I'm now on my second sensor and as such my second week of CGM, after having given myself a few days off so I didn't feel too much like a robot-in-the-making. Truth is, even though I love all kinds of techno-toys - especially those on the diabetes front - even the greatest of them all can make you feel a little like an experiment. I would certainly have A LOT to explain if I walked through one of those metal detectors at the airport right now, that's for sure!
This time round I didn't seem to have results quite as polarised as those I got with the last sensor. Last time I plugged into 'The Matrix', I was finding that whenever my sugars went up and down a little too quickly, the sensor would get extremely confused and give me all sorts of weird and wonderful results. Hmm, Im not sure 'wonderful' is the right word, but the term seems fitting in some strange way.
This time round I've been more impressed with the results. I can only assume that my sugars were more stable when I first plugged it in, meaning the sensor did not have to work quite so hard to calculate the correct algorithm. Most of the time I am within 2mmol of the 'actual' result. But seeing as even BG readings can be out by as much as 30%, I would say this is good enough for me.
However, the sensor did miss two hypos this week. One when I dropped quite quickly, so is perhaps understandable seeing as the sensor has a 15 minute time delay, but another was when I was quite stable (around 6-7mmol) for a couple of hours and then seemed to drop without warning. Now, for me this isn't too much of a problem as I get reasonably good warning signs and if anything have been known to be quite excessive with my BG testing, so I do enough that nothing is too much of a surprise. BUT, considering one of the main objectives of CGM is to help identify the highs and lows so you can try to eliminate, or at least reduce them, I am a little at a loss as to just how much is 'valuable' about them. Seeing as the times the sensor seems to be less reliable is when you are experiencing sugar drops or rises which is also the most important time to know what's going on, I have yet to have a resounding "this is why I'm paying £180 a month" moment. In fact, even if I were paying £50 a month, I suspect I would still be thinking that.
Yes, it was really interesting to be able to glance down and see the figures I was clocking at a glance.
Yes, it has put my mind at ease about what I 'do' during the night, blood sugar wise.
Yes, I am glad that I was given the opportunity by Medtronic to trial it.
But for the sheer expense it has also been a valuable experience.
Perhaps once it becomes more commonpace in the UK and once companies are being truly competetive meaning the price comes down, it will be something I may consider. Perhaps Dexcom will at some point allow people to trial their equipment, giving me the chance to at least compare this with another system.
But until then, I think it may be back to the finger pricks for this robo-diabetic.