And I mean that literally! I’m on Day 20 with this particular Dexcom sensor. I hesitate to announce this publicly because, well, y’know, that’s definitely not recommended by the manufacturer! However, I am out of sensors and have been for awhile. We are awaiting a check that I’ll have to use to pay off the initial costs of getting my Dexcom G5 system in the first place so that I can order (and hopefully afford!) some new sensors and in a few more months, a set of new transmitters. SIGH!
So, I decided to see how long I could wear this baby and it remain #1) attached to me (that’s the hardest part, guys!), #2) pain-free and without signs of infection (none whatsoever) and lastly, #3) remain accurate. That last one has really surprised me. This thing is STILL extremely accurate! There have been a few instances when it was as much as 10 points off from what my fingerstick was, but the rest of the time it’s been as little as 1 point different! That is pretty flippin’ amazing if you ask me!
Can you believe how good it still looks? (that photo is from today, Day 20) Now, I have had a GrifsGrip on it up until yesterday. It had gotten pretty raggedy-looking, and I was tired of trying to find shirts that would cover the thing, so we took the risk and took the Grifs off. Honestly, that’s probably why this looks as good as it does. The Grifs protected it.
I’m not comfortable going without some extra stick-em when I have this on my arm, so I bought a small supply of the grips, which you can find here. I bought a few for my pump port as well since summer time for me is notorious for loose adhesives and lost diabetical ‘attachments’. Since we haven’t been on the bikes (WAIL) much at all this summer, I haven’t needed them as much as I would have, but I have them in hopes of more pedal-time this fall and next summer! I am going to forbid Tommy from taking any extra projects, no matter who’s broke down or begging for his help. Seriously, for both of us, relegating bike time to the back burner has been detrimental. Both of us are heavier than we were at the beginning of summer, and of course, we are much less fit or toned. I just HATE that we haven’t gone and yeah, I could go by myself or meet up with a group occasionally, but I just don’t enjoy it without him and I’d feel guilty if I went knowing he would love to ride too. SIGH What a conundrum! But for reals, people. If there are any of my real-life peeps reading, just don’t even think of asking him to do a project for you unless it’s going to pay extremely well. That’d be the only reason to accept…the chance to pay off some bills. Otherwise, we just HAVE to get ourselves back on those bikes. Our health is suffering. And I am sad.
Okay, the main purpose of this post was to share how freakin’ long I have been able to wear this sensor! Granted, I am new to this stuff…extending CGM time as long as possible, but wow, after reading so much stuff about how short a life the G5 sensors (and transmitters) have, I have been pleasantly surprised. And yes, I’ll be sure to snap a pic when I take this one off so you all can see how well my flesh held up under there. I’m just glad there’s been no itchy reactions!
Wait…speaking of reactions…I’ve used a total of four GrifsGrips and have been really pleased with how well they work, how they are very flexible and keep things stuck on me. I’ve had two for CGMs on my arms and two for pump ports on my stomach. The first on my stomach did a wonderful job. Anticipating an upcoming camping trip, I used another on the opposite side when I changed my sets. That one started itching on day 2. Not a LOT, but enough for me to notice. I tried to leave it alone, after all, there’s not much you can do when one of those things itches. The next day, it was noticeably worse and I tried to let it be, but by mid-day, I tore the thing off to find a perfect outline of the heart-shaped Grifs I’d had on in light red, angry-looking skin.
Sheesh!! Since I just took this last Grifs off my arm today, as you can see in the photo, the skin looks absolutely fine so I’m not sure what’s up with that. I will try them again on my stomach once this heals on up.
Another “stick-em” thing I just got in but haven’t used yet is this…
I’d been hearing about SkinTac for awhile, so I just asked about it on TuDiabetes and jumped in and ordered some. So now I have it to use next time we try extending the life of a Grifs. I hope I’m not allergic to it, but it seems to be pretty well tolerated for most everyone. This also comes in wipes, but I felt the liquid would work better for what I want. Some folks use the wipes every time before even applying their sensor or inserting their pump ports. I may try that later if this works well. Keeping those things attached is a major weight off the mind, lemme tell you! (you may have seen my instagram photo of using an Ace bandage to keep a sensor in place…yeah…not fun!)
So…I guess that’s it until I update you with some pix of how the site looks after I remove this sensor. Check back for the follow up!
I finally got the paperwork all lined out to get a new CGM! That’s Continuous Glucose Monitor for you non-D’s out there.
We weren’t sure it was gonna happen after my former supply company suddenly told me (after I called to ask where my shipment of supplies was!) that they were no longer “participating” with my insurance and I’d have to find another company.
ARGH! So, let’s don’t get me started on that again, but ANYway, with some help from my endo’s office and his diabetes care advocate, I was able to find both a pump supply company to take care of all the necessaries to use my insulin pump AND another company through which I could get a CGM.
Since I apparently (I’m not sure how) hadn’t met much of our $1,500 deductible, our out-of-pocket for this thing was pretty steep. Scary, even. You guys know what I mean! Staying healthy is way more expensive than it should be and it’s many times higher if you have a chronic disease! UGH! (there I go again! I may need an extra blood pressure pill by the time I’m done with this!) HA!
If it weren’t for the upcoming (TWELVE DAYS! EEEEEK!) trip to Orlando for MasterLab 2016, I’m not sure we would have bitten off this extra debt, but having this will help both Tommy and I feel better about it all around. Honestly, I am positive I could keep up with testing, but if by chance (and that’s a pretty high chance with this new, scary-ish experience for me of flying and traveling alone) I start to have unexpected lows due to a heightened emotional state, I’d much rather be able to be warned that my sugar is dropping than to get suspicious that I might be low or, God forbid, get into the shape where I really needed help. Sometimes a low will happen just that fast and especially when in a new situation, different surroundings, unfamiliar events and such. With hypo-unawareness, you start concentrating on something else, and the teeny, sometimes-symptoms you DO occasionally have can easily be missed and you’re in trouble before you know it.
We’d like to avoid that if at all possible! And so…today, my Dexcom 5G will be delivered!! YAY!!
This is different than the CGM I had early last year. (until the included supply of sensors ran out and my former insurance wouldn’t cover more) This one is a stand-alone CGM, which I feel a little ambivalent about. I really liked that the Enlite transmitter would send all the info straight to my pump and would automatically shut it off for 2 hours if I dropped below 60 in my sleep. However, the Dexcom seems to be preferred from most of the reviews I’ve read. It’s the most accurate CGM on the market right now and with the capability to bluetooth to my phone (and send info to whomever else I choose via an app — IOS-dependant, of course) I think I can learn to live with it. Who knows, I may even like it better.
We shall see! I’ll update you later! Right now, I’m heading up to the baby kids’ place to tidy up some before they arrive home in a little more than 24 hours! Thank God!
Have an awesome day (& if you have a Dex G5, tell me your opinions and tips, please??!?!)
Happy Friday, folks! I’m getting a late start, but that’s been my norm the past few weeks. I won’t bore you with how flippin’ tired I have been and how much I’ve been sleeping, but trust me. It’s A LOT and I’m getting really…*heh*… tired of it. *psh!*
In other news… I just read this article about a study to see if more information (ie: blood sugar testing ..I assume via CGM) can improve the life and health of PWDs. My first thought?
As you probably recall from previous posts, we purchased out of pocket (we’re still paying for it, actually) a CGM transmitter for me early last year in the hopes that our then-insurance company would soon cover them so I could get sensors to use the CGM.
That was a dream. It never happened, so when the four sensors that came with the transmitter were done, I had to put the thing in the cabinet and there it sits. Pretty sick feeling to send a payment for something you paid over 5k for and only got to use a month. Ugh!
So I’m looking forward to getting the CGM, in case you didn’t realize. *ha ha* I know they’re not perfect, but people, when you are walking around, helping move heavy furniture, thinking you’re fine as frog hair only to test because your honey thinks “You look kinda pale, hun.. why don’t you test?” and find that your sugar is 27?? That is NOT a good feeling! It’s terrifying to know that you can’t tell when your sugar is dropping. To clarify for you non-Ds, a low is more of an emergency situation most of the time. You can drop so low, or so quickly…or BOTH that you COULD DIE from it!!
Did you catch that? I could DIE because I am unable to tell when my sugar is falling. My body no longer sends me signals to warn me that I need to eat something or suspend my pump and chug a can of Coke or scream for Tommy to come and help me until I begin to feel that being-pulled-out-of-myself feeling that I can only imagine means I’m about to pass out. It FEELS like I’m about to die. Seriously. I detest that feeling. It’s terrifying and I’m looking forward to not dealing with that, not having to worry when I’m by myself somewhere or when I’m driving.
Is more information important for people with type one diabetes? You bet your bottom dollar it is!! Why do we need a study to prove that? I guess because insurance companies are still denying CGMs to people who have documented hypo-unawareness and doctors’ letters saying their patients need them. Because people out there still don’t understand how T1D affects us or how serious it is. (remember me telling you my friend thought because I had a pump, that “took care of everything” and I really didn’t have to “do” anything regarding diabetes??!!)
So yeah, information is crucial. Knowing what our bodies are doing with the replacement hormone we inject ourselves with daily in order to live is kinda important. Knowing whether our blood sugar is too high or too low or just right is vital to our safety, not to mention the safety of our children or YOU, in the case of driving or operating machinery. Think about it. If YOU didn’t know your body was doing something…for instance, if your body didn’t recognize that it was blind or deaf, do you think that might cause a problem?
That’s silly, you say? The only reason it’s silly is because you can visibly see (or not, as the case may be!) when a blind person needs help or a deaf person needs assistance. It’s not at all visible with diabetes. All our dysfunction is on the inside, but it affects the very system that controls our entire metabolism!
*sigh* I’m thankful for the technology of CGMs. I’m looking forward to having it and feeling more confident and safe when I’m by myself or with people who may not understand diabetes enough to help me if I needed it.
I’m curious what this study will determine. I can’t eve imagine it concluding anything other than more info equals more power to control our disease. At least more ability to keep ahead of it!
What do you think? If you’re not a PWD, have you or are you learning anything more about T1D from these posts?? Please let me know. Interaction is like air for me!! Like the posts or comment!! I am dying to know what you guys think.
Have a beautiful weekend & a blessed Lord’s Day!