Whaaa?

Whaaa?–Minion from Despicable Me

 

That was me this morning… after seeing this:

dex1

And again when I saw this:

dex2

 

These were taken an hour apart. Granted, the one at 9:45am was sort of accurate with my meter reading, but I attributed it to the fact that I had eaten a Special K cereal bar and I figured it caused the spike. Then, and hour later, (as you can see) I was shocked to see that the Dexcom was reading almost 300! Not something a diabetic, let alone a pregnant one, wants to see. So, I checked with my meter, and lo and behold I’m almost half of what the Dexcom is reading.  See, I knew I shouldn’t have spiked that high because with foods like cereal, I don’t give a standard bolus, I give a super bolus to help that post-cereal spike. Granted, 157 is still high in preggo-d terms, but hey, it’s much better than 250-300.

The whole Dexcom issue is just really starting to get to me. It’s rarely ever accurate now, and it seems to be magnetically drawn to the top or bottom. I swear if it could show me a negative number, it would. I was thinking I just had a bad box of sensors, but since using the new ones from the brand new shipment and still getting bad readings, I’m just not happy. I don’t know what else to do to make this thing work. Maybe I’m just one of the special ones that can’t use a Dexcom while pregnant. I wish I could, but I can’t deal with it being off all of the time. I’ll give it another try with a new sensor starting Saturday, but if it still doesn’t work, I may have to just let it rest in the drawer til after August (eeek!).

Dex Shut Down

It has been with much debate that I have come to this conclusion. I have to shut down my dexcom for a while.

I hate to do it. I really do. Because that will be my safety net gone. But to be honest, lately that safety net has been so off target that it’s not even been my safety net for a while. I’ll have a few days where it works fine and then boom, it’s off again.

Granted, yes, I’ve been taking Tylenol here and there (like, once a week when my headaches get unbearably nauseatingly bad), but I usually leave my dex out of range for at least 12 hours so that the Tylenol will have worked its way out of my system and usually it works fine for the rest of the week. But lately, whether I take Tylenol or not, it’s off. I mean, brand new sensor, cleaned transmitter and everything, will work great one day and then suddenly be off by gynormous amounts, only to correct it with the 15-minute calibration rule, get it back in line, and within a few hours, it’s off again.

I mean, seriously, are my hormones screwing it up? Is there something in my prenatal vitamins messing it up? Because that’s the only thing different with me. I’ve been on Synthroid over a year now, so that shouldn’t make a difference.

Either way, I can’t deal with the constant “BEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEP” to tell me I’m “80 or below” – for it to show me I’m dropping fast into the 50’s, only to take 2-3 bg checks and show I should be flat-lining in the 90’s.  Or to tell me I’m reaching for the sky way above 200 only to be 136.

Having diabetes is stressful. Being pregnant and diabetic is a whole new level of stress in and of itself. Being a diabetic pregnant lady with medical devices that don’t want to cooperate and make matters worse makes for one irritated, stressed out woman.

I may start it back up next week, but I need a break from it. I’m at the point where I don’t care that I may be testing every two hours (or more if needed) to be sure everything is ok. Right now, I can’t being stressed without need be. I have to keep reminding myself that there are many other women who went through their pregnancies just fine without a dexcom or any other CGMS device and had perfectly normal babies and a small break might do me some good.

Sorry Dex. I need a break. But don’t worry. We’ll get back together soon. I promise.

So It’s Been a While.

I know, I know. I should have blogged at least once last week. I fell through the cracks. I forgot. And truth be known, I was not really inspired to write anything really. It was a pretty uneventful week. I’m just kind of going through a “blah” time right now. Diabetes has been kicking my butt recently. Other than having a huge cyst on my leg from what, I do not know, that has gotten infected and am now on antibiotics for, and joining WeightWatchers Online to help change my diet, there’s nothing else to cause the erratic bg behavior.

Anyway, I promised to post some pics after I got my Dexcom and sensor going, and I know I haven’t done it yet, for which I am very sorry. I am posting some of them below, but be warned, they were done with my cell phone, so they aren’t that great:

My new pink skin! Ain't it CUUUTE?? 100, but going up again... Dexter's bear. He stays clipped to him at night. Same bg number! Wow!

first 7 days on dex

(I promise to publish more when I have them uploaded.)

Yes, that is a teddy bear in one of those pictures. It is the Build-A-Bear version of my hubby. He got it for our 10th month together when we were dating. He is wearing  a polo shirt and khaki shorts, which is what Erik wears all the time. So, since Erik’s nickname is “Big E” (he used to be a football player, so he’s still pretty built from his workout days), we named the bear “Little E”. He sleeps beside me at night with the dex receiver attached to him because it would otherwise lose signal at night if it was left on the night stand. I haven’t figured out why, because the sensor would never be more than 5 feet away. Since giving it to Little E to take care of at night, it has worked great so far.

The first week, the dex worked GREAT! My numbers were awesome in the fact of how close they were to my meter. The second sensor was okay, relatively close, but these last two have been off a pretty good bit. The last one has been reading me very low, even below 40, when I was still in the 80’s and 90’s, as well as very high, when I was only around 130-ish.  It is a great little tool, when it works for me. Maybe I have too much going on inside me for it to read correctly. Hopefully it will all straighten back out after this infection goes away.

When I uploaded it last week to look at my numbers (I have been playing with basal rates and have almost gotten them worked out), I looked at the highs verses the lows. I only had 3 highs, but I had 31 lows all in a two week period. NOT good. So, I adjusted my basals once again and I haven’t dropped low quite as much. It will be interesting to see how it all works out after I get it all straight.

I promise I will post again later this week. I have my second weigh-in for WeightWatchers on Thursday night, so I will probably write then. Take care everyone!

Starting to color with my Crayolas

double duty Today marks the day that I started using my Dexcom Seven+.

I can tell you that I am honestly like a kid at Christmas when waiting for this kind of thing. Last night was terrible. The minutes and hours just seemed to DRAG by. Even today, the time between 8am and 1:30pm was SO long. I do declare that time pauses for those in anticipation just to pick at us.

My trainer turned out to be a really a nice lady. She actually explained that her two daughters and her husband all have type 1 diabetes. They all use a Dexcom and her daughters are currently on shot therapy for a vacation from the pump. After learning this, in a way, I looked at her differently. She doesn’t just sell this product, she uses and sees this thing personally with not only one person, but three. I took her advice more to heart with different tips she gave me.

Anyway, the time went by with the trainer very fast. She started off explaining the Dexcom receiver to me. I know it’s her job, but I had already read every bit of material they had sent twice or more and played with the receiver to set alarms (I know, that’s a no-no, but I couldn’t help it!!!) Then we got down to business. We got everything set up with the insertion device, got the Skin Tac placed, placed the insertion device right where it was needed. I pulled the safety latch out and got ready to push the plunger, and I wimped out. ME! You’d think after all these years of poking needles in me, I wouldn’t be nervous. Then, before I knew it, she pushed the plunger and it was in. I am here to profess to everyone of you who is reading this, I AM A DOWNRIGHT, HONEST-TO-GOODNESS CHICKEN!!! I felt so silly after it was in and all was done that I was that scared of it.

It was activated at around 2:30, so by 4:30, I should be able to do my calibration entries. Then I should be able to see my trends come up.  I’ll be starting to color with my Crayolas! How cool is that?!?!? I’ll write later and post some pics of my trends later.

(OH, by the way, for those of you who remember the A1C countdown blog, I officially have 5 days left. My appointment is Monday, so I will be getting it done then. It usually takes a couple of days to get the results, so in a week from today, I should have my new number to tell you guys!)

Comparing CGMs to Crayons…

The start of this adventure was back in December of 2008 after I started on my OmniPod system. I was getting much better control with this pump because, unlike my prior pump, this one had things like “Insulin on Board”, “Bolus Calculator”, and all that good stuff, not to mention, it was the perfect, closed loop system in my opinion because the PDM had the built in monitor as well. Everything could be kept in a neat, nice little pouch inside of my purse.

Well, as always with getting better, lower numbers, you also get more of the not so good, lower low numbers as well. I could deal with them at the time because there were only a few per week, or I’d only have one really bad day in the week where they just wouldn’t come up. But as with any time you make adjustments to lower the still-high-highs, you are more prone to getting the lows. Well, over time, I am losing the ability to tell when I am dropping low. It’s not quite as bad as some, but where I used to be able to feel a low coming on in the 80-70 range, it’s now down to the 50-40 range, and that, to me, is scary. I have a fear that I will drop too low and not be able to tell anyone what is happening or what to do. I’ve heard many of the horror stories of people passing out, and I have done so myself, and that is something I do not wish to revisit again. So, I decided to apply for a Freestyle Navigator CGM. I chose this one because it would take the same strips as my OmniPod PDM. We filed the paperwork, hassled with my unwilling doctor to get the papers signed, and waited for approval.

The weeks went by and finally I got a call from Abbott that said my insurance had denied my request due to lack of medical necessity. Okay, first off, I would like to know what doctor read my file and said that I, a diabetic of 20+ years, could not show evidence through my testing that I needed a CGM. It’s kind of like when you are a kid and you want to get crayons from the store. You want the best… you want Crayola. But your mom says, “no, these are just as good”, and gets you the dollar store waxy crayons that when you color with them, you get more wax than color on your paper. You are asking the insurance company for the Crayola… The insurance company basically says no and gives you the waxy crayon… They say “No, you can manage your glucose just as well with only doing 8-10 checks a day as opposed to having 288 readings per day, and you should have no problem attaining a great A1C to reflect it.” We were going to file for an appeal, but I never received the papers in the mail. I decided just to give it a rest and try to do my best on my own. Since then, the aim for tighter numbers has given me more lows, still in the 50-40 range, but with less symptoms than before, and also leaving me with killer headaches. Ones that have even recently caused me to lose time work because they would physically make me too sick to work. I looked over my readings on my CoPilot system, and it showed a LOT of lows in the below 50 range happening more frequently than before, most of them unnoticed…

I submitted paperwork back on the 11th of this month to Dexcom to try for their 7Plus CGM since there are reports that they are teaming up with Insulet to somehow integrate the two systems. This morning, the representative informed me that they have already verified my benefits, and were waiting on a fax from my doctors office (a new doctor, due to problems with my old doctor, we switched. That will be covered in another blog. My new one is much better and is in favor of and promotes CGMs as well), then they were submitting everything they had to my insurance company for preauthorization. So the wait begins. I am hopeful… wishful… and am being as patient as I can possibly be right now.