Quality of Life

Having a CGM has significantly improved my quality of life. I have had my dexcom for about 8 months, and an insulin pump for just over 2 years. At first I found the shear volume of data from the dexcom to be overwhelming, but now I've found I can't live without it!

It has slowly dawned on my over the last few months that my diabetes related anxiety has diminished significantly. While this disease can be challenging emotionally and physically, it's started to seem much less of a burden. In the last few weeks I've started to attribute part of this to my dexcom. When I feel a little odd and wonder "is my bg high or low, or is this feeling completely unrelated?" I can just look at my dexcom and _see_, Sometimes it's rising rapidly, sometimes it's doing just fine, etc. These are things I had to guess at before, or pull over my car to see. Sure I still finger stick quite often, but I have a general idea what I'm going to see before the number pops up.

When my insurance company was evaluating my request for a CGM, at first they told me I didn't have enough severe lows and my A1Cs were in too good of a range to warrant a CGM. I had to either be in poor control or be in the 40's to benefit from one. I disagree with this, I think any diabetic can _mentally_ benefit from a cgm.

Anyway, the point of this post is to find out who else has had this same experience using a CGM. Do you find your general concerns/anxieties about BGs to be improved with a CGM? Or do you find it to be more of a hassle?

I feel the exact same way about my Dex. I can't believe I was without it for so long. I've had it since March 2011, when my mother bought it for me because I was at my wit's end. I wasn't sleeping well and I was really starting to experience a type of burnout that wouldn't go away. I was DESPERATE for a change. Now that I have a CGM, diabetes is totally different for me. I can see the impact foods, activities, and emotions have on my bloodsugar. I can see the benefit of routine and exercise. I can understand how quickly food enters my system and see how insulin durations work. I have so much more hope and peace now! I truly believe that everyone with type1, and many type2s also, should have this device. It's miraculous!
As for the data overload? I don't even upload it to a computer! I just use the device to monitor my blood sugar in the moment. I notice trends and have learned enough without experiencing data overload. I love this thing. My A1c is down to 6.0, which makes the little nuisances worth it. Sometimes I get the sensor pod caught on the edge of the washer when I reach in for clothes. Sometimes I get it caught on the side of the desk at school when I sit too closely but who cares? I would never go back :)
Glad it's working for you, too.
Love, Jen

i personally think the Dexcom is the most important tool out there now for type1s' for all the reasons you just said, i switched to the Medtronic pump, which i dont want to let go either, but if i had to choose, the Dex, would be the number one choice...to be able to see when i headed high or low, for millions of different reasons...sure with the dex i still measure min 4-5 times a day, but i am doing it when it is much more convenient for me..that is the benefit of the dex, because the trending is usually dead on..only on day 14 and above does the sensor might not be so accurate..but dont tell the FDA that i use it for longer than 7 days...

I'm new here, and mostly lurk (just don't have the time to participate much, sorry), but I wanted to chime in on this one as my Dexcom Seven + is the primary reason I came here in the first place: I have said many times in the last few months -- to family, friends, mountain bike riding buddies, whomever(!!) -- that my Seven + has had the SINGLE BIGGEST EFFECT on my care of my diabetes in now 30+ years of having to deal with this (I'm Type 1 -- not 1.5/LADA as I said in a previous post, that was a mistake when I was thinking LADA meant late onset juvy diabetes -- dx'ed January 15, 1982).

This device is so amazing (now I sound like a corporate shill trying to sell this thing!). The trending alone has changed my approach so much, and it has given me such insight to what is happening in my body that I just didn't have before (been using mine since Oct '11, so I am basically brand new to this thing).

I don't use any other 'device' in my care: I'm on MDI (Lantus, Novolog/Humalog), and quite happy with that treatment and approach (and quite used to it). I don't want nor need any other kind of insulin delivery device than syringes to deal with, and being on MDI helps me keep my waste factor WAY down compared to what I have been reading regarding pens and pumps and all that stuff -- I use the same syringe for each insulin for about 3 - 4 weeks (seriously -- I can explain that if you want to hear it, but it's not apropos to this reply), so a box of a hundred points lasts me for several years (I just opened a new box of 30s -- the last empty box I just threw away said my RX had 'expired' in June of '08 -- ha!).

I saw my Endo this past Tuesday. My A1c was 6.7. That's pretty good (actually up from my previous 6.5, but that's ok -- anything under 7 is good in my book). If I can keep it there, and maybe edge it down, I will be happy. I know my Seven + will help with that, but most of all it has removed the shade from the window so that I can truly see what is going on. That kind of insight has really helped me out, even in just the past few months.


i just received my dexcom 7+ a month ago and already see the differences. my fear is that i will go low while driving, i have had this happen and having to pull over test and treat. i have also had unaware lows and luckily they were at home. i had the freestyle navigator until they discontinued the product in the US. they offered a refund but then refused to pay after i sent the product back with a copy of the receipt, thats another story. it took time to save up the money for the dexcom but i was able to do it and purchased it last month. i have found there are alot of high and lows that i was not aware of and now have to adjust my insulin to compensate. i have also found out that some locations of my pump are not obsorbing like they use to, i have an appointment with my endo to see what other changes need to be done. i wish i would have had this a year ago to see how family death affected my sugars, very little sleep and no appetite. i have dropped my a1c from over 9 a year ago to 7.4 and now with the cgm i should be able to get it under 7. i would never give up these gadgets, my pump or cgm, with mdi my a1c was alway around 10 or over. with the pump its been 9 and lower now with the cgm i should be more accurate in my insulin adjustments to maintain it at 7 or less. i love my gadgets cause at times doing mdi i would skip due to being in public, people would say it was drugs, i dont do drugs and never have. all my meds are from the doctor and now everything is discrete and manageable.

thanks for listening

Sounds like you are tracking well, Kat -- the Dex is doing it job for you getting that A1c down! Good for you.

OTOH, I have to say it disappoints me to hear that you ever skipped an injection because you were in a public place. I get that we're all wired a bit differently regarding such things as injecting in public, but it simply would never, ever occur to me to not do a shot because I was in public. Good to know you're on a pump now instead of MDI.

For me, a pump would just be a hassle, and I don't really get the point of it (for me, anyways -- I know I'll probably catch a lot of flack for such an incendiary comment like that). After all, a pump is just another insulin delivery device, not any smarter than a point, right? The logic of it is still up to you The Diabetic to manage. The intelligence about how to manage the flow of insulin comes from your brain, not from the device. I get that discretion and neatness play into it for you, and that's great. Not for me; Don't care.

Having the CGM while driving is wonderful! There have been several times where it beeped, we pulled over, I tested, and we switched drivers. Every time I was sure it was wrong. Every time, it was right.

Just have to say that the most awesome thing about the pump are the extended boluses. You can't mimic an extended bolus with injections and they certainly have their place, especially if you're trying to maintain stable bgs even after you eat. (If you're interested in flatlining go here: http://www.tudiabetes.org/group/flatlinersclub ) I was terrified of the pump after diagnosis with T1 at 30 and didn't try it for a couple years. I wouldn't give up the dex or pump unless forced now. It's the only way I can flatline:)

Thanks Michael, I failed to mention that I do home health that is where some of my decision came from to use gadgets, some clients don't like needles and we don't get informed of all the conditions they have. To keep from getting any infections that would prevent me from working neatness is needed. I also know that all the new gadgets are not for everyone. You won't catch any flack from me, my dad was also diabetic and managed his just fine with oral medication and MDI, he didn't like gadgets. We got him a cell phone and he laughed saying he didn't need that and when he broke down on the highway in the winter, he found he used it (he went to work at 3am) no one on the highways at that time around here. A month later he had to change his plan cause he couldn't stay off the phone, it was way too funny. I don't judge peoples choices, they should do what works for them and what they are comfortable with. For me I hook up, bolus when need and go, but like I say its not for everyone. Our family has several diabetics some use pumps, some don't and those of us with pumps don't judge or try to influence either way. If people ask we will discuss the pump and how it works, otherwise we just get together and have fun like no one has any problems. We do what we have to do to enjoy life the best we can. Sorry this ended up so long.