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...!