This was originally published here.
I didn’t know I was low.
I was sleeping peacefully.
My Dexcom started alarming that I was low, but somehow in my brain I just knew it was wrong. I had no symptoms. No rapid heartbeat. No sweat. No confusion. No anything.
If I hadn’t had the Dexcom, I don’t know if I would have woken up.
I am a firm believer that a CGM system should be standard of care with any diabetic taking insulin. When I had tighter control, I had hypoglycemia unawareness, but now that I’m a bit more relaxed, I’m usually able to catch the lows in the 60’s. But not this time.
All it takes is one time.
One time to not feel it.
One time to not have symptoms.
One time to not wake up.
I’m ok now, just dealing with the aftermath with a low-induced headache and feeling overall draggy today (both from the low and my daughter who is my little night owl / early bird). But times like this? Rock me to my core. It’s times like this that make me wonder and think of how insurance companies can deny, any diabetic on insulin who has been prescribed this device, access to it. It shouldn’t be their call. Something needs to be done.
CGMs shouldn’t be considered a luxury item – they should be as standard as a glucose meter itself.
Many in the diabetes advocacy field are working hard to expand the very awareness you just expressed. CGMs should not be considered a frill or a luxury.
There is a bill pending in the US Senate right now, S. 804, that would require Medicare to cover CGMs. It presently has more than a dozen co-sponsors. If you’re of a mind to do so, writing to your senators to urge them to support it would add one more straw to the camel’s back, so to speak. You can see the letter I wrote to my senators here.
This blog spoke to me and my daily/nightly worries about lows and highs. In fact, I woke up yesterday morning with a bg of 41. I treated it and then began to get very angry. If I would have had a CGM, the alarm would have warned me before getting that low.
It’s such a common sense concept to me. But, then again, common sense isn’t so common any more.
I do have a CGM and, even though it will only be three years in May that I have it, I cannot count how many times that late-night alarm was the only indication I had of a night time low - and yes, some into the low 40’s and even the 30’s. I’m diagnosed as Type 2 using insulin – a category that my insurance lists as “experimental only” for CGM use, yet clearly it has proven it’s worth.
There’s no question in my mind that anyone taking insulin should be given the option of access to this technology.
@Thas thank you for your point of view on this. I agree 100% that ALL of us living with Diabetes (notice I didn’t specify type) should have access to treatments and technology that makes management better.
CGM has saved me over and over. Couple nights ago my first alert went off at 85 so I popped a couple glucose tablets. I was tired and fell back to sleep before I started to rise. Next thing I know, the alarm is going off at 55 and my wife is making sure I am hearing it. Never felt a thing. Right now I don’t have insurance coverage for the CGM, lost it the first of the year. Still using sensors I had left. Appealed to the insurance company through my doctor and waiting for their answer. Really wish our health was determined by doctors and not insurance companies.