So with all of this talk about travel and safety and doing the right thing, I’m still not a consistent continuous glucose monitor user. Here’s my confession:
I don’t want to be a CGM user.
I hope my endocrinologist isn’t looking at this today (she does look in every once in a while). But she’s already familiar with my resistance on the subject. Let me see if I can explain this. I’m sure all of the points I’ll make here can be shot down with common sense wisdom that just about anyone living with diabetes can understand. But there are a few reasons why I haven’t made CGM use habitual.
When I first started using an insulin pump five years ago, I also started wearing a CGM all the time. The CGM I was using was horrible; it had accuracy issues, and it was always painful to insert. It was so frustrating that after about nine months, I gave up on it. I won’t go into it anymore, but I think that was where my reluctance started.
Actually, the biggest, most overriding reason for not wanting to wear a CGM is that I do not want one more thing attached to me 24/7/365. That’s not to say that showing a CGM transmitter in public, at the pool or in the shower at the gym, would cause me embarrassment. Those days are long over. I couldn’t care less about that, and I certainly didn’t have a problem with it when wearing a CGM during clinical trials.
No, the problem of “one more thing” is bigger than that. It’s not only wearing something else all the time. It’s having to plan out site changes for two devices rather than one. It’s having to pack supplies for two devices rather than one. It’s fighting with insurance profiteers over coverage of two devices (and supplies for those devices) rather than one. It’s having to carry around a receiver in my already overcrowded pockets. It’s dealing with real estate issues earlier because I’m constantly violating my body in two places at a time instead of one.
I think there might also be, hidden somewhere deep, an aversion to gathering data for my endocrinologist to go through and find fault with me. My current endo is not like that at all, and I know she would never shame me if my numbers didn’t look so great. However, old wounds take time to heal. On the other hand, this would probably be the easiest place for me to give a little. In reality, I know this would not be an issue, so why should I continue to make it one? Patients are not always perfect either.
After going over my concerns with my endo, she suggested that instead of wearing a CGM full time, maybe I use one for ten days or two weeks in between appointments. That way, she could at least get a little data on how my BGs were trending throughout each day. This seems reasonable, and not too intrusive. But has that made me start the process over again? No. Old wounds take time to heal, and old habits die hard.
I’m not sure I’m solving anything here. But this is how I deal with issues like this: I talk about them, to myself, family, and friends, and in doing so, I often talk away some of the concerns (read: fears) of change. I know that CGM technology is better, and with the rollout of Nightscout and Dexcom Share, many people are able to add an additional layer of security in the advent of a hypo away from home. Why wouldn’t I want to make that a part of my care too?
I don’t think I’m there yet. But I’m getting closer. Secretly, I’ve even made lists of who I would share my data with… even “backups”.