I am relatively new to dexcom. I use it with my new animas vibe. I have never felt so stressed, overwhelmed and anxious about my type one diabetes before this. Has anyone else experienced this?
I have no interest in a CGM, Michelle, because, knowing myself, I know it would make me more worried and obsessed with my BG. I work to maintain my quality of life balancing cost/benefits. For me a CGM would put me on the wrong side of that equation. I just know myself well enough that I make that choice. I seem to be in a minority in that sense and it seems like you might be as well. We are all different. If you find it the quality of your life is reduced more than the benefit, than perhaps the CGM/Vibe is now for you.
Right. I have always had an anxious personality. I should have known that going in. As a type one diabetic, we all have those “moments” where we get upset, depressed and a little resentful at the disease that is placed on our shoulders, and now more than ever have i been feeling those moments more than usual. Ive been contemplating not wearing one for awhile.
I have experienced the opposite effect with my CGM. I LOVE IT! I had so much trouble controlling my blood sugars before, even though I understood blood sugar and the effects of life on it. I didn't understand, though, certain trends in my blood sugar until I was able to see it in real time. Now I have much less worries and stresses because I understand better what certain things in my lifestyle do to my BG, and how to avoid rises and falls. I especially sleep better now that I am alerted to lows in the middle of the night. I had been having trouble with severe lows at night, with the CGM now I don't.
As far as money goes, I am lucky that my insurance covers my CGM and supplies 100%.
For me, the CGM is a valuable tool. First, to help me learn how my BG trends and why. Then, to use it to maintain a healthy BG. Some people may not need this aid, but I sure did and I am grateful for it. :)
Hi Michelle: When I first started on the Dexcom, I was overwhelmed by the amount of data (and I am a scientist and love data). But psychologically it was just too much, and I also did some over-corrections as a result. I actually stopped using it for a few days, then went back to it. Now I can't imagine going without it. So, my experience is that it takes a little adjustment period.
I am sorry you feel this way, yes almost all Type 1's and most type 2's feel this way at one point or another. I suggest you check your setting on the dexcom, you may have them too tight. Remember the dexcom is a tool not your blood sugar, just a tool to predict which way it is going and to keep you out of trouble. I have my alerts on 60 and 250...rick
I've been on one for a week and it's definitely increased my anxiety.
Lots of over correcting and early adjusting that has to increased lows over the last few days.
It's a learning curve.
As I am hypo aware and my control is pretty tight already, I'm not sure the benefits outweigh the costs for me. It is great for assessing basals and I:C rations, impacts of exercise and certain foods etc.
Hey Michelle. Totally get what you are saying. I went through the exact same thing when I got a CGM a couple years back. I looked at it constantly and expected it and my meter to magically sync up. The stress was actually shooting my numbers higher, so what I did was took a couple weeks off. I readjusted my expectations of CGM and started over. I realized that it should be used for trending, that it's not a replacement for finger sticks, that it lags behind actual BS etc.
As many others attest, I've come to love my CGM and couldn't see myself without it now. Hopefully you can learn the ins and outs as it pertains to you and come to love and rely on yours as well.
This is a great place for questions and suggestions so fire away!!!
Thanks for your response! I am finding with it, I am checking my BG at least 10x daily and am over obsessed with my numbers, which I am over-calculating and going very low, very quickly, which is obviously very stressful and emotionally draining. I think after this session expires on my dexcom, i'm putting it to rest for awhile. I just need a BREAK lol
Thanks for your response! I am running into the exact same issues with over correcting and going very low, very quickly. It's not fun!
Thanks for your response! I will look more into it, but am thinking a break is probably necessary for me at this point.
Thank you for your response! hoping that after a short break from it, i can come to love it and adjust my expectations with it.
Thanks for your response, I'm glad you love yours! I think I need a break and will come to love it eventually
and remember it's measuring interstitial fluid so it lags behind actual BG numbers by about 10-15 mins so you should always treat based off finger stick.
It makes sense to me that blood glucose data can have a negative psychological impact on people with diabetes. We can view that data as a judgment not just on how well we treat our diabetes, but also judgment on on our character and our worth as human beings. It may not be a conscious or deliberate leap we make from a blood sugar number to a self-worth number but we can fall into that trap. Who would want to sign up for a program where we are given 288 (once every five minutes) judgments each day on our worthiness as a human being?
I love my CGM and wouldn't choose to live without it. But I mostly see good numbers and I'm not challenged with frequent out-of-range numbers that might erode my self-confidence. How did I psychologically survive the learning curve to get to a better place BG-wise?
It was never a conscious choice for me but looking back I can make some observations. First of all, it is just a number! It is not an indicator of your worth as a human being. To be fair, when I see a great number like 85 mg/dl, I take full credit and celebrate my success! But when I see a bad number, I just ask myself, "What can I do to make this number better?" I tell myself that I'm diabetic for heaven's sake, what do you expect? Then I immediately try to take some action to make this number better. I may take more insulin, go for a walk, or delay eating my next meal. And I try to be patient, the hardest lesson for me to learn.
I highly recommend reading The Book of Better: Life with Diabetes Can't Be Perfect, Make It Better by Chuck Eichten. It's a quick read filled with many humorous graphics only a person with diabetes can fully appreciate. It helped me to recalibrate my emotional relationship with diabetes. It also made me laugh! Life is lived only in the present. The past is done and unchangeable, the future never arrives.
All we have is now. What can we do in this precious moment to make life better? What can we do in this precious moment to make our diabetes better? That's such an important question because it is asked of us every moment of every day. It is also a very powerful concept. Those little positive responses we make do add up! In fact lots of good choices about diabetes add up to a whole pile of good with a force as powerful as a tsunami.
Once you can make a fundamental mindset change, that can open the door to seeing the CGM in its proper perspective. It's a great tool to help you with your diabetes. It is not 5-minute nag about how worthless you are!
My CGM taught me essential information on how insulin, foods, exercise, and sleep affect my blood sugar levels. I listened and I improved one 5-minute step at a time.
Go ahead and take a CGM vacation. Clearing the slate and starting anew is usually a good idea. Try to use that time to adjust your mindset about your relationship with diabetes.
Your blood sugar levels never have been and never will be a judgment on your ultimate worth as a human being! Your value is completely independent of blood sugar. You are worthy, valued, and lovable simply because you are here, now!
How tight do you have your high and low alarms set? Sometimes, if you just loosen those ranges, it'll help with the 'information' overload.
It also helps if you think of the CGMS as what it is...a tool. Simply a tool. Not meant to grade you, but assist you. Make subtle changes with it. If every morning you notice you are high, try adjusting your insulin dosage, and just go from there. Don't stress over what the CGMS is saying, just utilize it for the future, or if you can act on it...go ahead and do that.
When I first started the CGMS (in 2010), it WAS information overload. However, it was because I wanted to over micromanage the information it was providing. I have learned, I simply can't use it that way for me personally. I'm a 'in the moment' person. It is helpful during horse shows, or long shifts at work to just gage where I am at, and maybe if I need to do something (like drink a juice if I am about to go into a class, or correct a high I see coming).
For me, I just look at the CGMS as a helpful reminder, "hey, you may want to check your BG." I won't say I micromanage with it. I have my high alarm set where it won't bug me all day. It simply assists you in making decisions.
What a beautiful post! Thank you! Just what I needed! Will check out that book!
Your response warms me! Good luck with your quest.
TO the OP:
IF you had asked me 3 years ago when I tried the MM Soft Sensor system, I would have said my stress level went through the roof. I basically had a random number generator for a month until I returned it to MM for a refund.
Last September I tried the Enlite system and it worked for me! Now I only feel stressed during the times between sensor changes, when my pump isn't displaying glucose numbers. What a change! I just got done with a sensor this morning that gave me 12 days of good numbers (this is from a 6-day system, mind you).
Terry is the man. Great post.