...about trying out CGM again.
Awhile back I was hooked up to Medtronic's first CGM. It was a test run that went wrong. For starters the sensor hurt as it was injected into my body. Secondly, I was only able to keep it on me for 3 days. Lastly, by the time those 3 days were up, I had gotten an infection from the sensor needle thingy. (please excuse my slang terminology) Also, at this time my injection site was my butt, so it kind of hurt to sit down once it was taken out for good, and it was also very uncomfortable to sit on when it was in me.
So, ever since this experience I haven't worn my CGM sensor. Although, now I see they've greatly improved CGM technology and I'm wondering if I should give it another try, and which CGM device I should use.
Suggestions or advice anyone??
...about trying out CGM again.
I have been using CGMS (self funded) for 4 years. IMO, knowing at any time where my BG is (at least approximately) and more importantly where it is going (up or down) is a HUGE plus point and I would find it difficult to go back to having to rely on doing fingersticks.
I would guess that your previous experience was with the Medtronic Sof-Sensors. These were inserted with a spring-loaded thing using a needle that would have been suitable for use as a harpoon (look out Moby Dick LOL). Pain on insertion was sometimes a problem. I was able to get reasonably reliable readings from the sensors, although this seemed to need Yoda-like skills/knowledge (which I managed to acquire from other users on forums/boards).
Sof-sensors were replaced, 2 years ago in Europe and more recently in the USA, by Enlite sensors. These have much smaller and more comfortable insertion needles and electrode. Sensors last 6 days, but can be re-started to extend this to around 8 days. Accuracy can still be an issue with these.
Both Sof-sensors and Enlites send their readings to the Minimed pump, which acts as a receiver. Readings are displayed on the screen and trend graphs showing whether your BG is going up or down are also displayed which is v. useful (e.g. if you are going hypo overnight you get an alarm warning, if you miscalculated your bolus for that pizza, you can see the numbers start to go up fairly early and you can put in a bit of extra insulin to cover it).
The alternative system is the Dexcom G4 CGM. In Europe the latest Animas pump (the Vibe) acts as the receiver for the sensors - the Vibe is still waiting for approval in the USA - for now you would need to use a separate receiver. About 2 months ago I switched to using a Vibe pump and the Dexcom sensors. The electrode and inserter needle are tiny and insertion is completely painless. I put mine on my stomach above the waistband. The Dexcom sensors are super-accurate and reliable. More than 95% of fingersticks are within 10% of the sensor reading. Sensors are certified for 7 days use. However when the sensor runs out you can just leave it in and re-start it. I have been getting an average of around 18 days out of each sensor. If you are self-funding the long sensor life compared to the Enlite makes the Dexcom system much less expensive.
My personal opinion is that the Dexcom system is far superior both in terms of reliability accuracy and ease of use. You are not supposed to rely on CGM readings for boluses, corrections etc., but I often do as they always seem to be very close to the fingerstick BG. The Animas pump has a nice colour display but I find the menu system is complicated and operations require a lot more button presses, a PITA compared to Medtronic. I think you are in the USA - if so you would have to wait for the Vibe to be released. Alternatively you could use the separate receiver (one more thing to carry around, but lots of people do). If so you would have the option of continuing with your existing pump.
Hope this helps
I have only heard good things about the new Enlite sensors. Apparently they hurt less. I'll be interested to see what people say because I want to check it out too. Ask medtronic if they will send you a sample!
just a short input-
once, a doctor told me to try everything out.
these CGMs are being improved every time anew one comes out. and if the last model might not have been the one, this one could be it. so go for it, try out one or two- if it doesnt work out, drop it again and wait for the next model, maybe that one is better...
I am new to CGM...just started about two months ago. This was since they made their big change and have the new sensors that you are able to leave in for six days! I passed up the sensor before because I was a little uneasy about having to wear another site. Anyways, I have been very pleased with the sensor. I used the older one once for a trial run, and had someone else insert it for me, but it looked difficult. This one is fool-proof and completely painless. I have very sensitive skin, and find that my sites can get infected fairly easily, but I have had no problems with the sensor. Upon removing it, I can barely see that anything was there. I'm using the one through medtronic currently and am very pleased. I hope this helps a little bit and good luck if you choose to go back with CGM.
I used that harpoon like device years ago. 1 time. I don't know how anyone used it on a regular basis (I'm a wimp, I admit). I have the new sensor. It doesn't hurt when you insert it at all. I will say it stings occasionally when the needle is pulled out right after insertion, but that sting is teeny tiny. And it's gone in a second. NOTHING like previously. It hurts less than finger pricks, infusion set insertions, really just about anything. I've had a few that I didn't feel at all as it was inserted or the needle was taken out.
I had one work for 6 days, and you could barely see where it was inserted the day after it was taken out. My infusion sites often stay red for a week or so.
That being said the sensors aren't really working for me. I keep getting sensor error or sensor fail, so it's kind of like tossing money out the window. When they work it's a nice trend (the blood sugar readings are horribly inaccurate for me...think 10% to 40% off). So I use it as a trend, and hope that it will get better.
If you want accurate info, I wouldn't suggest it. If you are worried about pain...I wouldn't be. It doesn't hurt. Really it doesn't hurt, it's amazing. I sleep on it with it pressing into me, and it doesn't bother me. It's nice in that regard.