If you caught my post about my first night with the Dexcom G5 CGM, you may be wondering how we went on our next couple of dates. I am now on day 5 and have that old feeling of falling in love, which I did not expect. You know that kind of love that catches you off-guard? I remember feeling that for my husband after we hooked up for a second round, after a casual relationship a few years earlier. Since that first time I had been in a serious relationship, got engaged, had a child, and left this man. On this second occasion, we fell in love, got married, became best friends and had 2 more gorgeous boys and we hit our 20th wedding anniversary next year. I had no expectations going in for the second round that our relationship would develop into love, or that we would go on and spend the rest of our lives together, and remember with great clarity, the dizzy unexpected feeling of falling in love on the night I realised this was happening. Just like this, the past week has so far been a case of me unexpectedly developing a respect and love, for this little piece of technology I am now wearing as part of my body.
So why am I so in love with the Dexcom G5?
- Accuracy and trust
- Reduced finger pricks
- Other people following my results
- Arrows and trends
- Better sleep!
After my first round trialing a CGM a few years ago, like the first time with my hubby, it was clearly not the right moment for us to seal our long term relationship. And just like that time of our lives, the technology then was not a great fit for me, it was not reliable enough and the whole thing just felt like it was wrong. Fast forward to this new and improved version (just like my hubby the second time round – and don’t worry he knows this!) and we are now a perfect match. I have had cracking accuracy. Mindblowing for someone who has had not so hot results with other trials.
The only real time there was a bigger discrepancy was yesterday when I had an unpredicted spike to 18 mmol in the morning and then had a pump site change, bolus and big walk. It struggled to keep up with the moving of my BGL’s, but only for an hour or so. By the time things settled during my walk, it was back on track. This is to be expected with the slight lag times and I have no issues with keeping tabs on things when these situations arise, with a few additional finger pricks. I am starting to trust it enough to rely on it for bolus and food choices, as well as during exercise, with the rider that if I have rapidly falling or rising levels I am double checking. The biggest plus of this accuracy is trusting the Dexcom overnight, rather than manually setting alarms. It has been within 1 mmol of my finger pricks overnight, and has meant that I have not set my alarm all week, resulting in better sleep. I was doing up to 20 or more finger pricks a day. Now I am doing maybe 6 – 10 and I expect that to reduce more as I go on with the trial. My fingers are very grateful.
In terms of comfort, I have had only the odd twinge. I am aware that this will change depending on where it is sited, and after having a bleeder with a pump site last night, I am sure this will become an issue for me. However I am prepared to try different sites and find the best places for me. I am also aware that the accuracy may vary depending on site, and sensors. I have been so in love with the past few days that I have gone ahead and bought 4 sensors, which arrived within 24 hours. I plan to insert number 2 on Monday evening, when this one finishes. I expect like in an early relationship, that each new experience together may not go as well as others. My husband and I struggled with making a family after the first rush of falling in love, with my then 2 year old son, part of the package deal. It was not easy but as we worked through the issues, it became a case of finding out how we could become a family and the rest is history, with my husband loving our now 23 year old son just as much as the other 2 – and in fact he is more like my husband than they are in many ways! As far as this goes with the Dexcom G5, I am open minded about potential for different sites not to work so well, but also hopeful that in the main, it will all work out fine. The scar tissue and many years of living with type 1 diabetes are part of the package deal, so it will be a case of finding out how Dexcom can handle that.
The arrows are just brilliant and have saved me from one of my tendancies to overreact. As someone who lives with anxiety, seeing a lower number than I would like with insulin on board my pump, can lead to me eating more than I need, and then spiking, or the other way, taking too much insulin for a high when it is headed down, albeit a bit slowly. Last night I was dropping fast after the bleeder pump site change, and a second change and bolus. I looked at the arrow and it was trending down, so I had something to eat. A short time later it was still sitting around 6 mmol and I had insulin on board, but the arrow had shifted from dropping to steady. This meant I went with it and waited, preventing myself from eating too much. This is certainly something that I am not keen to give up now I have seen it working.
The follower app is so far working well for our family. I have my husband and my mother using it and they can see my graphs and are set to receive hypo notifications. It is an interesting thing to open up the inner workings of your body to other people. I am sure this could be invasive for some people and in particular could be conflictual for some teens and their parents. However, for me it is the certainty of knowing someone will know if I am low and staying low, especially when I am travelling. Our plans are that they firstly just text to make sure I am ok, and if they get no response, they make a call to me. Of course if they do not know where I am and can not get me, there is little they can do, but it still provides that extra buffer and when in your usual routine, like being at home, work or school, it is a great tool. As I am lucky to never have had a hypo where I passed out, it should be something that provides us all with reassurance no matter where I am.
Overall this is a remarkable experience for me so far. The major cons are it is a bit fiddly to insert so I am a bit nervous about doing this on my own on Monday. However I was like that with the pump at first and now it is just second nature. The other con is the costs. It is not cheap. At around $90 per week for sensors and then $540 for the transmitter, which lasts 3 months, this is definitely a champagne style date. I am working out how I am going to afford it because at the rate I am currently falling in love, I don’t see this relationship ending anytime soon.
I will report back again next week after going to sensor number 2! Here’s to falling in love.
** I have been loaned a Dexcom System for trial for education and training purposes by AMSL Diabetes who distribute the Dexcom here in Australia. I have now purchased 4 new sensors and at the end of the trial will be purchasing my own transmitter.