Who is Dex, you ask? Well.. Dex is my continuous glucose monitor (CGM). Also known as…Dexcom! (I know, I know.. my nickname for it is so original, right!? Man.. have you guys picked up on all my sarcasm yet?)
Anyway, my past two posts I’ve mentioned Dexcom being a serious game changer for me and my life with type 1.. But I barely talked about it! So I had some responses asking why it was such a blessing for me, and if I could elaborate further. Well, OF COURSE I can, and I’m actually really excited about this! But first, I have to add that I am by no way getting paid for this. These are my own opinions and I want to answer your questions, from my personal experience. These are my honest words, thoughts, opinions, with my dexcom journey. (See my disclaimer in my menu section)
“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end”- Robin Sharma
I struggled with the thought of getting another device to have to wear along with my insulin pump for a while, but I finally stopped being so vain about the idea, and realized it could benefit me.. so why not give it a “test run”? My endocrinologists office actually had one that I was able to wear and use for a week to see if I liked it. Well, after about 4 hours of wearing it…. I was sold. Seriously! Now I’ll tell you why…
I was not only able to see my blood sugar from my phone (updated every 5 minutes) but I was ALSO able to see if it was going up, down, or stable (there’s an up arrow, a DOUBLE up arrow, a slanted up arrow, a sideways arrow, a slanted down arrow, down arrow, and DOUBLE down arrow). You know how sometimes you do a finger stick, and say it’s…. 104. A great reading, right? But.. with dexcom, I can look at my phone, see that it’s not only 104, but it has DOUBLE ARROWS DOWN! What does this mean? I’m likely able to stop a bad low blood sugar before it gets.. well, a lot worse. Sometimes, I don’t even feel that I’m low, and all of a sudden my phone is alarming URGENT LOW (which is below 55) and I’m at 43, or lower (I don’t personally always feel my lows, and I feel that it’s saved my life before.. game changer, right!?). It’s the same if you prick your finger and see it’s 127. That’s a good reading, but what if you saw it was 127, with two “double up” arrows?! This tells me, I need to take insulin, or make sure I have enough “on board” to avoid going too high.. (and feeling like I was hit by a train).
Dexcom doesn’t replace finger sticks, but you do only have to calibrate twice a day, and that’s A LOT LESS than all the finger sticks in one day (especially if it’s a roller-coaster high and low type of day).
In 9 years, I was never able to know what my blood sugar was doing at any given moment through out the day.. I never knew if it was going up or down when I tested. Even with the pump changing my life back in 2014, dexcom and the pump working together made it WAY tighter control for me, that I would have never accomplished myself without it. I got my best A1C EVER with dexcom, and I can’t imagine life without it now. In a weird way, it’s like this game on my phone that I want to “beat” so to speak. I can see what my numbers are doing (going up or down) and take a little insulin, or suspend a little insulin here and there depending on what it’s doing. It also allows up to 5 followers on phones. My Dad follows me and is always quick to call or text and make sure I’m alright when he gets a “low” notification (since these can be life threatening if not treated). You can personalize the settings and they really only get alerted if I’m going too low (at my age, I can tackle the highs on my own, but don’t always feel the lows coming).
It’s been an amazing experience for me, and I’ll never not have a CGM again. My A1C went from a 12.2 to a 9 in 1 month, and in 3 months was down to a 6.6. Life changing enough!?!
They’re technically only FDA approved for 7 days as of now (the new ones will be 10 days, and only 1 calibration a day) but I’ve gotten 30 days with my best sensor, and have heard of others in dexcom groups I follow getting even more than that (they are a dry site, unlike a pump, so there’s not so much risk for infection if you wear it a while). I use a certain kind of tape with mine to help keep it on longer and it works great for me!
I’ll wrap this up, and remind you guys to please comment with any questions, or email me via the contact section on my menu. I hope this did answer some questions you had, and I’m happy to answer more! I really and truly appreciate and welcome all and any feedback, and have to thank you guys again for reading, and for all the love and support!
Lastly, I ask you to PLEASE sign this petition to help make insulin more affordable to EVERYONE. No mother should have to sacrifice her insulin to make sure her kid has enough, and no kid or adult should have to go without for ANY reason. Insulin is NOT an option, it is our life support.. literally. This is a petition with the American Diabetes Association, and here is what they have to say about it :
“The average price of insulin has skyrocketed in recent years—nearly tripling between 2002 and 2013. We’re calling for immediate action to make this lifesaving medication affordable for everyone who needs it. We’re asking all entities in the insulin supply chain to increase transparency and to ensure that no one is denied access to insulin, and we’re calling on Congress to hold hearings to identify the reasons for the dramatic increases in insulin prices and take action. Join us by signing our petition”:
-Chelsea…The Hopeful Diabetic
P.S — You may have noticed… New Domain/Name, but same me, same blog! 🙂 I should have researched more before just up and creating and starting my website, but I changed my domain to be more original. Bare with me guys, I’m just getting the hang of things!