What is a CGM you ask? A Continuous Glucose Monitor!
A little while back I did some research about CGM’s, talked to my doctor (endocrinologist) and then went ahead and knew that this would be a really great experience for me + my diabetes.
About a month ago I received my Dexcom in the mail and I have to admit, I got a little bit freaked out (lemme explain why)…
For as long as I can remember, actually literally the entire time I’ve had diabetes, I’ve never been able to be one of those people that can give themselves an injection quickly. I know some diabetics use this little “sling shot” type mechanism with needles that inserts them really fast for them. I could never do it. I did all of my needle injections slowly, I do all of my pump insertion sites slowly… I just like knowing that when it goes into my skin it’s not hitting a nerve and it’s not going to hurt.
When I was going step by step through the manual (which comes with the Dexcom and it’s so helpful, it’s been my saving grace for step by step insertion) completing everything it said to, I realized that unlike my pump, where I insert the needle and then attach it to me when I’m comfortable, the Dexcom actually attaches to the body first and then you have to insert the needle wherever you decided to stick it on your body, you can’t move it if you’re not happy with the spot.
HOWEVERRR, with that being said, it was WAY less of a big deal than I initially made it out to be (surprise, surprise lol). The needle is soooo tiny and you can barely feel it when it goes in, a month in and it’s not even a big deal anymore. I love how it’s so simple to get in (once you learn the right steps) and how well it stays on over the course of a week, through all my workouts and everything.
Then came starting to track my sugars. It has been so helpful just to be able to look at my phone/Apple Watch and see what my blood sugar is, be able to adjust quickly and then carry on with my day. I had no idea that the act of having to sit down and pull out a glucometer, poke my finger, and that whole process was so demotivating when it came to managing my diabetes. As someone who is constantly on the go, it’s so easy to just keep on with daily tasks and forget to test my blood. But with this, it’s SO much easier. I look down at my reading, plug it into my pump, it gives me the insulin I need and I don’t even have to stop walking if I’m out and about. It also makes the whole process a lot more private than it used to be. In the middle of school for example, I don’t have to draw blood while other people around me wonder what the heck I’m doing. Not that I care really, but it’s just a lot easier and has helped me in a lot of ways over the past month.
Another area that the Dexcom has been super helpful for me is EXERCISE. Guyyyyyys, ok. So the thing with my body (and many people’s bodies) is that when you do really intense exercise (like a spin class), your adrenaline goes high and your blood sugars go high with it if you’re body isn’t producing insulin to counteract the sugar. Which I know sounds odd, a lot of people think that exercise burns sugar, which it does too – it honestly varies so much from person to person. But my blood sugars would always spike during my spin class so I’d have to adjust after and I generally just felt kind of crappy when it was so high. But now I’m able to see exactly when my sugars are spiking during my class and I can get a better idea of what blood sugar number I should start my class at without fear that I’ll go low.
The online part of the Dexcom is called Clarity, and is also super helpful because based on the reading it takes (every 5 minutes – insane!) it can give you an estimate of your A1C – which is a number the doctor uses to average out the past 3 months of blood sugars, ideally the goal is to be between like 5 and 7. Of course, the last time I did mine it was around 9. The Dexcom now helps me target specific patterns in my blood sugars and helps to really hone in on areas that are more troubling. For example, it has noticed that during the hours of 12pm and 2pm (that’s the time when I spin the most), check this out..
COOL RIGHT? Now I’m able to take that info and adjust my pump settings so that I get a little more insulin during that time, to prevent highs like that.
GUYYYS isn’t this thing the coolest!!?! It’s only been a month and I’m obsessed, I really don’t know how I’d ever go back to not having one of these. For the longest time I remember being bothered by the fact that I’d have an additional device attached to me at all times, but god what was I thinking? This could have helped me so long ago but I was dumb and didn’t do it lol.
This was just a brief overview of my initial experience with it, but I’ll be writing more about more specifics when it comes to living with the Dexcom so stay tuned! If you want more info on the Dexcom device itself, click here and go head over to Dexcom Canada and check it out! If you already use a Dexcom, make sure to SHOW ME! Tag me @hellosarahohm and @DexcomCanada on your IG posts and use the hashtag #MyDexcom! I’m excited to see how much you guys love it too!
Talk to you soon!