Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Post With Many Acronyms: CGM, A1c, FDA

This post and the ideas it represents have taken me a long time to come to terms with.

It is sometimes hard to admit that a part of me is broken (read: that bloody pancreas) and asking for a piece of new technology is in essence accepting this brokenness. For someone that spends a good deal of time and effort pushing the boundaries said brokenness creates, realizing "whatya doing ain't workin" is difficult.

After much increased Diabetes-related effort on my part with little to no impact on my A1c, I decided to take the next step: I asked my endocrinologist for a CGM. It took a while to get over the hump of cons to actually focus on what this little device could help me with...the ever elusive perfect A1c.

Once I was past the hump, filled out the paperwork and coordinated with the very kind Dexcom man I became somewhat impatient. I wanted to start fixing my Diabetes situation immediately. Shortly after my approval for a CGM went through Dexcom was awarded a new FDA approval for a more accurate CGM system. And so began my month-long wait for the little bugger.

The Fedex box arrived while I was on travel for work and Chris sent me pictures knowing full well how excited I was.

After getting home late last Friday, I decided to wait until Saturday to fire up the system - it was my first time, and I needed to read every last instruction.

Here was the scene Saturday morning (I even procrastinated doing my grad school homework for this):


It seemed like an eternity from initial insertion to calibration (around 2 hours in actuality). We went to the dog park to get my mind off the excitement.

I was prompted to enter the two blood sugar checks just as we were finishing up at the dog park, so I threw the dogs in the car with instructions to Chris to "keep them away from me while I get these entered!!" As soon as the little dots started to populate I was hooked. I have learned so much already, in just 5 days of using the system. Many of the trends are ones I "knew" happened, but the frequency of finger stick testing didn't really drive the point home. After seeing the trend update every 5 minutes I have been forced to accept the realities my ignorance protected me from before.

But I like it. It's not as annoying as I thought it would be to wear another "site" and the data is amazing. I'm sure I will find more quirks and buried trends, but for now its A-OK.