Diabetes Self-Management Blog

A-n-d, 2008 ended with a miserable cold. If I lay down, I started coughing and my head stuffed up so that I felt as if I was drowning. I could sleep in my nice, soft, comfy, oversized chair. However, even when I started out with my feet on the ottoman, they somehow found their way to the floor on their own and I would wake up with ankles the size of New Jersey.

Then there were little things like the day the starter died on my car after a 2 PM orthodontist appointment, and I was trapped with a teenager who had friends coming over at 3 and had to be back at the house by then or he would be an outcast forever.

My diabetes care suffered. I’d like to blame it on the fact that I didn’t feel well because of the cold. Oh, what the heck: Why don’t I? But there was also the cold, dreary weather, and perhaps a touch of ennui as well.

And an equipment breakdown.

The transmitter for my continuous glucose monitor was going through batteries like crazy. That is, I would put a new battery in and it would tell me the battery had zero power. I’d had problems all along with getting batteries to work in the transmitter, but put it down to a finicky piece of equipment.

On one day, however, it just wouldn’t take a battery at all. At first I thought I had just gotten hold of a package of old batteries. But when a newly-bought pack didn’t work, either, I called customer service and we determined that the transmitter was kerflunkt. Abbott would send me a new transmitter. However, since the phone call occurred on Friday, it couldn’t be shipped until Monday. In other words, I would be CGM-less for a few days.

I’m unaccustomed to checking my blood glucose on a regular basis. I’ve had a CGM for about one and a half years now so, except for calibrating and double-checking a high or low blood glucose number, all I need to do is press a button to know what my glucose reading is. What is it they say about making something into a habit? That it takes a month of performing a task to make it so? Well, I’d had much longer than one month to make not checking my blood glucose via fingersticks into a habit.

So I was kind of lax on checking my blood glucose.

Then, when the new transmitter arrived, I put off hooking up because I just didn’t feel like going through linking the new transmitter to my receiver. It was tiring just to think about dragging out my manual and looking up how to do it.

In the meantime, I was running out of strips to check my glucose on my receiver, which is also a blood glucose meter. Yes, I have other strips. Yes, I have a backup meter that’s another brand. Problem was…the meter was still in the box and I didn’t want to go through setting it up, either.

Finally, just a couple of days ago, I got out my new transmitter, manual, a sensor, an alcohol swab, a piece of gauze, and the other incidentals needed to set up my CGM system and get going. I looked through the manual to find out what I needed to do to link the new transmitter with the old receiver. And looked. And looked. Eventually, I called customer service.

Turns out that when you put batteries in both devices, the receiver automagically got the information from the transmitter. The bit with the CGM went so well — the first battery I put in even worked — that I set up my meter, too.

So here I am, ready and equipped for the beginning of a new year. May the beginning of 2009 be better than the end of 2008.

On the other hand, it could hardly be worse.

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Comments
  1. Dear Jan.

    Wow what a pleasure to live a month without finger pricks, wonderful the CGM would be nice if this is available in Canada.

    Can you trust the readings? How do they compare to the meters? If you did 10 pairs of readings one of each how would they look?

    To paraphrase a great American. 2008 a year that will live in infamy.

    Posted by CalgaryDiabetic |
  2. Hi Calgary - CGMs do not eliminate finger sticks. You do have to calibrate. Mine requires four calibrations in a 5-day period. However, I check my glucose every morning to make sure my CGM is spot on and I check to make sure my glucose is really either high or low if my CGM says I am. So I still do fingersticks - just not the 10-12 a day I used to. (Nor did I do nearly that many during the time I was CGM-less.)

    Jan

    Posted by Jan Chait |

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