Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Advances to quality of life – at least for a week

In our move south, I’ve had the good fortune of finding some very good healthcare professionals to partner with in the care of my diabetes.  A few months ago, I found a great team of endocrinologists who have encouraged me and paved the way to a trial with a continuous glucose monitoring system. 

Last week, I met with a representative of Dexcom, who set me up with a week trial.

So far, I couldn’t be happier with the way the sensors work, the transmitter – which doesn’t go with my current Medtronic pump, and the overall results.  I’ll be honest:  I haven’t used the Medtronic sensor, it just happened that Dexcom offered first and I am taking advantage of it.  I am sure Medtronic is great as well.

I have read a good bit on CGMS and had the opportunity to petition my insurance for one when I was pregnant with Patrick in 2007, but I opted not to.  At the time, I was working relentlessly for optimal glucose control and I didn’t want to add another thing to the mix.  I was lucky to have a virtually uncomplicated pregnancy at the time, so not having a CGMS wasn’t a factor.

However, over the last two and a half years, I’ve had a few scares with hypoglycemia, one only a month ago, where I was in public and 911 had to be called.  It was a scary event, minimized by the fact that my mother in law was there to call emergency services and another family member was there.  But still, scary. 

Mike has always been on board for tools to help minimize those kinds of lows and as one of my biggest diabetes advocates, has encouraged this trial.  We both want me to be around for a long time and are hoping to minimize both hypo- and hyperglycemia over the years.

This Dexcom seems to be a good answer.  For now.

I plan to petition my insurance company for coverage.  Like most durable medical equipment, it’s not cheap.  The transmitter is about $1000 and each sensor (to be replaced weekly) runs about $100 a pop.  I am hoping the insurance will cover most, if not all, of the cost.  If not, Mike assures me we’ll figure out a way to pay for it. 

IMG_9548The transmitter.  Holding steady.  I love this technology!

Like all things diabetes-related, I have some challenges with the transmitter.  While I don’t feel the sensor in my stomach (it hurt less than a finger stick when it was inserted), the transmitter is loose.  I’ve been carrying it in my pocket and in my purse when I am out, and at night, I sit it on my night table.  My only challenge thus far has been figuring out where to put it when I am doing chores around the house (i.e. cooking, laundry, etc) and wearing something with no pockets.  Sure, if I wind up getting the Dexcom, I will most likely use the holster and hook it to my waistband.   But right now, I am figuring it out.  Things could be much worse, I suppose.

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