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After using a CGM for two straight years, I wondered what it would be like to take an extended break from one. I never really committed to the idea, until I had no choice. 

I’ve been CGM-free for almost two months now. I found out back in April that sensors for the Dexcom Seven are no longer available. Immediately, I thought this meant I could get a pretty new CGM (I’ve been eyeing a pink Dexcom G4 for some time now) but alas, it was not so simple. My family’s current insurance coverage won’t cover the cost of a new CGM, and it seems a bit silly to shell out copious amount of money for a device that I’ve gone without for the majority of my life.

Unfortunately, the few extra sensors I had left expired just as I learned of this news. Around my birthday, my supply was no more and I was disconnected.

At first, it was sort of liberating. It felt nice to have a break from the incessant buzzing of the machine. I didn’t have to worry about calibrating it each time I tested my blood sugar or about making sure it was fully charged. Best of all, I didn’t have to deal with it making mistakes, like telling me my blood sugar is 78 and falling rapidly when in reality it was steady at 142.

But a few weeks later, a strong sense of paranoia began to settle in, particularly at nighttime. Before, I was always comforted by the fact that my CGM would wake me up when it (correctly) sensed a low blood sugar. Of course, prior to owning a CGM I never had any major problem waking up automatically when I was low. But the CGM had fostered a sense of security that I got a little too comfortable with, and when I didn’t have it anymore, it made me anxious. So some nights before I go to sleep, I set an alarm on my phone to wake me up around 2 or 3 so I can test to make sure I’m doing okay. More often than not, this alarm isn’t even necessary and just winds up interrupting a peaceful night of sleep.

And I can’t stop dwelling on trend arrows. I find myself thinking about what my blood sugar is doing after meals; subsequently, I get nervous about whether or not my blood sugar is falling or rising rapidly. I miss having a general idea concerning what my body is doing at particular times of the day.

For now, I don’t have a choice but to continue on without my CGM. At least my time without it has made me check my blood sugar more consistently and frequently – a definite improvement. And it’s not like my diabetes management is impossible without it. So I’ll carry on, make use of the resources I do have, and be grateful for progress (and no regression).

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