I know you are all dying to hear about my cgm (saying "continuous glucose monitor" starts to be a mouthful). And even if you aren't on the edge of your seats waiting for all the details, well, I am dying to tell everyone about it, so here we go.
My diabetes rotation for the internship was great, if for no other reason than they let me try out a bunch of cool diabetes gadgets, including a cgm. I only wore it for 5 days or so, but I really loved it and was convinced I should get one, especially since I am pregnant. I remember last pregnancy thinking a cgm would have been very helpful. Also my current doctor's opinion is that a cgm is a necessity more than a luxury in pregnancy, but you know, whatever.
So, what does it do? Basically it is super handy dandy.
--There is another site on my stomach that has a small tube under the skin (that is taken out and changed regularly), which reads and transmits my blood sugar level every five minutes.
--The device that receives the data doesn't just show you the latest number, it shows you a graph that you can expand to show up to the latest 24 hours.
--It tells you how fast your blood sugar is rising or falling (or if it is staying relatively constant). So you can see if you are dropping fast or whatnot.
--It alarms if you go too high or too low (I have mine set to alarm me if I go below 80 or above 150).
--It has some other features too, that I haven't really used yet. When you go to the doctor they can download the past month, two months, whatever.
--So it reduces the need for lots of blood sugar testing during the day. You still have to check your blood at least twice to calibrate the cgm. They say technically you shouldn't treat highs or lows based on what the sensor says, but... I kind of ignore that most of the time.
So, there are essentially two companies that make CGM currently: medtronic and dexcom. I tried out the medtronic in October, but I actually ended up buying the dexcom. The medtronic was great because it sends the data to my pump, so you have everything on one device. The dexcom sends the data to a separate little device, so you have to carry around another thing with you. That was a major pull for me to get a medtronic, but there were three big reasons I went with dexcom:
1. It is more accurate. There is always some lag time between your real blood sugar level and what it says on the cgm when your blood sugar is rising or falling, especially if it is changing rapidly. (When it is not changing, or not changing fast, there is almost no discrepancy). However, the dexcom is more accurate than the medtronic. That was the clincher for me. Accuracy is kind of a big deal.
2. Inserting the sites are less painful on the dexcom compared to the medtronic. Even if I have been sticking myself regularly for over 15 years, its not like that means it doesn't hurt.
3. Sites on the dexcom supposedly last longer than the medtronic. They say the dexcom will last from 10-14 days, whereas the medtronic lasts up to 7.
Anywhoozle, I could go on and give an even more detailed analysis with more
observations and likes/dislikes, blah blah blah, but I think I will call
it quits here. My final thought it that when all is said and done it turned out to be not that expensive, and it
is helpful and useful and accurate (at least, accurate enough to be helpful and useful). I'm a fan!