Suddenly, CGM

A couple of weeks ago, I attended an ADA family get-together in Falmouth that was centered around kids, diabetes, and exercise. I learned a lot, but what pricked up my ears was hearing two or three of the teen athletes on the panel talk about their use of CGM. Now, I’ve sort of imagined that Eric isn’t old enough to be eligible, but in talking with his endocrinologist after, I learned that’s not necessarily the case. “It’s more a matter of having enough real estate for two sensors,” he explained. Eric being almost 4, he’s a great deal bigger than he was at diagnosis, so Dr. O’s suggestion was that I call Medtronic and see what they had to say about the possibility of putting him on a CGM.

I thought it over for exactly 36 hours. Then, in the wee hours of the night, Eric woke me wanting water, which he gulped down hard, a sure sign his BG was higher than it should be. I tested: 504!!! Ketone meter: 3.1! Oh, yikes. Failed site for sure. Injected a unit and a half of insulin, set the alarm for 3 hours later (so I could start a site that I would set before the bolus wore off) and lay down, sure that I would be unable to sleep. This, I thought, was why I wanted a CGM. If Eric had a CGM, an alarm would’ve gone off long before he got that high, and I would’ve found the ketones when they were just starting. If Eric had a CGM, maybe I’d even have spotted the upward trend before it got too high, and I could’ve either changed the site before bedtime or taken the pump off and given him a shot of Lantus to keep him till morning. And then, carrying it back further… if Eric had a CGM throughout the past rocky 3 months of virus after virus after virus, the 4 trips to the pediatrician, the week-long bout of prednisolone for his bronchitis, maybe, just maybe, is a1c wouldn’t have climbed up to 8.1 at the last visit despite my best efforts.

Asking for things I need doesn’t always come easy to me. But yesterday I called Medtronic, finally, and said, “Can we get a CGM for Eric?” A few minutes describing the trials of the past 3 months with the rep, a quick check of Anthem’s conditions for supporting CGM in T1 therapy, and the answer was, “Well, it seems like it’s do-able.” Paperwork was faxed, authorizations obtained, and as of this morning, I had the green light. We should get the device some time in the next week, and training will be scheduled shortly after that. And after I got off the phone with the nice girl from Medtronic, I started to cry because I just had never imagined it would be that easy. And I also hadn’t realized what an incredible burden it is, wondering if I’ve gotten the right combination together to keep him in range overnight, particularly when he’s catching all these darned kid-viruses.

I do know from my experience with starting Eric on his pump that it’s not going to be a bed of roses. But the mere prospect of no more sky-high BG’s without at least a warning bell to tell me what’s going on… that’s going to make it all worth it.