Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Associate Chair & CGM

Bylaw The precinct caucus may elect associate chairs to assist and aid in the organization of the precinct for the party in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws. These associate chairs should be listed in the caucus report to higher levels of the party and may be the alternate for the precinct chair on the county unit central committee.

So that is what I do for my precinct, which most specifically is SD15A W4 P1. I still haven’t done anything for the DFL, other than sending an email to my Precinct Chair. I’m still somewhat impatiently waiting to see what comes of this opportunity, which I thrust myself unwittingly into.

Yesterday, all by 12pm, I consumed 1,165 calories. The majority of these calories were regular Pepsi. Can you guess why? Ahhhh, yess. The unresponsive low. That was yesterday morning. I had a hard time staying within my daily calorie allowance (1541) seeing as how I was over 2/3 there before I even had lunch. The result? 500 calories over. Such is life. I am destined to be fat forever (I know I’m not fat, I’m actually around 152 lbs, which is 22lbs lighter than I was in January of 2007, but still, I’m a woman, give me a break.)

I’ve been wearing my handy dandy minilink for over 3 weeks now. I figure I may as well as report on it, and its greatness. This thing is fabulous, if only because I can finally sleep at night without fear. I was actually able to reduce my night time basals by .65 in the first two weeks. Why is this? Because what is not apparent in random night time finger pokes is immediately apparent on the minilink, which registers blood sugars every 5 minutes. Now, keep in mind, the blood sugars are typically 20 minutes behind what is actually happening, but….and this is a transformative but, what shows on my pump is a true illustration of what is happening with my blood sugars. I was able to see, in the first two weeks, the massive dive my blood sugars were taking from 12am – 5am and as a result, I was able to adjust my basals. No more basal testing!

As a result of this basal change, at first I ran high in the mornings after. Why? I was so accustomed to not bolussing for carbs after 9pm, that I continued this practice. I figured it out fairly quickly. Now I see a nice flat line at night. I still run between 140 – 180 as I’m not yet comfortable running lower (huge fear of nighttime lows is still rearing its beastly head) but I intend to inch myself closer to a healthier bottom line at night.

I mentioned earlier that this thing runs around 20 minutes behind what my body is actually doing. So how does this help alert me of lows? Obviously, my cgm does not keep up with rapid glucose changes, but (and yes this is another transformative but) I’ve noted that if I’m trending down and my blood sugar on the pump says 100, I’m probably closer to 60. I’ve also set my low limit at 95, and typically when that low alarm goes off, I DO need a snack.

As for the sensors, I’ve heard mention that some folk are able to make these things last for 2 weeks. I’ve tried, but I just can’t get past six days. It isn’t that the sensor quits working, though; it is that I have extremely sensitive skin and at six days I’m ready to rip the sensor out because of the itching. I have also had problems with tape, but I’ve had success with two different alternatives to secure the minilink to my skin: Tegaderm (uber expensive) and bandaids (not uber expensive.) The look I want (Tegaderm looks prettier) and how much tape I have left dictates my choice in this regard.

So has the minilink CGM investment been worth it? ( I do have insurance coverage, but I pay 20% after a $1, 125 deductible.) Absofreakinglutely. This thing has changed my life. The minilink CGM has changed how I manage my diabetes, and honestly, it has given me back a quality of life that I had lost for years after becoming less and less cognizant of low blood sugars. I no longer live in fear. I test an average of 6 – 7 times per day instead of 15+. I no longer remember which finger I am “on” and I believe I’ve poked my right pinky for every blood sugar test for the past two days. This isn’t as big of a deal when I’ve cut my blood sugar tests by more than 50%.

And my blood sugars? I think they are doing better, and primarily I would say because of the basal changes to nighttime. I’ll find out more next time I have my a1c. I’m hoping for something better than my last 7.6 (ouch!) So that’s that, and what’s what in CGM for Sarah.

1 comment:

Bernard said...


Sounds like your starting to figure the CGMS out. They definitely take time to get used to. The Dexcom seems to be different. When it reports that I'm at 75-80 I find that I test at 85-95. So sometimes I get false alarms at night. But I'll bet you find your control improving as you figure it all out.

And I love these things for tuning basals. You can fast for large parts of the day and not have to do many fingersticks. I've been able to really tune the basals as a result.

I hope it continues to improve for you, and that you're next A1C is 7 or lower!