Sunday, May 15, 2016

Changing technology -- CGM edition

I'm not the biggest fan of change and yet here we are, I'm making changes. This one is kind of big and yet it isn't. Since the fall, my endocrinologist has wanted me to consider switching my Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) system. And I kept pushing back about not wanting to change. And how loyal I am to Medtronic (Seriously. I love them). And how things were just fine as they were; there was no need to change. 

But when 2016 began, I encounter quite a few hurdles. My sensors consistently were failing. I had three weeks in a row of them failing. They always failed within 24 hours of putting them in on a Sunday. Of course they failed while I was at work which meant I wouldn't be able to insert a new one until the evening...after dinner. I'm not a fan of that. 

I also had several horrific low blood sugars which involved some blackouts, vomiting and who knows what else. Not ideal. I needed to evaluate and see what was not only causing them (still not sure) but why I wasn't catching them early enough to prevent the horrid of what they ultimately became. I've learned, unlike most others, I get pretty sleepy when I'm low and just want to "sleep the low off." Yep, I'm a winner. I also tend to sleep on my stomach. Where do I attach my pump while sleeping/laying down? on the waistband of my shorts/pants. So more often than not my pump, which is what beeps at me when high or low, is muffled between my body and the mattress and therefore I'm not hearing the alarms. Not ideal. 

With all of that, I agreed with my endocrinologist to do a trial run of the Dexcom CGM. Many are always saying how it is far more accurate than my Medtronic Enlite. Again, my loyalty to Medtronic wanted to prove that opinion wrong. So, I signed up for a trail run of the Dexcom and wore both at the same time. 

I put the Enlite on in the morning on Sunday and the Dex was put on towards the end of the work day on Monday. For the first two days or so, the Enlite readings were far more accurate. Then they both were pretty accurate and alternated on which was more accurate. Usually whichever was more accurate was only more accurate by a number or two. Say was 121 compared to 120 when my meter was 122 or 123. Nothing significant. 

Basically, those who rip Medtronic for not being accurate can shut it. 

Ultimately though, I have chosen to switch, at least for the time being. Reasons for me switching include:
  • Having an alarm to sound not coming from my pump so I will actually hear it and not ignore it and/or sleep through it;
  • The Dexcom app refreshes far quicker than the Medtronic one; 
  • I am able to eat while calibrating the Dex unlike my Enlite because no joke, more often than not, I went low while calibrating; and
  • It works with my Apple Watch so I'm able to discreetly check my numbers while at work. 
I am still in tears and feeling guilty about switching. If (we should be honest and say when, not if) Medtronic makes changes to their system, I will switch back. But at this point in my life, especially as a single person who lives alone (ugh, it hurt to type those words), I need a CGM I know I will hear because this horrific low blood sugars are too much and eventually could have a less than desirable result. I haven't found a way to tell my friends at Medtronic I've switched. I'm not grown enough to send them a message. I suppose they may read my blog (or perhaps they won't), but I know I'm taking the cowards way out by just posting a blog rather than sending them a message. And I'm sure for at least three months I will continue to feel guilty. I just need to remind myself I'm doing what is best for me and my health and care. And I subconsciously I know that is what they will care most about. But dang it, I feel guilty. 

And with publishing this post (a Sunday), I will be preparing to insert my first Dexcom sensor. My last Medtronic Enlite sensor finished Saturday evening. I'm feeling pretty bittersweet. 

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