The CGM makes life easier, but it’s no cure

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Two weeks into Sacha’s use of the Dexcom continuous glucose monitor, and the excitement is over. Yes, the CGM is great. No, it didn’t make his type 1 diabetes go away. I suppose it’s like every new toy that you get, either as an adult, or as a kid. At first, you’re so excited – “this will change our lives!”  – but then, a short while later, reality and familiarity do their bit. Yes, things are a bit better, and a bit different. But, the underlying situation stays the same. 

Here are some initial thoughts on the Dexcom. 

First, reliability: The new Dexcom CGM does often give good trend data. Fantastically helpful. The point BG estimates, however, are often very wrong. Not very encouraging, and makes one suspect, in the heat of the moment, that the trend data are also wrong. And even if the trend is right, there is a huge difference between a 300 and a 200! I suppose with time, we’ll get a sense of how much we can rely on this thing. 

Second, the alarm function: I love it, especially in those down times when I wouldn’t be testing him, but want to know whether he might be going low. The alarm is only as good as the underlying data, however, so see above. If those aren’t correct, the alarm may be unuseful.

Twice now, Sacha has buried the CGM under his coat, or his blankets, when it has alarmed. He can’t really explain why, but in both cases, he risked his life; there was a serious hypo underway. I think he just didn’t want to deal with it, or have anyone else deal with it.  

Third, ease of insertion: Pretty good. Pain is moderate, and the process is pretty simple. And replacing only once a week is a godsend. SO MUCH better than the older Medtronic CGM.  

Finally, keeping it on: Much to our surprise, Sacha has not asked to take the CGM off. It hasn’t yet bothered him sufficiently. Good news!

All in all: we’re happy we have it. But life with Type 1 diabetes continues….This is one tool. A neat tool. But unlike the hype from my last posting, this is not, really, a “game changer.” 

Sigh. 

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Elaine Marion
Elaine Marion

We have the new Dexcom G4 CGM  We started by keeping it on our son or in his room (he’s almost 5 and can’t be bothered sometimes when it alarms).  We have found that it has a fantastic range in most buildings.  At home we keep it by our bedside and it communicates great, I can even be downstairs with it while he is upstairs sleeping.  At school his teacher keeps it.  Might help with the burying under the pillow problems!  I agree with the accuracy, still tweaking the data interpretation!

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