CGM Diaries: Day 3

Day three. I'm starting to get used to the CGM and learn more about how it's going to fit into my life. Today was a good test for it, as I was out of the house for an extended period.

This morning began with the first run I've been on since getting the Dexcom. Having an Apple Watch with a built-in 4G connection meant I didn't take my phone. A side effect of this was not being able to see my glucose levels while running, as the Dexcom connects to the phone but not to the Apple Watch. This will change as a result of watchOS 4 and changes to CoreBluetooth, but as I type this those features aren't supported yet.

The Dexcom sensor is comfortable enough for day-to-day activities. I haven't been able to feel it when at the gym, or when sleeping (which is what I was most concerned about. It has brushed up against the seatbelt in the car which can get uncomfortable, but it's no big deal. Where it's been most uncomfortable was on this morning's run. There's no other way to describe it other than it felt heavy. I've not felt this way about an insulin pump set, but the Dexcom is absolutely noticeable - and somewhat uncomfortable - while running. Again, not a huge issue, but it's something to note.

After years of being trained to complete regular "finger pricks" around lunch time, losing this mindset is taking some time. With the CGM, I can just eat. As strange as that sounds it's true. There's no longer a prerequisite to eating. Similarly, earlier today I found myself feeling a rise in my blood sugar. It was only minor, and usually I wouldn't worry about it. With the CGM, I was able to glance at my wrist, note that it was slightly higher than it should be, and give a dose of insulin through the pump. Not having to draw blood to get this information is helpful.

As I've mentioned previously, it is recommended to calibrate the Dexcom sensor with a manual "finger prick" every 12 hours. Being out of the house for so long today meant that these two calibrations would occur about 16 hours apart. That hasn't stopped the Dexcom app from sending me a notification every five minutes since 6 pm this evening reminding me to, "Enter BGL meter value." There seems to be no way to clear this without entering a false calibration - which I'm reluctant to do. On the positive side, these notifications aren't making audio alerts. Another positive is that all of the calibrations so far, except one, have been within +/-0.5mmol/L of the current Dexcom sensor reading. It's reassuring to know that it's accurate.

Today was the best day I've had so far for learning what makes the CGM useful. Highs and lows are unpreventable for someone with type 1 diabetes, but a CGM ensures you're on top of these swings and can help you recover from them faster. The highs won't be so high. Nor the lows so low. It's about the convenience of leaving your blood glucose monitor at home for the day. Did I mention? I haven't seen the thing since seven this morning - which is almost certainly the longest time I've spent away from one in over 16 years.