Sunday, December 17, 2006

Day Five & Six: CGM Trial

Well, Thursday and Friday my daughter was sick, fever and coughing mostly, and her blood sugars went through the roof. It always surprises me how fast ketones develop in children. She was diagnosed with a sinus infection. I don't have much problem with illness and ketones these days--don't know why, but I am thankful.

The CGM has been amazing. I have had so much fun watching the line graph hover between 85 and 100 for hours on end. I still have peaks and lows, but I need to get some basal and bolus adjustments made. The Tegaderm tape is awesome and the unit feels so much more secure against my body. I may put it on immediately with the next sensor.

Friday afternoon around 5:00 p.m. I started to feel really bad. I have had a cough for three weeks that the Dr. has insisted would go away on its own, but I developed a fever. My blood sugars only rose slightly, but it was SO nice to look at the receiver and KNOW where I stood. I rose into the low 200s, put a temporary basal of 130 percent and came down. Being sick is hard; being sick with diabetes is harder; being sick with diabetes AND having a child with diabetes (who is getting over being sick) is just mind numbing. I was totally exhausted yesterday and just did a lot of time in my hammock outside in the sunshine (gotta love Texas--40 degrees one day, 75 and balmy the next).

Yesterday, I got a warning that my sensor had to be removed as I had reached the 122 hour limit, so I removed them easily. You can't keep wearing the unit to stretch your dollar, it will not transmit readings past 122 hours. I was pleasantly surprised that the tiny hole in my skin was not
irritated, the area around it was fine, they only side effect was some residue from the adhesive on my skin.

To my disappointment, I was not provided with another sensor. Tomorrow I go back to be trained on the software and to get a 30 day supply of sensors, as well as insert the new one with their help. I am going to try the back of my arm this time. I am really curious how that will work. I didn't mind my tummy, but that is where I wear my infusion set is almost exclusively and that's a lot for a tummy to handle.

I can't tell you how much I miss this thing when I'm not wearing it. As far as comfort goes, I felt much better about wearing the transmitter after I put the Tegaderm on. The thing is kind big, relatively, so it just felt better with some adhesive support. However, it is much more comfortable that I imagined it would be when I first saw it. Maybe it will be different on my arm. I shot some photos of the sensor itself without the transmitter The sensor is a chip with a tiny tube and only goes 5mm under the skin. My infusion set is 9mm, so this is nothing.

I am already worrying about not having this at the end of the 90 day trial. I really want Minimed to make their transmitter smaller, so I can use it with my pump. The idea of those two devices working together is just awe inspiring, but comfort first and their current model is just too big.

Feeling much better today, but I miss the Navigator. After my temporary basal went off, I found myself at 325 mid-morning. I never would have gotten that high if I had the Navigator on. I will have to travel on Wednesday for business and you have to remove the device before plane trips. It is a one day trip, so I will just take it off Wednesday morning and put it back on when I get home that afternoon.

I'll post after my appointment tomorrow, which could run two hours (how much could there be to know?).


Gary said...


Nice blog, thanks so much for keeping us posted. I have been wearing a CGM (DexCom) for a few months, and despite its problems, I think it is money well spent and I wouldn't be without it. I think the Navigator is superior to DexCom, but as Navigator is not yet available, I decided to go with DexCom.

Question: I am able to 'fool' my DexCom into thinking that a new sensor is inserted, by simply pressing the buttons to tell DexCom, that yes, I have indeed inserted a new sensor, when in fact, I haven't.

Using this method, I've been able to extend the sensor life well past 3 days. Some people have managed 3 weeks or more from one sensor.

I did read that you have to take the sensor out after 122 hours (5 days), but is it possible to leave it in and 'fool' it like the DexCom? The sensors for Dex are $35 each, but I can get away with a minimum of 3 a month, so my out-of-pocket cost is $105 monthly, none of which is covered by insurance.

If the price for the Navigator sensors was say, $35, and they lasted 5 days, that would mean $210 monthly: Double the cost of DexCom sensors used off-label (at least for me), and too costly to buy without insurance coverage.

Can you say if it's possible, or if the sensor is some how coded to the navigator receiver so that it's not possible to re-use it.



Wendy Morgan said...

Each sensor has a unique code that is read by the receiver when inserted and activated; I don't think extended use is possible.