Continuous Glucose Monitoring: Week One

One week done and gone while constantly monitoring my blood sugar levels. There’s been some goods and bads, but so far, I’d have to give the Freestyle Navigator two big syringes up!

Monday morning I cycled in to work. The adhesive for the sensor/transmitter did not like the heat/humidity and my skin’s reaction to them both. Couple that with where on my abdomen I’d placed the unit, and I had a feeling the thing wasn’t going to last out the bike ride home. And I was right. Halfway back I started to feel an itch and little pricks on my belly on every right-side up-pedal. When I got home I had to rip the thing off, it was itching so bad. This is what I found beneath:

eek

Repeated stab wounds!

Here’s what the sensor looked like unsheathed:

sharpie

I was pretty ticked off. The sensors are supposed to last 5 days. This one lasted 3. And those mofos ain’t cheap. But, this was my first attempt at attaching one, so maybe I did something wrong. I’m still in experimental mode.

I attach the next sensor a little bit higher and on the other side of my abdomen. I also attach an overbandage, which the manufacturer recommended if the sensor adhesive alone wasn’t enough. New sensor in place – tight as can be this time thanks to the overbandage – and 10 hours later I’m back to cyborg. Interestingly enough, the sensor readings and my finger-prick readings were much more aligned with the second sensor, with deviations only about 10 mg/dl in either direction.

Come ’round to Thursday when I’m ready to bicycle to work again. There and back, no real issues. I can pedal without feeling pinched and though I can see the sensor adhesive beginning to come unattached, the overbandage remained snug.

Then, yesterday, my abdomen begins to itch like mad. I can’t take it so once again rip off the sensor before it’s due to expire (this one lasted 4 days). This is what I found underneath:

eekeek

So this time I had the damned thing on too tight and the edges caused some blistering. Washed down with some peroxide, soap and water. Rethunk my strategy. I don’t think a sensor on the abdomen is gonna work during cycling season. Fair enough. So this morning, I attached sensor three to the back of my arm:

cyborg arm

It is difficult to take a photo of the back of your arm by yourself. This is the most comfortable placement position so far. Throughout the day I even forgot a few times I had it attached.

And, 10 hours later, here I am back to being continuously monitored. And I like it. Over the week, I’d grown quite used to using the device’s reporting features to view my 2, 4, and 6 hour BG trends and using those reports to plan for things to come. The low blood sugar alarm is worth it’s weight in gold. This week I confirmed that, for the most part, I have pretty good control. My sugars tend to spike late-morning (for what reason I’ve yet to corner) and that 30-60 minutes of moderate daily exercise is indispensable for maintaining any control (the days I didn’t have time to exercise clearly show erratic up and down trends). And this is nothing I didn’t know already – but it’s nice to see and to gather the data for mining it down the road for even more gains in control.

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Continuous Glucose Monitoring: Week One

Sock it to me

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