Woman, Wife, Thinker, Reader, Sister, Silly
"Sometimes it is information overload, but I would rather have too much information than not enough."
Why did you choose a sensor and injections?
I was a Medtronic pump user for 10+ years and found it often unreliable when I needed it most. It malfunctioned while I was on vacation one day, and I was forced to go back to using MDI. It was the best decision I ever made. I take large doses of insulin at a time (30u+ per meal) and the insulin did not absorb well with the pump pushing all of that insulin into the same spot. I had instantly better blood sugars (and an immediate & significant drop in my A1c) after coming off the pump. MDI and CGM is the perfect pair for me. My Dexcom CGM is always dependable & very accurate, making me very happy!
What are the trade-offs of using a sensor and injections?
The only trade-offs that I see are having to make arrangements to store insulin pens when the temps are too warm out and not knowing how much insulin you have on board. Other than that, I find myself having much more freedom than I did while on the pump. I enjoy not having some clunky device hanging on my clothes at all times.
Diabetes devices can produce a lot of information and numbers. How do you feel about this? What do you do with all the data?
Sometimes it is information overload, but I would rather have too much information than not enough. With the information, I can either use it or not, but if I don't have it, then I don't have a choice. It can be helpful during times of burnout because I can kind of close my eyes for a few days. But then it is right there ready for me again when I am ready. I appreciate the technology that is available to me, and I love that my doctor can access the information that I send to his computer from my computer, no matter how many miles away he is.
How do you respond to people when they notice or comment on your devices?
I may be weird, but I LOVE when people ask me about my diabetes! It is usually someone who has a connection to diabetes in some way - they either have it themselves or know someone who does. So there is an easy connection. I use it as an opportunity to educate others who ask me about my diabetes and don't know anything about it. It is a fantastic opportunity to erase misconceptions about my disease and help them understand.
How do you make the devices comfortable on your body?
I am not usually troubled too much with devices being uncomfortable, since I no longer wear a pump. I try to be smart about where I place my sensor while being careful to rotate positions. I try to plan ahead. For example, if I am going to be swimming or exceptionally active in the next week or two, I will be sure to place my sensor on my belly so that it is covered by my swimsuit or pants and gives extra support to hold it in place. Tricks you learn after having T1D for 33 years! :)
What helps you trust your devices?
I think that technology is amazing and can usually trust it once I use something a few times and see that it works. You just have to be sure to use common sense. For example, if you feel strange, but your CGM says you are in range, you might want to do a finger stick. Likewise, if you test your blood sugar and it reads 350 but you feel fine, wash your hands and test again before you give yourself a (possibly unnecessary) large bolus of insulin.
What would you tell someone considering this same combo and deciding if it is worth the money?
I found that using a CGM and injections was actually a lot less expensive than pumping. The pumping supplies were very expensive. The CGM supplies can be expensive while meeting your insurance deductible at the beginning of the year, but I feel that the benefits far outweigh the negatives. To have improved blood sugars is worth it to me.
What challenges do you have and how have you overcome them?
I always have concerns about running out of insulin or my CGM not working. To combat that, I always put another insulin pen in my purse when I get down to 50-75 units left in the vial. In case my CGM stops working, I always have my meter with me, plus an extra vial of test strips.