Today, I received my first Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). What is that? It’s a device that reads my blood glucose levels 24/7. Why is that cool? Trending, trending, trending.
Standard glucose monitoring has the diabetic test BG levels 4-6 times daily. I check my level, get a number, and act accordingly. And it works well enough to keep my A1C under a 7 (the magic number, though a 5 is closer to non-diabetic range. The HbA1C is a measure of glycated hemoglobin, the batting average of a diabetic). What the standard method doesn’t do, however, is tell me whether that BG level is rising or falling. And that is where CGMs shine. I can really, truly begin to analyze my own BG trends. Am I generally on a upward swing in the AM? How long after my morning commute do my levels begin to drop and should I snack earlier to avoid any low dips in the late morn? In the past, if I wanted to gather trending data I would have to test manually once an hour. Cumbersome, expensive, and still not as valuable as minute-by-minute testing. Additionally, the device has low and high BG alerts, which will warn you if you’re on an upward or downward trend (especially handy if you start to go low while fast asleep. Waking up to severe hypoglycemia is about as fun as getting donkey-punched in the nuts).
So today, after much insurance ballyhoo (this bitch was prescribed back in April), I received my FreeStyle Navigator: a slightly-larger-than-beeper-sized monitor/receiver and a host of sensors which attach to a wireless transmitter (all in all a rather large box of goodies).
The documentation included with the device is very well done. I plugged a sensor into myself and was transmitting to the receiver in no time at all.
(Sorry that’s so terribly out of focus.)
One thing I wish the documentation would have made clearer (as in big-ass, red, bold font) is that once you insert a new sensor, you won’t start receiving data until 10 hours later, when you’re required to do the first of four system calibrations. That means I’m up until midnight tonight waiting to find out if I’ve even installed this mofo correctly.
Needless to say, I’m stoked to see how much better I can manage the ol’ die-uh-bee-tus with this tool.
And yes, this brings me one step closer to cyborg status.
2 thoughts on “Continuous Glucose Monitoring”
I’ll bet this is transformative for you. I’ve been using a Dexcom for over 2 years and seen a big change in controls overall. I know several Navigator users and they love it’s accuracy. If you’ve not already found it, TuDiabetes.com has a group for folks using the Navigator. I’m a long-time member of TuDiabetes and it’s a helpful place for questions you may have.
Thanks, Bernard. I’ve not yet see TuDiabetes.com. I’ll check it out (and plan to check out your blog right this second).