Continuous Glucose Monitor: Helps in Meetings, with Blood Sugar Climbs or Crashes

Kelsey Bonilla Health Guide
  • I've found that one of most liberating actions is changing your mind.  To that end, I've decided to give continuous glucose monitoring a try.


    Since my recent post outlined the reasoning for avoiding CGMS for the time being, I'm sure most readers will be confused by my sudden change of heart.  However, if I'm completely honest, the previous post was written in an attempt to convince myself as much as anyone.  I've always disliked change in favor of the security of the familiar, which is also why it took me so long to start pumping insulin. 


    When I read a particular comment on my last post, written by a blogger I respect greatly who encouraged me to at least see if I could obtain insurance coverage for a CGMS, I recognized her logic and completed the paperwork.  Deep down I felt confident that my insurance would cover the new equipment; therefore my resistance to applying for coverage was really just an avoidance of the entire new system.

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    Once I completed the lengthy application, my view of continuous glucose monitoring changed and I got excited about the prospect of knowing my blood sugar level at all times! 


    While on vacation in Disneyland, I received a call from a medical equipment vendor that distributes the Dexcom.  I learned that my insurance had indeed covered the system and my out-of-pocket costs would be quite low.  Unfortunately, there seem to be some kinks in the system, as I've had to follow up to find out the next steps.  Regardless, once all of the proper approvals have been completed, I'll get to start using this promising new tool.


    Over the past few weeks, I've encountered several situations where a CGMS would come in handy, such as when in a meeting or otherwise occupied where testing my blood would be a disturbance.  I often deal with this by testing before the meeting and attempting to judge whether my blood sugar is rising, falling, or holding steady.  This typically leads to the conclusion that I should eat something to avoid going low; which inevitably results in a higher than optimal blood sugar once the meeting has concluded. 


    Generally, it would be great to catch climbing or crashing blood sugars earlier so I can correct before my blood sugar gets too far out of range.  Yesterday I did a site change which lead to a stubborn blood sugar in the low 200s.  Finally, all of my correction boluses kicked in and my blood sugar fell from 92 mg/dl to 58 mg/dl in about 10 minutes!  With the CGMS, I'd see that my blood sugar was falling fast and could react before the symptoms of a hypo grabbed hold.  


    So, stay tuned.  I'm sure my first few weeks with the Dexcom will provide many new insights on how to use this continuous information!



Published On: September 08, 2009