Saturday, January 27, 2007

CGM Trial: Gratitude and Curses

Some notes about the things I am most grateful for and some things that have just been bothersome about the Navigator.

Grateful:

  • Seeing B.S. 24 hours a day
  • Using line graphs to determine trends and problems that I can fix
  • Impressive CGM's receiver and transmitter distance range: I left my receiver in my bathrobe pocket after getting dressed and it was still tracking me downstairs for hours.
  • Ability to shower with transmitter, but can't really imagine that other companies wouldn't create something with the same capabilities. For God's sake, we take showers once in awhile.
  • Love the warnings for projected highs and lows, especially the lows. Avoided a few hair situations
  • Transmitter is relatively small
  • I just learned that when looking at a particular screen, you can hold the up or down button to keep the screen active and not time out. Wow. Good to know!

There maybe lots more I love, but I am anxious to skip to the curses and get them off my back!

Curses:

  • Calibrations lately have been extremely inconvenient IF I don't put the sensor on at night. I changed it at 10:00 a.m. last time and the calibration bell rang at 8:00 p.m., while I was at an event. I waited until I could calibrate it around 10:00 p.m. and the calibration failed because my blood sugar was dropping too fast. This meant I had to wait 30 minutes, and again it failed. This went on until I finally got the calibration about 11:30 p.m., BUT I had to calibrate again in two hours--1:30 a.m. I was TOTALLY exhausted and was very frustrated by this. I will not put this on again in the day time. Same problem can happen with nighttime application if you are in meetings first thing in the morning. Overall, the calibrations have been frustrating when you are not perfectly free to take care of your diabetes FIRST. Sometimes that is not possible and at times this blessing can feel really inconvenient.
  • The darned sensor and transmitter are vulnerable--really. I was out of the shower, putting on lotion, and I bumped the transmitter as I was doing my arm. At first I was concerned about the lotion messing up the adhesive (I had no overbandage; I thought I learned this lesson already), but I actually dislodged the transmitter from the senor base. It fell off inside my shirt sleeve about ten minutes after I was dressed. This prompted the above a.m. re-insertion.
  • Screen is HARD to read.
  • There are no "back" buttons on many screens you would really like to go "back" on, like the line graphs--you are looking at a two hour screen and you want to see the six hour; you have to wait like 30 seconds for it to time out, and then scroll through three screens to go back to the line graphs.
  • The alarm sound is annoying; really grating on your nerves. Wish I had sound options (like a cell phone) since this is something I am living with daily and have to hear every day.
  • The HIGH blood sugar alarm should have an option that if an "insulin" event is added, the alarm shuts down for 30 minutes. If you are over 300 and you give insulin, it takes awhile for you to come down, but the alarm keeps going off ever 5 or 10 minutes. Now, there is a "mute alarm for an hour" option, but I need to be warned if I haven't dropped in 30 minutes. Otherwise, I just go about my day and perhaps my infusion set is clogged, I won't know if I mute the alarm. Did I mention I don't like the alarm sound?
  • Sometimes I can't find the receiver. I leave it upstairs, in my car, in my purse, on my desk, it falls out of my bag, is in my back pocket of my jeans, fell in the crack of the couch, but unlike my cell phone, I can't call it to track it down by sound. This is a real problem, but I can't think of an easy solution. The company that fixes this could rule the market!

OK, that is enough. I am obviously VERY grateful for the opportunity to be in this trail. I hope that some of the annoyances are resolved with use and the company listening to the users. This technology is AMAZING. I am awed at the potential, and even how far the technology is applicable to my life. I know the above curses are VERY easy to fix; they are just background noise to the benefits I have received.

1 comment:

Chrissie in Belgium said...

Just found your D-blog. I am very appreciative of your opinions. I have been waiting for the Navigator b/c it would give bg readings that were truly reliable. The direction arrows and alarms, even if the alarms sound terrible, seem great.... Currently few CGMS are rare in Europe! Sigh! Some of the "cons" seem so ridiculous. Why have they not thought some of these issues out beforehand? Like obviously after a high the bg takes awhile to decrease! Obviously you do not want it alarming every 5-10 minutes after administering insulin. Please keep us informed. Thank you!