My week with a CGM

Since I was first diagnosed with diabetes in September 2011, I have struggled to maintain my hypo awareness. I categorically remember my GP laughing at me when I said I didn’t feel when I was low (Needless to say, I don’t feel I have the support from my GP, when it comes to my diabetes). At first, I thought it was something that could be solved, with a few weeks’ running a bit higher. I managed to avoid a hypo for 6 weeks, toward the end of last year. The first time I had a hypo after this, I had two hypos (3.2 and 3.4) within the space of 4 hours, and I didn’t feel either.

Last week, I was finally given the chance to trial a continuous-glucose monitor (CGM). A three month wait, but I’d like to think it was worth it. The aim was to establish any patterns in my sugar levels, establish any potential problems, and to monitor when my sugar levels get low. Commonly known as ‘sod’s law’, I didn’t have a single hypo, last week. The week before, I had had 6 readings below 4. Last week, was near enough perfect. Doh.

The sensor was a tiny plastic thing, taped to my stomach. The initial connection felt like getting your ears pierced – a quick pinch. After this point, I didn’t have any pain from the CGM, for the whole week. What I did experience however, was ITCHINESS. and oh my goodness, did it itch! It wasn’t so much the sensor, but the tape that was protecting it. I know a lot of people want to know what it feels like, so I’ll reiterate, the CGM did not hurt. However, anyone I saw last week, will be able to tell you, I was desperate to fight that itch. Scratching around the edges, trying to relieve at least some of the itch. The CGM made me very grumpy toward the end of the week, as I was at time, too itchy to sleep. No amount of scratching other areas/objects, slapping my skin, or flicking cold water over it, could ease the itch. I’ll be honest, on the third day, I did consider asking to have it taken off. My skin didn’t like this foreigner.

cgm

Contrary to this, there were times when I forgot I was wearing the CGM. It didn’t intrude in my everyday life, and even when I was wearing tight clothes, you couldn’t see it. This made me think that wearing a pump (though it is a little bigger) wouldn’t be so bad.

Seven days later, I had my appointment to have the sensor taken, and the results analysed. Things didn’t quite go to plan, for the fact that no one in the clinic knew the password to access the relevant software, to look at the magical data. 40 minutes later, I still had no idea whether the data had been collected over the week. Still, I was very happy to have it taken off.

I had been squirming all week about having the sensor taken off. I’m such a child when it comes to ripping plasters off, I imagined it was going to be a bit like this, with the tape that was covering the cgm. I was right. Except, the tape couldn’t be quickly ripped off. Imagine cling film being well and truly stuck down. Yup, it took forever, centimetre by centimetre.

Thankfully, I am told the CGM did collect all my data last week, and there is nothing outrageous that can be gathered. I haven’t seen the results in person, yet. (I’ll pester my clinic until I get them!) All I know at the moment, is that there may be some changes to my carb ratios in the near future.

Until then, I shall twiddling my thumb, waiting to hear more from my DSN…

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