Saturday, March 28, 2015

Radio Silence

I invest a lot of time and energy into my CGM. Don't get me wrong--I love it. I love the predictive power it gives me, the ability to plan activities, exercise, and snacks more effectively. I love the peace of mind that comes with it, the ability to aggressively correct and monitor the effects of said aggressive correction. I love avoiding brain-mushy, fridge-clearing lows in favor of a light snack of fresh fruit when I'm drifting down and have IOB. I love not having to wake at midnight and 3 am in order to test my basal rates, too, and being able to look at the data at a more comfortable hour.

There are many many benefits to this technology, and I know that it has been a huge tool in helping to me manage everything. I am still so shocked that only 10% of PWDs use it, although I know of course insurance companies can make it difficult. I hope this number increases, because I think it will help many people lead much healthier, happier lives.

That being said, it also puts a HUGE level of personal responsibility on me. I am already a very meticulous person (to say the least, according to former roommates ;) so being held accountable, every second of every day, for my blood sugar, watching those arrows, dreading the yellow and red numbers, can be really wearing. I remember when I first got my trusty Dexcom, the rep told me that, while most people interacted with their pump 7-10 times a day, people interacted with their CGMs over 20 times per day. I remember thinking that number was crazy!! I didn't want to become that attached to technology. I vowed to be reasonable, checking it only once per hour, or maybe more during exercise.

Well well well, how the turntables...20 times a day turned out to be a light estimate for me, for sure. I can't help it. With all that data, right there, avoiding the brain fog/super irritation of BG highs and obvious side effects of BG lows is just too tempting. I probably check it 10 times an hour, honestly. To be even more honest, I started to write 15 times an hour but got too embarrassed. I check it ALL. THE. TIME.

And while it is helpful, it can also just be a huge bummer. And I'm not talking about the nighttime "dancing" around high or low alerts that lead to beeps every couple minutes. And I'm not talking about the stress and irritation of having YAD (yet another device) strapped onto me and gazillion dollar medical device to carry around. It's more like, sometimes, my BG is just high. It could be a bolus that doesn't hit right. It could be the first bolus after a site change (can I get a what what from my OmniPod peeps?). It could be stress. Or it could be a chocolate binge, cereal dessert, cheese and crackers mishap. Either way, I'm high, and there's not too much I can do about it except bolus, hydrate, and wait for my liver to help me clear my system.

With my sensor, though, this can be positively infuriating. There's something about that stubborn straight-ahead arrow when I am trying my darndest to get low that really peeves me. I hate looking back and seeing a huge yellow mountain for the past 3 hours.

When I'm sensor-less, though, I cut myself way more slack. I know I'm high, still, but the time until I'm back in range seems to pass more quickly. I focus on it less. I swear I even feel less symptoms (probably because I'm not thinking about it as much). I know it's not healthy, and that without my Dexcom I would spend much more time out of range. I also appreciate that the sensor helps me avoid crashing lows due to "rage bolusing." But still...I just, forgive myself, a bit more I guess.

Maybe with less access to information, I have more access to patience, somehow.

I'm not sure how to build this into my routine effectively, but I do know that I need to value that technology breaks are good for my soul. However, I'm reluctant to waste a perfectly good sensor by ripping it off just because I want to indulge in an all-day gourmet chocolate festival or simply need a mental break.

Sometimes though, I am reminded that you need to let go. 

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