Monday, January 24, 2011

Pumpin' It Up...And the Horror Stories of Using a CGM

This weekend, my husband and I had our one year wedding anniversary (yay!), and I got a coat of paint on my bathroom walls (which I've been meaning to do forever).  In D-news, I thought I was going to make it through the weekend without a reading over 200, but no such luck.  When I checked before bed last night, I was at 212...Bummer.  I'm sure it had something to do with the fact that I threw my usual dietary caution to the wind in celebration of our anniversary--I had chocolate-filled croissants and fruit for breakfast, a Dairy Queen grilled chicken sandwich & tater tots for lunch, popcorn w/chocolate-covered almonds at the movies, and fajitas for supper.  Then, after we got home, I had a couple of glasses of Banfi Rosa Regale.  I thought I'd correctly bolused for all of it, and was doing fairly well until that sparkling wine...which, I have to admit, was pretty sweet, and I think may have been the cause of my elevated BG.  Nevertheless, I couldn't do much about it at that point, so I went to bed and woke up normal (or as normal as I can be) this morning.

This afternoon, upon arriving back to work from lunch, I got a call from my Medtronic rep informing me that they would be shipping my pump and equipment today and that I should receive it by Wednesday.  I'm super excited to get my pump and start using it, but that excitement was curtailed somewhat when I started reading about the Medtronic CGM...Blood, scar tissue, pain?!  OMG.  Pain, I can deal with...To an extent.  Hello, I give myself 4+ insulin injections per day on top of stabbing my finger 8+ times.  But a 1/2 inch probe (which means a 1/2 inch needle for insertion) being propelled towards my fragile body with an insertion device?  Oh boy.  I've seen the sensors in person, but never thought much about them (past "Wow, that's a long needle..."); however, reading all of these forums and blogs is making me anxious.  I've had tiny bruises and bumps and even a little blood with my injections, but nothing compared to the torture described on the diabetes web communities.

When I decided to get the CGM in addition to my pump, I was only thinking about the advantages it would give me in monitoring my BG levels, and that this would be incredibly helpful in bringing my A1C down to the proper pre-pregnancy range.  That needle didn't scare me then because I figured I would just "deal with it" as I have with everything else in the past five months.  Sticking my finger x times/day?  No problem.  MDI (Multiple Daily Injections) insulin therapy?  I'm your girl.  But as the reality of using the CGM and inserting the sensor is finally hitting me, I'm scared.  The bloody pain and discomfort described by other users has me holding my breath in the way I do when I'm anxious about impending doom.  It has me questioning whether or not I made the right decision in going with the Medtronic CGM, and if I'll be able to get past my fears to actually use it as it's intended.

The conclusion I've come to is that I'm going to have to just not think about it, put my big girl panties on, and deal with it.  Because at the end of the day, all of this pain, discomfort, and general annoyance is worth it.  As long as I can reach normal (or as near-normal as possible) BG and A1C numbers, which will give me the best possible chance of having a healthy pregnancy and baby, I'm in it for the long haul.  Hopefully, the horror stories of the Medtronic CGM will just reflect human tendency to complain about bad experiences, but not bother sharing good ones.  And to be fair, they haven't all  been bad...Amy of Too Sweet, a mother of a beautiful little princess with Type 1, sings its praises and emphasizes what a wonderful tool it is in managing such an unpredictable disease.  Many users point out that realistically, you do have to be committed to wearing the device and acknowledging its limitations to fully appreciate what it can (and can't) do for your diabetes management.  And, let's face it, most things related to managing this disease aren't the most comfortable things in the world to do.  I suppose all we can do is take it one day at a time and make the most of what we're given.  I'm very thankful that I have the opportunity to use this tool, and despite my reservations, I'm hoping and praying that it will exceed my expectations and give me an extra edge over my D-life.


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