Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Now the CGM has gone...

...I kind of miss it. I liked being able to look and see what my levels were doing, even if it wasn't always accurate or reliable.

Apparently I had really got used to it being there, as even today after I took it off I noticed myself still being extra careful with that side of my body, eg not leaning on it or slamming the till shut when I was resting my hip on it at work! 5 days but it got a little ingrained in me.

Monday, 30 August 2010

CGM, days 4 and 5.

I'm handing the CGM back tomorrow and hopefully will get to see all the downloaded data from it. I'm really curious as to what my team make of it (hopefully it won't be "you're fine, we're going to cancel your pump trial").

It's got a tiny bit tender today, I've knocked it a couple of times today and it hurt a little. Nothing too bad, just a bit tender.

I do like this technology. I really do. I think it offers a lot of hope for us in terms of control (and peace of mind). However, until the technology is advanced, I still remain on the unconvinced side of things. I look forward to it improving though!

Here's the last 24 hours. Shot up to 17 after breakfast (despite a correction to deal with the 12.something I woke up on), and then spent the rest of the day battling the Himalayas (aka spikes in my blood glucose levels).

I think I bottomed out at 3.3, but had several 'low glucose alert' alarms after which had to be dealt with with juice!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

CGM day 3.

Well, today I am thoroughly unimpressed with this bit of kit.

It hasn't picked up on the rises and falls my BG tests have shown; for example, BG tests showed I swung around the 7 - 11 mark for some of the afternoon - CGM stayed in the 11s the whole time. Every time I have done a BG test today, the CGM is out by at least 3mmol/l.

The whole point of this is to show my team the rises and falls in my glucose levels - yet it keeps deciding I'm just sitting stable almost all the time! Right now it's showing 8.5 with a downward arrow -- no no wait, I just checked again and I'm 8.4 with an arrow pointing forwards, meaning my levels are steady.

BG test is: 7.6. Not bad, for once. 7.6 is a good number for 1.30am, but I know it's only because I've been working since 5pm. We'll see what happens tomorrow when I'm off to see my mum's family for the day and spend the day just chilling out. This time last night I was up in the 11s.

Now for some much needed sleep!

CGM photos

I'm being brave and showing the world my midriff...

Close up - yep, the sticky stuff is looking just LOVELY and it's only been 48 hours! The black, left hand part holds the sensor, which is just a small micro-chip like thing with an extra prong that sits under my skin by 4mm. The grey part is the transmittor.

The receiver, as of about 20 minutes ago. BG test says I'm actually in the 9s, but according to this I've been in the 11s and 12s all morning.

And over the past 24 hours? Stayed pretty high with a couple of nice swings.

Friday, 27 August 2010

CGM: day 1 & 2 of 5.

Yesterday morning, I was 'hooked up' to a Freestyle Navigator. I'll be wearing it for 5 days before handing it back to the hospital. The aim of this is to see what's going on with my levels before I start the pump trial (which is having to be pushed back due to my move to Brighton). It will take glucose readings from my interstitial fluid (I have no idea what that means either - but it does mean it's different to my blood glucose readings, which reads the plasma in my blood). This means the 'real time' readings I get on the handset are actually about 15 minutes behind what I really am - so I'm not stopping the finger prick testing as I will still be basing all my insulin decisions on the blood glucose readings. However, the Freestyle Navigator takes a reading every 5 minutes, so I can pull up some awesome graphs that give a general picture of what my levels have been like. (the one I'm wearing has UK settings, so it's in mmol/l, not mg/dl).

(nb: over the past 24 hours, they have been swinging up and down, and generally staying slightly above range. lovely)

It took 3 goes to get the thing in - and there will be photos once I find the cable for my camera!

The first one went in fine, bled a tiny tiny bit, but then threw up a sensor error. Nurse said no problem, we'll try another one.

This one I inserted without any help (Nursey had guided me through the first one as I'd never put one in before). I 'shunked' the device into place, pressing down quite hard. That was my mistake apparently, as then it was as if I'd hit an artery or something. Blood starting pouring out and eventually filled the cradle that the transmitter sits in! I was half lying down in the chair I was sat in to try and stop the blood from pouring all down my front.

Third time lucky - we switched back to the left side of my abdomen and this time it took just fine. After a calibration an hour later, I started seeing numbers!

I spent the day madly rushing to catch trains to London, then Brighton, and just generally rushing around - causing me to drop down to 2.0 (blood glucose test) and the sensor deciding to go offline for a while. Long story short, 4 hours later I manually recalibrated it and I was good to go again.

Since then it's been fine. It's such a comfort to have it - I don't rely on the numbers it gives me, but it's so good getting a general indication of what my levels are doing. I've always shunned CGM to be honest, with the notion that it's useless as it's often so inaccurate - but actually, I really like it. Like I say, it feels incredibly comforting to not worry in between blood glucose tests what the hell my levels are doing.

I've decided I'm going to win the lottery so that I can afford to self fund...!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Good moments.

I work in a shop (a newsagent, a general store type of place). I spend all my time working behind the tills. 2 kids came into the shop today, I'm guessing they were about 13 or 14 years old? As they queued up behind the woman I was serving, I overheard one of them saying "you can't have chocolate because you have diabetes...di-di-di-di-abetes..." and generally taunting his friend. It wasn't meant in a malicious manner, that was obvious, but still - I was like woah hold on there a minute!

So when I served them (just out of interest, they bought 2 Ribenas: 1 normal, 1 sugar free) I said to the kid who had been teasing the other guy "I'm diabetic, and I eat plenty of chocolate!"

Two things happened here:

1) said kid starting going "I'm so sorry! I didn't mean it! Sorrrrrrry!" - to which I told him it didn't bother me

2) the other kid looked up at me and said "that's just made my day."

Kind of felt like one diabetic sticking up for another, you know?

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Poor, poor blog.

My poor blog has unfortunately been what I've had to sacrifice over the last few weeks with everything going on here.

The first, and most excellent news, is that I have a new job! It's a health care assistant role at a hospital in Brighton. I can start once all the appropriate bits of paper have been filled in, checks made, references gathered. The paperwork I received today says they would like me to start on September 6th as long as said checks etc have gone through - that's less than 3 weeks away (and also the date I am due to start my pump trial, cue panic emails being send to my DSN)!

(for those non-UKers, I am currently based in Birmingham, in the middle of England, and Brighton is on the south coast, approx 160 miles south).

(and the thought of living by the SEA SIDE!!! makes me feel as happy as the kid in the photo on the right)

So: I am attempting to be able to get down and visit some places to rent (I intend to move into a houseshare, to keep my costs down) - which is nigh on impossible, considering I am working full time and train tickets are £40 return and I am trying to save up to be able to pay a deposit! Anyone want to give me the winning lottery numbers?!

I'm incredibly excited about this huge change in my life; I'm going to live in a city I love, do a job that will set me up brilliantly to go into nursing and finally I feel like I am on the right path in life.

...but seriously, those lottery numbers would be nice!