So my cgm ended late last night, and I decided to charge it up overnight so I wouldn't have to be awake for hours trying to get it calibrated before bedtime. Here's been my day so far. I got up at 9 and checked my blood sugar. It was a little high, but I knew if I corrected it, I'd have to wait longer to calibrate the new sensor. So I put in the new sensor and skipped the correction. The sensor didn't penetrate my skin all the way, so I had to push it the rest of the way in, which gave me the creeps.
I waited and waited for the sensor to ask for the initial calibration. Instead, I got 2 lost sensor messages. Then I looked at the site (to see if I plugged in the transmitter right - sometimes wiggling it a little is all it needs) and saw that it was completely bloody and awful-looking. From prior experience, I knew when it looks like that, it's a no-go. I thought briefly about calling Medtronics about it, but remembering how long my last 2 wait times were, I decided to just forgo that and put in another sensor. I take it out and blood flows out profusely from the site - I guess I hit a gusher that time.
Sensor #2 goes in, and still no breakfast. I check my sugar again, and it's now over 200, so I decide to go ahead and correct it. Three lost sensor messages go by. I am, by this time, on the go, away from home when I call Medtronics about this. I never call them because it's such a hassle, but I can't afford to go through sensors like this. I speak to someone who asks me about lot numbers and so on, instructs me on a bunch of stuff I already know but am too tired to protest about, and am told to try leaving it in for a few more hours. I already know this one is a dud but I do as they tell me.
Two+ hours later, I'm calling them back to confirm lot numbers and say that sensor #2 also is not working. I've now had lunch, my first meal of the day. It's past 1pm. They agree to replace the 2 sensors and ask me to save the bad ones to send back to them. Time for sensor #3. I hate looking at the length of the needles on these things, I think as I'm shooting the third one in.
Then, two lost sensor messages. I give it about an hour, then pull on the transmitter a bit. It goes green for 1 blink, then dead. Is it working or not? That was 10 minutes ago. It worked for half of a blip, and now it is not working again. It's now 3:45 pm and I have yet to calibrate the darn thing once. I pull off the transmitter and put it back on - no dice. Third lost sensor message. I take the transmitter out, plug it into the charger and let it sit for a minute. I pull it out and it blinks rapidly green. At least I know it's alive. But what the heck is going on? My entire day has been about nothing but getting this stupid device working. I let it sit for a minute and then plug it back into the sensor. Still dead.
I call Medtronic again at 3:54pm. The wait time is now at 10 minutes. Ten minutes of listening to that droning tune over and over and over again. They could at least give us radio or maybe an entire album to listen to on the line, instead of the same the same 1-minute long song repeatedly. It's enough to try anyone's sanity. Then they tell me they're experiencing high call volume, and I hear no estimate on how long I'm going to have to wait now. I start to ponder what it would be like to have a service dog instead of the cgm, and whether a dog like that could handle all the highs and lows I have every day. Would I drive it into neurosis with my widely-fluctuating blood sugars? With the phone on my shoulder, I start watching Alias.
Finally, I get someone. I get to hear about how these sensors have never been recalled and go through a "porch" test where they sit in arctic winds and hell-fire summers and still work - obviously, like ALWAYS, it's my fault. But after testing the transmitter (I never knew there was a way to test the transmitter, so this was a good learning opp for me - that little blue plastic piece was still in the box I received 8 months ago) and finding that this was okay, and staying firm that this is the third one in a row from the same box, the rep changed her tune, apologized and said I must feel like a pincushion after three of these today, and offered to replace the whole box for me. Which is great, but they won't be here until Thursday, which means I've got another two days without anything helping me catch my lows. Even if the cgm doesn't always catch my lows, I have come to depend on it doing for me what I can no longer do for myself - alert me to my lows.I rip out the third one and call it a day. It's now 4:30pm.
I rarely.... I have NEVER felt as frustrated with having diabetes as I do dealing with the cgm. Who has the time to deal with this stuff? It bothers me that they insist that this technology is ready for people to integrate it fully into their lives and yet I cannot get it to regularly work for me. I feel like all my energy today has been devoted to this stupid device. I feel very unempowered - what choice do I have, as someone who can't feel their lows? I can't just walk away from this technology, even if it isn't always helpful, because without it, I risk doing even more damage to myself from lows I can't detect. My sugars are so labile that I can't just "run a little high" even if I wanted to. And, of course, this would happen when I'm in the middle of taking hydrocortisone, so my sugars are even higher than usual. I feel so stuck.