#WW: It’s TOO Quiet

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I have enough friends with kids to know that when it seems too quiet, there is usually trouble.

Same goes for my CGM. My alarms go off for sugars below 75 and above 180, respectively. But I don’t have trend alarms, so I could be trending in either direction and not know it until it’s too late. (Given delays, I’m usually in the 200’s by the time my alarm goes off.)

My instructor asked one night if it’s weird to NOT have alarms going off all the time. The answer? Yes!

Today I treated myself to a larger cup of coffee than normal because I went to sleep around midnight. (And I work both jobs today.) No alarms. So I got nervous. Safely under my high alarm range but higher than I want to stay for a long period of time. Bolus administered.

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#Dblogcheck – Or “This Is Jen’s Song”

So I’m sitting here at 6:00 pm PST, after getting approximately 10 hours of sleep during the entire weekend, reading through everyone’s “check in” posts… and realize that I haven’t written my own. Problem is… my check in will most likely be tomorrow because that seems to be when I get the most traffic. But – if you were waiting for a post to do so, this would be it, kids.

What the hell am I talking about? This is unofficially D-Blog Check In Day. A day where my following can say “what’s up??! I’m still reading what you write.” And therefore, I write more. Yay? (YAY!) Okay.

Here, I’ll even allow anonymous comments for a day, pending you aren’t trying to improve my SEO or sell me something funky.

Now – originally what I was going to share today was another tale from the dance lessons vs. the CGM files. I know I’m supposed to set a temp basal for my lessons. I get it. But – when I’m hanging out in the 140 range before a lesson that you don’t think will be that intense, why bother? I was wrong on both counts and dropped to 47 mg/dl in 45 minutes. But before that, my CGM alarmed that I was falling slowing to 74. Since I was having accuracy issues with this sensor, I just assumed it was wrong. And I told my instructor that it was wrong… and then somehow proceeded to mentally take an entire lunch order from another instructor. But first, I should check before I operate a vehicle.

I wasn’t safe to drive. My instructor didn’t get her lunch. Sad times.

I treated and rested before my next lesson. (Yeah… I had two… on 5 hours of sleep.) Set a smaller temp basal because I found leftover cake in the fridge from Friday. (That I didn’t get to enjoy then…) Figured I was okay.

CGM started alarming again.

My instructor, being musically inclined, decided to make up lyrics to my CGM hypo alarm and sing them to me. “This Is Jen’s Song,” set to Medtronic’s downward sad scale of doom.

Consequently, the BGs were running quite low all day today. At least twice, I sang the song in my head.

>.<

At least someone finds it funny…

CGM Wants to Hear the Kangaroo Song

My CGM is going back on tonight because appointment with the big magnetic tube was this evening. On one side, I’ll miss sleeping soundly without being awaken by alarms in the middle of the night or at other inopportune times. However, I won’t miss second guessing my symptoms and waking up randomly at 6:30 am with a 58 mg/dl.

I was trying to think of a pop culture reference to showcase my internal reaction to every time my CGM buzzes at me incessantly. So here is a really crappy-quality video of the exchange between Adam Sandler and Dylan (or Cole) Sprouse in 1999’s “Big Daddy.”

This should be safe for work. Other versions weren’t. I’d only really recommend that movie if you are a fan of Sandler, have had a lot of alcohol, or both.

Happy Monday, y’all.

The CGM that Cried Wolf

(c) someone talented on the interwebz

(c) someone talented on the interwebz

I know MiniMed CGMs are known for their quirks and inaccuracies. However, I’ve gotten up one too many times in the middle of the night to find out that my sugars aren’t what my CGM says they are.

Last night was no exception. By the 4th wake up call and checks to discover that my sugars were safely in the 80s, I gave up listening to my CGM. I even restarted it because it said I had a double arrows down to 56 when I was actually 102. I just wanted sleep, damnit.

At around 5:30 am, I got another low alarm. This time for about a 74 mg/dl. Fine. Whatever… I’m sure I’m okay and 70 is actually an ideal fasting blood sugar for pre-pregnancy prep. So I continued to sleep until my alarm went off at 6:15. But man, I was hungry.

Woke up to a blood sugar of 56 mg/dl.

Oh… I see how it is. <sigh> This is what I was afraid of.

Marinating

If there is one thing I’ve learned about being attached to all these devices, it’s that I’m stubborn as hell. Especially when it comes to keeping my sets and sensors in tact when I should really be tossing them in the trash.

It’s not so much the money, but fact that I’ve wasted a poke and another sensor or another reservoir, or another vial of insulin. So as I sit here with a sensor that has gone nuclear in my right hip and it stings every time something barely grazes it, the smart thing I could have done this morning is rip it out. But I didn’t. I figure I spent all last night “marinating” and the sensor has a decent ISIG value, I’m not tossing it. (However, I am watching for signs of infection… I’m not that stupid.) This, coupled with an infusion set that stings as insulin is being administered, it is making for a very uncomfortable Friday.

But it’s the time, hassle, and prep that somehow justifies my pain. Do I really want to try and find ANOTHER space for my sensor because the real estate I can use on my abdomen and get concrete readings is limited? Nope.

Guess I’m a glutton for punishment. And I’m sure some leader this evening will accidentally brush the sensor during a social dance, I’ll grimace in pain and then finally be convinced to change out the sensor. Maybe.

CGM Misses You

Ha-ha

I spent most of yesterday recovering from dehydration. Apparently, when you are sick, drinking water is important. Go figure.

My [early] rough morning began with my CGM alarming at 4:30 am. BG METER NOW!!! it said. With enthusiasm. Or panic.

Well, at least that is what I assumed it said. I couldn’t actually focus my eyes to read it. I’ve had this happen before. If I wake up too suddenly, the room spins to a nauseating state for a bit and I’m back to normal after I wake up a bit. This was a bit different. I felt ill. Like – I’m going to lose my non-existant stomach contents if I don’t lie back down. But – a calibration was due and I needed to double check that I wasn’t going to pass out from hypoglycemia. I stumble down the hall avoiding obstacles my circling, hungry cat.

138 mg/dl. Not even close to passing out nor what my CGM was recording before I was rudely awakened. Fine. The calibration will fix it.

10 minutes later. CALIBRATION ERROR!!!!1!!

No, damnit! I want to sleep/make the room stop spinning.

If my memory served me well in this near drunken state, my post calibration errors generally mean I’m going to get a BAD SENSOR error any time now. I was already having issues with it earlier that day, so I just did what any normal person would do and removed the sensor… at 4:45 am. Ah – back to bed with no more alarms and a continuous spinning state. Yay?!

I spend most of my day chugging water and trying not to throw up on my dance instructors. (WHY did it have to be V Waltz?!) My next logical step would have been to insert a new sensor before bed yesterday. However, with Show next weekend, I’m planning to take a “pump vacation” to accommodate the quick change Olympics that never seem to serve my basals properly. So as much as I hate Lantus with a passion, it’s a safer bet than trying to reconnect/disconnect ad nauseum. [Peanut gallery says: I see what you did there.]

Rather than waste a sensor that I’m going to have to rip out pre-maturely due to my self-tanning adventures, I figured I would just go without for two weeks. (The pump is going too, but later.) I mean, I had for so long and my sugars are fairly stable. At my Endo appointment on Monday, I couldn’t recall the last epically high blood sugar I’ve had. (Woot!) There wouldn’t be a need for early detection for just a couple of weeks, right? What’s the worse that could happen?

I go to sleep after treating an epic 59 mg/dl. In true fashion, I overtreat and bolus a random amount before bed after realizing I forgot to earlier. Oops. Whatever. I’m exhausted.

4:00 am rolls around again. Wide awake. This time, I’m not stumbling around, but I’m ultimately curious what I’m doing BG wise. I’m sure I’m fine.

Meter: 274 mg/dl

CGM from my Supply Closet: HA-HA! [/Nelson laugh]

Me: …

Sleep is for the weak

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I woke up at 6 am on Saturday, which was the first time I had done so in almost two weeks. While it would seem that I’d be sleeping soundly without the stress of work, but I’m finding that I have different alarms waking me up at all hours of the evening. Yes – apparently my CGM is working now.

It’s not that I’m running dramatically low in the evenings. In fact, once I come down off my dinner/evening high, I run fairly stable in the low 80s/mid 70s until I wake up the next morning. However, my CGM has a tendency to drift when I hit that sweet spot. So I’ll alarm at 74 or lower when I’m actually an acceptable range with no actual trend downward. I don’t, however, want to change the low alarm  setting because a low alarm will also mean that I’m 60 and dropping.

The same happens when I am trending higher and my correction hasn’t kicked in yet.

I also get Calibration Errors, Calibration reminders, Sensor Errors, and Sensor End notifications at around 4 am. Sadly, I’m sure the calibration reminders could be avoided with better planning – but the other items? Can’t predict errors.

And if it’s not the noises and vibrating waking me up, it’s my Type A personality checking my sensor data every 10 minutes after a recorded high or low. Did the food work? Did the insulin correction start bringing me down quickly? Too quickly? Maybe I should get up, again, to check to make sure.

4 am and I are becoming fast frienemies. This is not the time I should be starting to give up caffeine. But maybe this will just prep me for the early morning feedings and diaper changes that I hope to have in my future.

#WW: Version 2.0

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Hardware update #2 seems to be okay so far. It’s been over 12 hours and I still have an ISIG rating over 10. Barely. But it’s there. (For the record, I want it to be over 10. During testing my old transmitter, my ISIG values were ZERO!) <knocks wood>

Also, I didn’t get to post these on Sunday, but I’m super proud of them, even though it didn’t take very long to do:

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I called them Sugar Rushes… because these are one way tickets to DKA-ville! And the sad part is that they were gone in two days. None of them consumed by me thankyouverymuch. Though, I’m concerned about the gal who chose to eat FOUR of them.

Also – if you have three Peeps, it’ll bring up a hypo just as fast as glucose tabs. If not more.

Shots were never this complicated

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I was a child with diabetes in the 80s so I had my fair share of analog technology to assist me with control. Ketone strips that were used to find high blood sugars rather than glucose monitors that gave results in 5 seconds or less. And if you had a glucose monitor, it weighed 2 pounds and took approximately 2 and a half minutes to produce a result after multiple steps. (And a crap ton of blood.) Then there was my insulin regiment of NPH and Regular, given multiple times a day in a syringe. No continuous glucose monitors. Insulin pumps were in their very early infancy. You just lived with what you had and the meager technology that was available  was what you used.

But it was so simple! Administration was a guarantee with shots. Whether the meds worked or not were a different calamity, but at least you physically drew insulin from a bottle and injected it somewhere.

Now days, I have to wonder if my high blood sugars are from a meal, a lack of basal or some sort of pump malfunction. (And that’s just the basics for where a high could come from.) My life seems dependent on batteries moreso than a correct basal rate.

I say all this because I finally met with Medtronic again this morning. My CGM transmitter is a dud. I need to send it back after I get my replacement tomorrow. This is probably the reason for most of my CGM woes over the last month.

This is the third Medtronic device I’ve had to return and have replaced because of some technical glitch. (Though, now I’m wondering if I needed my second pump… not that I’m complaining.)

Is this normal? Or do I just have really crap luck with technology? I mean, I work on computers all the time and those don’t crumble to Blue Screens when I walk through the door. I don’t enjoying breaking my diabetes tech. I try not to do it on purpose and I don’t think anyone does. But seriously… this is getting kind of ridiculous. Shots wouldn’t give me calibration errors or beep incessantly. They just did their job and were disposed of.

When did this become more complicated?