideal level. I’ll let you know how it goes!