The Good and Bad of a CGM Break

Chris Clement
By Chris Clement Latest Reply 2017-11-25 09:29:18 -0600
Started 2017-10-29 14:18:36 -0500

I've been using a constant glucose monitor (CGM) for a few years. I remember when I first started, my life was changed. See, blood sugar is a data point. But with a meter check, you don't know which direction blood sugar is headed. CGM allowed me to get my A1c where it needed to be quickly, because I could catch and treat highs before they got out of control, and treat lows before they got dangerous. It's been so great.

This week, my last transmitter quit working. I will have more coming soon, but for now, I'm off my CGM. It's always been PROS to me, but, during this little break I've realized a couple of surprising CONS…
1. The constant data. Sometimes I obsess over my numbers and where they're headed.
2. Having my numbers always there can distract me from life. Being without for a few days now, I don't know the affect it will have on my A1c because I don't know what's going on between tests. But, I haven't been worrying as much as I thought I'd be.
3. Over-treating. There have been times when I've looked at my CGM data, the direction my blood sugar is heading, and stacked insulin doses trying to make sure I took enough, resulting in lows that I over treat, ending up high again. Without CGM, I've just let it ride and checked on it later after it has had time to play out.

Of course, these CONS don't out-weigh the PROS for me. Pros being, I always know where I'm at, I can take a more active role in treating my diabetes, I have alarms to remind me if I forgot to dose, and I have alarms to notify me before I get in to serious trouble with urgent lows. My CGM has sounded in the night, waking me up to treat low blood sugar. It has actually saved my life on many occasions. Also, the people I share my data with are able to check up on me to make sure I'm safe.

Have you tried CGM? What has your experience been like?

7 replies

DrJohn 2017-11-25 09:29:18 -0600 Report

P.S. I never used it for insulin dosing because it was sometimes accurate and sometimes inaccurate. I always used a finger stick for insulin dosing.

DrJohn 2017-11-25 09:23:38 -0600 Report

I've been using CGM for many years (G4 and G5). But, now that Medicare approved it, my insurance is now out of the picture. There aren't any distributors that will offer it under Medicare because they pay too little. So, in 1 week, my transmitter ends and so does my CGM use. I used it mainly because I don't have hypoglycemic symptoms.


Type1Lou 2017-10-30 07:44:07 -0500 Report

I haven't tried a CGM, in part because of Medicare obstacles to covering it, but also because I did not want yet another gizmo stuck to me. I do test my BG 8X daily though and my last A1c was 6.3. Medtronic's new 670G pump with Guardian sensor would make me want to try a CGM IF, Medicare would cover it…big big IF! The more info we have, the better we can mange our condition…and the technology is constantly improving.

Chris Clement
Chris Clement 2017-10-30 23:54:46 -0500 Report

I know that medicare somewhat recently approved Dexcom, though I'm not certain of the details and how well it is covered. Even if just for a trial run, I'd recommend giving it a go if you can get coverage. There is so much to be learned from a week of CGM.

I'm not sure about the Medtronic one, just Dexcom.

Type1Lou 2017-10-31 08:37:48 -0500 Report

Medtronic is working to obtain approval for their CGM which integrates with the 670G pump and enables it to effectively "automatically" deliver insulin in the "auto-mode"…something that is very appealing. The Dexcom (currently the only Medicare-approved CGM) does not communicate with the Medtronic pump, so, I'm opting to wait this one out.

GabbyPA 2017-10-29 16:49:26 -0500 Report

I have never used a CGM, but I have been obsessed with every bit of info I could gather in a day. I have notebooks full of things, lessons, meals, emotions and lots and lots of numbers. I had to walk away from it for a while because I was becoming a number. I got my "worth" from good ones and my "guilt" from the bad ones. It stopped being a tool and became "me". I don't care for that much.

Getting a break can put a different perspective on things and maybe an adjustment when you get your new transmitter. I like being off grid, but in our case, ignorance is not really bliss and it is a great tool to have. Just always keeping in mind, it's a tool, not who you are.