Friday, March 30, 2012

What A Difference a Day (& A CGM) Makes

So, first of all, I feel like I need to add something that I have needed to say for a long time: I have been getting a little bit of negative feedback on my blog. It seems as though some people don't agree with how much I write or what I write. Because of this, I have been a little weary of keeping up with this #dblog. But, to those people, I just want to say: Don't read any more. This blog is written on the off chance that it may help someone feel so not alone-and help me not feel so all alone. If you have a problem with any of them, you can be an adult and choose not to read it. #thatisall

So, I haven't written in a while because there are a few things outside of diabetes going on in my life that I am not ready to make public yet, and I am afraid of overspill. But the diabetes is such a huge part of me that I feel like not writing is making things worse. And I feel like I'm not doing something that I really love. I figure that any of my readers will understand if anything comes out--and most of you are the most supportive people in my life, so I think you can all understand that shit just happens in life.

Today, I got my CGM. I have been a little nervous because I was aware of how big the needle was. But, I didn't want to psych myself out like I did about the pump. I was petrified of getting that thing. And, truly, there was no reason to be.

CGM stands for Continuous Glucose Monitor. Basically, I insert a tube in with a little device attached to it that checks my blood glucose levels every few seconds or so. It gives me the data I need to actually see what my blood sugars are doing all day. For instance, the finger pricks just tell you a moment in time: Exactly what you blood sugar was at 2:38:03 pm without a show of where it is going, whether it be up or down. The CGM allows my pump to show what my blood sugars are at 2:38:04, 2:38:05, 2:38:06 and so on and so on. I still have to prick my fingers before meals, but thats not ten times a day. AND it will now alert me if I'm heading below 80 mg/dl, or above 300 mg/dl-so I won't have an incident like passing out in a gas station, or be unaware if I'm at considerable risk for KetoAcidocis. CGM=More Control.

So I get to the doctor's office twenty minutes early. I didn't read my suggested reading like I was supposed to, so I figured I'd get some in. I was a little nervous, and all by myself--which I chose to be by myself for a plethora of reasons on this one. Shortly after I got there, R-my Medtronic Trainer for the pump and CGM- walked in with a smile and asked me if I was ready. She took me back into an examining room, and had me get out the CGM sensor and transmitter, as well as the insertion device. She left the room to take a call from another patient. And left me staring a needle about an inch long inside of a rubber tube that was just a little shorter than the needle- and attached to the CGM. I started feeling weak.

She came back about ten minutes later, and saw my face. "Are you okay?" she asked, "Do you need some water?"

I must have been as white as a ghost (well whiter, because I already AM as white as a ghost.) I responded back with a quiet, "Yes, please." (Luckily, she didn't use the normal small little shot glasses they offer that are set up by the water jug in the waiting room.)

She went through everything. Fast. I understood everything, but no matter what, that needle could not be put off long ago. As I stood with the insertion device ready to begin, my fingers holding my belly skin taught, and her looking up at me counting to three, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and pushed that button.

What it looked like and felt like, I'm sure were two different things. It was just a small needle, and I didn't jolt. But OMFG did it sting like a MOFO. I felt like I was in a slow motion action sequence in a movie. You know, the ones were the protagonist and antagonist are ending there scene of a big blow out fight and the protagonist takes out his last move with a dagger and shoves it into the antagonists mid section? I felt like slow motion a twelve inch blade went into my abdomen and I bent over in half, throwing my arms forwards, with blood spilling every where. But, that's not what happened.

I looked down, and it was bleeding for sure, but not a dagger like amount by any means. At that point, I did what a lot of people would have done seeing a decent amount of blood come out and feeling like I had been stabbed: I fainted. I woke up with two nurses and R standing over me, a rag on my forehead, and the fan on my face. They all smiled and asked if I was alright. I laughed.

"Sorry, I'm such a wimp." I said.

They reassured me it was fine and I was going to be okay.

I looked at the blood at the paper towel. It was the size of a dime. I am my fathers daughter, for sure. (He can't even watch someone else get a shot or IV or he passes out.)

We joked about how I should be used to seeing my own blood by now. But I'm not. I told R to take my diabetes away. She said she'd love to.

It stopped stinging about twenty minutes after. I think most of it was shock and my dramatic mind taking it somewhere it didn't need to be. But I lived.

And now, it is communication with my pump. I've only looked at the data twice since I inserted it. I'm sure I will get more obsessive about it, but I am going to try to remember it's just data and doesn't determine who I am or what I am doing is wrong or right.

I'm certainly not looking forward to changing it on Monday. That's going to be nerve racking for me. But I'll make it through. Like everything else.

It's not always fun taking care of my body with all this stuff. I am now almost $20K in medical debt. I wish I didn't have to pay it. I hate eating better (although I like feeling better.) I still miss smoking almost every day. But all of this has given me a pretty strong outlook. I'm feeling better every day. Something exciting is happening that I can't wait for. And other things are on the horizon that will be life-changing too.

But I'm trucking. And now I'm trucking with a little more awareness.