I felt quite like Linus the other day, when time took our diabetes security blanket away.
It was meant to be, the DexCom transmitter is designed with an internal battery that is warranted to last for six months but when our transmitter turned a year old a few weeks ago, I thought maybe we had the one that would never lose it's charge.
Then, of course, it did.
Only a few days past it's birthday our G4 transmitter let out a death knell in the form of the image that you see above. "Low Battery: Order New Transmitter" - and so I did. Today's blog post isn't about a fight with an insurance company or a medical supply firm filled with inept employees. All of that actually went smooth as silk. I made the call and the new transmitter showed up three days later. But those days taught me a lesson.
The lesson? I lean so hard on that continuous glucose monitor that I was initially lost without it. Now, today's blog post isn't about how great diabetes technology can be, and I'm not going to sing the praises of DexCom (Though I could) - Today is about shining a light on the true meaning of what the CGM brings into a life lived with type I diabetes.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring brings a sense of calm and peace while it removes uncertainty and blindness.
I can see the insulin go in but where does it go, what will it do, when will it do it and how long will it be before it has completed it's task? I can see the food go in, but how, when and with what intensity will it impact Arden's blood glucose level?
I stand in a dark room, it's walls built with uncertain nervousness, waiting for the room to catch fire. I think that's what injecting insulin felt like before we had a CGM. It felt like the five seconds before the knife wielding lunatic jumps from the shadows in your favorite horror movie. But it feels like that all day, at least it did in the past and it did again for these three days, well, it tried to feel like that but I was able to stop it with the knowledge that I've gained living with a CGM in our life.
My first reaction when the battery in Arden's transmitter failed the day after it's first warning that it would, was fear. I thought about how positively Arden's A1c was effected when we added glucose monitoring to our life and worried that our success was solely based on the information that our devices report. I was actually concerned that I wouldn't remember how to handle things without the technology that I've rightfully grown to trust. The first night I gave in to the pressure and I stayed up half the night testing. Do you know what those tests showed me? They showed that even though diabetes is unpredictable, I have a pretty good feeling for when it's going to be unpredictable. I know when a miscalculated bolus will become an issue, and low BGs aren't as elusive as they felt before I was able to watch twenty-four hours of blood sugars on the DexCom screen. There's no doubt that I can't predict everything and I certainly don't know when an unexpected change in Arden's BG will happen, but I can guess with some reasonable certainty. My educated guesses are now more educated than they once were, and I think that there are times when I lean too hard on the information coming from the Dex. I think that sometimes I know what the correct action to take is, and I use the DexCom data to convince me that I'm correct.
So I found my bravery and went back to managing Arden's diabetes the way I did in the past... By closing my eyes, trusting myself and hoping for the best (And I tested more often).
I'll tell you what though, I put all that high-mindedness aside the second that the FedEx driver handed me the package that contained Arden's new transmitter. I tore the box open, grabbed the transmitter and drove directly to her school to pop it in. I trust myself, I do, but this diabetes dance is much easier when you have someone or something to lean on.
on 2013-11-20 18:33 by Scott Benner
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