When I talk about my transition to life on an insulin pump I always tell people that I never knew how much I disliked injections until I didn't have to do them anymore; then, it became obvious.
I never minded jabs at all. I have this vivid memory of back when my family lived in Germany and it was celebrated when, at just four years old, I jabbed myself for the very first time. I still remember sitting on my parents bed, my skinny little legs dangling over the side. Due to being little more than a baby and the whole world seeming bigger, my feet were clear of the ground by two, maybe three feet. My parents and younger brother were there, sat around me. As I gave myself an injection with one of those old, plastic orange-capped hypodermic syringes, the needle for which seemed metres long, they all cheered and spoiled me with celebrations. If I close my eyes, I can still see the beige colours of the bed sheets and the 70s patterned carpet.
Last night, as my G4 sensor clung onto my arm after 22 days, still giving me numbers as close as 0.1-0.2 mmol out, but with the adhesive having crapped out on me completely, I decided enough was enough. I'd given myself a really nasty looking rash (not with the Dexcom adhesive as some people have, but with the plasters I was using in a desperate attempt to secure the sensor for a few more previous days), so decided the time had come to pull it.
(Sorry about the photo grossness, but you know, for the purpose of education...)
I have a rule about sensor use: as my husband and I don't grow a money tree in the garden for me to afford it we have agreed two sensors a month. This amounts to around £90-100 in any one calendar month which, although still disgustingly expensive (considering I now see this as a fundamental part of my self-management and something I simply couldn't do with out), we are lucky enough to be in a position to be able to fund even that much. Sometimes, if a sensor doesn't go the full 2 weeks we need (rare), I have to miss a couple of days in between in order to allow coverage for a whole month. Last night, due to the rash and lack of options to stick the adhesive back on, I had my first sensor-free night in around 73 days.
As I crunched my way through 6 dusty Dextrose tabs to try and bump up my blood sugars after an unwelcome 2.6mmol (46 mg/dl) smacked me in the gut at 2am, I would have given anything to plug back in. I was having a full-on freak-out about, "What the hell do we do when we have kids and can't afford this anymore", and "Maybe we need to start saving now" kind of dramas that my husband could no doubt do without at 2am. It was right about then I realised just how much I love my G4: I love it as much as I love not having to give myself jabs. Perhaps more.
One day I hope all PWDs (People with Diabetes) will be able to sit around and discuss their CGM readings and talk how much easier it makes all their lives. While we're at it, I would really like a cure, but that's another post.
As I departed for work today with my new sensor on board and in the two-hour warm-up period, I was happy that no more low blood sugars would creep in today.
Do you have a CGMs, and has it made a difference to your way of life?