New CGM user

Do I ever, @Cayla! Made flying a breeze yesterday and has relieved worries about exercise lows tremendously!

Go for it, @Brianna1!

I had an endo appointment last week, and he told me that I could try a CGM if I want to, though he seemed to think that I wouldn’t need it for more than a few weeks or a month and that it may be more trouble than it’s worth for me. But, he told me to talk to the CDE in the office about getting one. I spoke to her about it and she basically told me that she thought it may be too much information and that I would feel overwhelmed. She also said that my insurance is not likely to cover it unless I am having a lot of hypos. I occasionally have hypos but right now I am having more high blood sugars. My A1C went up, and I am concerned about the long term here, and possible complications. It seems to me that many people on this site have CGM’s…are they not covered by insurance? I’m not sure where to go from here…

You raised at least 3 questions in your post that I can comment on.

  1. Are CGMs covered by insurance?
     
    Sometimes. That’s all I’ll say on this one and leave it to others to take it further. But if you want to know the answer to this question you really need to ask your insurance company. (I think).
     
  2. Will it be too much information for you? Will you feel overwhelmed?
     
    Again, beats the heck out of me. The only one who can answer that question is you. It really depends on what your attitude is to your D and how you respond to a clearer picture of what is happening with your BGs versus your insulin and food.
     
  3. Will it only benefit you for a few weeks or a month?
    That’s the attitude I originally had when I was still considering CGM but hadn’t used it. It doesn’t surprise me that your endo might think this way. I now think that view is completely bogus, but I understand how someone who really only knows about living with and managing D from “the neck up” could think so.
     
    From a distance, CGM can seem to be simply your BG meter tests on steroids. As such you wouldn’t expect to learn more than you already know. Sure it might be helpful for things like more easily doing overnight basal testing while you are sleeping, but you probably pretty much already know what’s going on, right?
     
    Well, no. Heck, make that a “hell no!” It doesn’t take long for many of us … not all, but I think the majority … to find that CGM can be a quality of life game changer. Yes, one benefit is that it can make basal testing easier. But it also allows you to see how your body reacts to foods. Instead of guessing how long it takes for your bolus insulin to match up with the food you eat, you can actually watch and see it happen.

When I started CGM I thought I’d only use it for a few weeks, maybe months. Now I want to always have it.

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You should ask your endo if she can put you in contact with e Dexcom sales rep. They and their insurance people are very good at know what is necessary to get insurance coverage for a CGM. My Dx is Type 2 and they got coverage for me – of course every case is different.

I agree with @irrational_John - Now that I’ve been using a CGM, I always want to have that data available to me. Overwhelming? Perhaps, but it makes it possible to manage situations that might otherwise be a lot more challenging and it has helped me experiment to safely find what works best for me.

Funny, last week, I watched a medical webinar on diabetes. One of the doctors involved said that, while she knows that insurance companies have different ideas, she believes that everyone on insulin should be using a CGM. The information you can get from periodic tests with you meter is great, but quite static. Even with a lot of tests, you can only get a series of snapshots regarding your BG. A CGM does so much more - gives you those momentary snapshots (288 or more a day!), but also give you trending information impossible to get from periodic finger sticks.
My current BG is 113 - but where is it going? Meter will not tell me that. The CGM, however, lets me know that I’m relatively stable at the moment. Makes the next decision I make all that more meaningful.

Advice please My first CGM is the Dexcom G5 and I have had it for 2.5 weeks. love it. Today since my BG was steady I actually took a walk without my meter and glucose tabs!! Questions for the group. Since I can see the graph trends on my receiver I saw that after eating Ethiopian food my BG dropped quite low and then spiked to over 200’s. Same yesterday when I ate spanikopita, Another time I had tacos with ahi tuna and it didn’t drop low but was steady and then it spiked. All these foods have a combo of fat/fiber and carbs, probably delaying the sugar rise. The beauty of the CGM is seeing how the sugars are changing and I want to make a preemtve strike against those nasty rises, and of course a previous low. How do I soften the delayed spikes? Been playing with using dual bolus or extended. Also been thinking about delaying about giving insulin about 20 minutes after eating to counter act the highs later. Thoughts? The CGM is giving me this specific data which I had not had and I want to take advantage of this technology

I use both an immediate meal dose based on carb grams and an extended dose based on protein and fat grams. I find it effective dosing since I eat few carbs. The extended dose is easy to play with and much more forgiving of learning mistakes.

I love my CGM data stream and feel lost without it. I know this attention to detail and a keen interest to upload and analyze my data is not a character trait shared across the broad population. I find sweeping negative generalizations about CGM use made by medical professionals as a disservice to their patients.

My CGM habit gives me flexibility, increases my safety, optimizes my total daily insulin dose. I find it lessens my cognitive load. I now take pleasure and pride living well given the complex task that manual glucose metabolism comprises.

CGM may not be for everybody but we continue to read here about successful CGM adoption by skeptical newcomers.

I’m T2 and have a few lows occasionally, but I wasn’t at all sure that my insurance would cover a CGM. I was prepared to pay out of pocket. My endo’s Dexcom rep took my info, and a few days later they said I would be covered. I’ve been wearing a G5 for several days and haven’t spent a penny. Of course, I’ll pay for supplies next year when my deductible kicks in again. They got it coded as pharmaceutical supplies, not durable medical device.

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i have, unfortunately, to deal with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and i am what is called a “checker.” i am constantly looking at my receiver, over and over and over; it gives me terrible anxiety when i see that my BGs are not in range. i panic, i want to micro manage my basals, my boluses, my carb ratios (i don’t act on all of this all of the time, but i cannot stop thinking about them)

however, I would not trade in my cgm for anything. like all others on this site, i have been able to see my trends and when i am going high or low, different times of day, different activities, etc, and it has allowed me to gain better control and much better A1cs. before Dexcom, my A1c was 8.9.% since the dexcom, my A1c came down to 6.4%. amazing. and this is in less than one year !!! and despite my OCD, i wouldn’t trade it in for anything.

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I am a constant checker too. Consider getting a smartwatch–great for constantly checking at a glance. :smile:

question for Bradford1: do you test your BGs on your CGM with doing repeated finger sticks as well? just to see if the CGM is accurate? this is something i do as well, and it is a shameful waste of strips. want to just let this behavior go, but whenever i experience anxiety, my checking increases. Ah, the pain in the a-- of having OCD !!! :cry:

I used to–as I didn’t fully trust Dexcom. Now I only do a repeated stick if there is something questionable, a gut feeling–or if I am getting a large difference between finger stick and Dexcom number.

rarely do i trust my gut, b/c i have had so many problems w/ my CGM #s being out of range. but i have to remind myself that my meter can be off also. but if there is a real discrepancy between my BG finger stick and my CGM # i will do repeated finger sticks until i finally give in and re-calibrate. today, i am trying to make a commitment to myself to just use one finger stick at mealtimes, and trying to see a pattern (trend) in my basal rates. i want to just let it go, until i see something constant. (rise, fall, times of day,etc.) i do myself no real service by wasting my finger sticks or removing a sensor prematurely b/c i think its a dud. I hate using up my Tegaderm tape. its all just too expensive.

The safety factor is huge! My husband and I were on the late flight home last night. I checked the CGM before we deplaned, then again after we collected our luggage and loaded up the car. No worries about driving home and no fingerstick in a freezing cold car! Yippee!!

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Oh, I agree – amazing how much added comfort the CGM provides. It’s not perfect, of course, but incredibly helpful!

In the short time that I’ve had my CGM, I believe my numbers are much better than previously. For one thing, it’s a motivator. When you’ve got that nice, flat line going, you’re less likely to interrupt it with a piece of cake. It also gives me the confidence to keep my numbers at a lower level. Whereas previously I tried to stay about 110 or so, now I find myself going long periods of time in the mid-80s to mid-90s, knowing that if I begin to slip too low, I can catch it and counter it. I feel like I can walk closer to the edge because now I can clearly see the edge.

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