The CGM Do-Over…

For the most part, I’m a firm believer that most people and things deserve a second chance, even when things didn’t work out the first time around. Unless we’re talking about someone who has done something truly horrendous that’s damaged my life, of course. But today, we aren’t talking about anything quite so dramatic. I’ve been taking a second crack at CGM, or Continuous Glucose Monitoring.

For anyone who doesn’t remember, I wrote a post about five weeks ago entitled, CGM Is A No-Go where I described the various issues I had been dealing with in regards to the sensor set-up involved with CGM. Although I had decided it would be in my best interest to step away from CGM, a quick video chat with my Medtronic Representative was all it took for me to give it another go. Plus, Medtronic replaced the box of sensors that I had burned through at no cost.

My Guardian Sensor, tucked safely underneath my adhesive patch (yes, I know I look exhausted)

When a company is good enough to go above and beyond in that way (box of 5 sensors is $399.00 in Canada), I owe it to at least TRY and make the damn thing work. So I’ve been hammering through. The photo above is the fifth sensor I’ve been on since that last post, and it’s been going reasonably well. I had one sensor give out after five days instead of seven, but that’s an error margin I can live with.

One of the main recommendations that my rep provided was that if I was used to having my Freestyle Libre on the tricep and it was working for me, I should do the same with my CGM. And to be honest, it’s been WAY better. Because of the steps required to properly install the sensor and transmitter, I can’t get it all done one-handed. So I enlist the help of my wife to get everything set up and in place.

The large, black adhesive you see covering everything is an after-market adhesive called Patchabetes that my rep recommended. I ordered mine through Amazon, but you can click the link to go right to their site to have a look at the various products they carry. I ordered a pack of 20 patches for about $25 Canadian, which means they’re costing me about $1.25/week to use. That’s definitely a cost I can live with. I shell out more money on that in caffeine every DAY!

One of the big problems I was having with the adhesives that come with the sensor is that after a rigorous workout followed by a hot shower, the adhesive would dry out and start to lift. I was shoring it up with band-aids and pretty soon I looked as though I was a badly-designed mummy out of a B-movie. On top of that, the sensor tube would usually end up slipping out of my arm and I’d have to replace it within days as opposed to after a full week. I’m fortunate enough that my medical insurance covers my sensors, but it still feels horrible to be burning through expensive supplies that quickly.

Since switching over to Patchabetes, I can work out, shower and spend all afternoon in the hot sun and it still stays firmly in place. The size of the adhesive and the fact that it’s one piece, ensures that the area is waterproof and I’ve had no issues since starting back on the whole thing. And let’s be honest: it’s kind of nice to have an updated blood sugar reading every five minutes. It’s been making the overall daily control a little bit easier.

Technology can be wonderful and can be very helpful in making the life of a Diabetic much easier. As with most things in life, there’s a steep learning curve involved, especially when it involves your overall health and well-being. So the lesson here is that sometimes you have to push through and give things a second chance, once you’ve had the opportunity to learn the proper way. Even in a fast-paced world, not everything can happen quickly. Now I just need to get over my cowardice and activate the AutoMode again… ☯

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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