Is the CGM REALLY worth it?


(LauraBoston) #1

Hi.  I'm debating about starting on a CGM.  I'm currently on a minimed pump, and have decent control (A1C is 6.6 on average).

I care about my health, and think that the CGM may help me tighten my control - getting closer to 6 or so.  But I'm not completely convinced.

The biggest draw back is feeling "bionic" with 2 insertion sites on my body.  I'm young - 25 - and dating.  Explaining an insulin pump on the first few dates is hard enough!  Let alone a CGM....

Ultimately, I want to feel like I did everything to leave as full &  healthy a life as possible.  My question for you all is: Is a CGM REALLY worth the con (the 2nd site)?? 

Also, if you have one, do you constantly find yourself looking at the #s/trends?  I'm afraid I may look at it too much - and that wouldn't be positive to be constantly focused on the # every second.


(figure skater girl) #2

i would say it is worth it. one day i was excercising and i was outside. i tested and i was so low i should have been unconcious.  i didnt have the cgm on at that time. one day at school there was an assembly because of a presentation from a group who traveled somewhere to help a comunity hit by huricanes. i had the cgm in and i looked at the number. it was heading down but not quite low. then it warned me that my blood sugaar was low so i went to treat it. it was a bit lower than it should have been when my pump warned me but otherwise i would never have known. it will warn you about any unexpected surprises to prevent dangerous things from happening.


(BrianPQuinn) #3

I feel that the CGM is really worth it. I have loved it, the trends are good to see, lately I am noticing more lows than I thought at night which means I may have to decrease my nightly basal, this is something I would have missed even if I did the 3:00 AM tests as things are always in flux when I sleep.


(Amy Wedow) #4

My 12-year-old daughter uses the Medtronic pump with CGM.  She finds the CGM to be a bother but I find the information to be very useful.  For the CGM to be successful, you need to get a good calibration (when your sugars are level) and you need to look at your graph and use the information it gives you.  I have no experience with explaining a CGM to a date, but I have found with my daughter that most people are interested in how it works, the information it gives and how that helps, and if it is uncomfortable.


(ameenk01) #5

As a busy mom working, going to school, taking care of a 4 year old with diabetes and my own diabetes I love having the CGM. i love being able to look and see if I am on a downward spiral before running out of the house. Granted, it is not 100% accurate 100% of the time but I also love being able to see my trends and all of the data I can get from it. I really don't find it a bother to have 2 sites either. I usually put one on my belly and one on my butt and then switch the sides the next time.  i was actually fighting with insurance to refill my sensors and ran out for a few weeks. I was lost not knowing what was happening, even though I still tested 10 times a day. Got my refills and was excited to reconnect and be able to see the information. So yes, it is worth it if you ask me.


(kristin2583) #6

Hello,

I am 26 and I recently got the CGM.  I have heard alot of mixed comments about it so just decided to go into it with an open mind.  I personally love it.  Having two things inserted all of the time is sort of a pain but you will test less and you will be able to see trends in your sugars. 

I actually was just at my endo today and they did tell me that they think that I am obsessing about the sensor and testing too much.  At first I tested a lot because I wanted to know if the sensor was accurate to my finger sticks.  I would say 90% of the time mine are. 

If your insurance will cover it and you won't have to pay much per month for the sensors I say go for it.  You never know until you try!!! Good Luck.


(kristin2583) #7

I sometimes think that having the sensor makes me test more b/c I am constantly wondering if the sensor is right or not.  The more information that we have the more obsessed we get with having the tightest control.


(seecreutz) #8

I just started the Dexcom sensor at the beginning of July and I must say that it is very helpful for me.  I have not gotten back my most recent labs, but I'm hoping that my A1C is a little lower than the 8.5 it was last time.  I feel that is provides great information about what happens between shots and tests (I do not have a pump).  It's very interesting to see how fast I absorb/process my food and how fast the insulin starts to work.  I always remember that the sensor does not tell me with 100% accuracy what my BG is, but knowing that it is either going up, going down, or staying the same is a great thing.  Although, I do hate the fact that I must carry this cell-phone like thing within 5 feet of me at all times.  Makes it hard when in the pool!


(LauraBoston) #9

Casey - I find it interesting that you're on the CGM but not a pump.  Do you prefer shot therapy?  I did try out the DexCom for a week - and I agree keeping it within 5 feet is sometimes hard.  I'd walk up to go to a co-worker's office, and simply forget it!


(LauraBoston) #10

Kristen - Thanks for commenting.  I think that's a big concern for me - becoming obsessed with knowing the number every second.  You know, for me, there's a fine line between making sure I take the best care of my physical health, and making sure I don't mentally get consumed by diabetes every minute of the day. 

Do you find it more stressful to be on the CGM? Or do you prefer the constant reminder, because it gives you tighter control?


(LauraBoston) #11

Brian - LOVE your end quote - about lemons, bolusing and drinking.  That's awesome.


(seecreutz) #12

Laura,

I am using the CGM because of my increasing A1C that I used to have control over.  I do prefer shots and have been anti-pump, but there's a strong possibly I'll end up on it anyway, even though I feel I can do just as well with shots.  Ultimately, I'm not sure if I want to have 2 things plugged into me at once.


(SharonB) #13

It is for me, because I am really really terrible about fingersticking... left to my oen devices I wouldn't do it at all.


(Heididfe) #14

Laura,

Go for it!  It is so worth it.  I understand what you mean about feeling "bionic", dating and all that hard stuff.  The truth is, that aside from helping your blood sugar control, wearing a CGM can help avoid a low, which can be just as hard to deal with on those first few dates! 

Heidi E :)


(Kelsey12) #15

Hi,

I am looking at going on a CGM and deciding between Dexcom SEVEN plus and the Abbott Navigator. I'm a teenager, and my A1Cs are awful almost all the time. My bolus ratios and basal rates are ALWAYS changing and its sooo hard to keep up. I think the CGM would really help but I am worried because I am also very active. When I'm not practicing for school sports, (2 hrs a day 5 days a week November through April) I'm usually at the gym working out on my own at least a couple days a week. Will the sensor still work even though I'm exercising (and sweating) this much?


(seecreutz) #16

Kelsey,

From my own experience (as seen in the previous posts), I currently use the Dexcom 7 and find it to be very user friendly.  First of all, the sensor on your body is pretty small and durable.  It is easy to insert and relatively painless; you control how fast the sensor goes in.  I have even been swimming with it and it holds up quite nicely.  The receiver must be within 5 feet of the sensor, but since it reads every 5 minutes, if you are too far away, it will not take long for the 2 to reconnect and give you a number.  The sensor itself is stated to last 7 days, but some other people and myself have concluded that it can be used for longer than that (my max is 10 days; after that, the bandage area gets irratated).  Removing the sensor is absolutely painless.  Also, the customer service people at Dexcom are fantastic; they have replaced my receiver already due to a malfunction and also replaced my 1st sensor because it was not working properly.  You just call their 24 support line and explain the problem and they take care of it immediately.  They'll even send a paid Fedex package to mail your defective item back to them.

When I first decided to use a CGM, my other choice was the Navigator because, at the time, I was using freestyle products (that has changed since my insurance covers one-touch @ 100%).  I liked the Navigator because it had a BG meter built into it that would calibrate automatically, whereas the Dexcom you still need an additional BG meter to confirm values and then enter that number manually into the receiver.  I am unsure about the size of the navigator's sensor or receiver.  Good luck with your choice!


(Kelsey12) #17

Casey,

Thanks so much for all your information. I have now made the decision to get the CGM...I just have to decide which one! I really like the dexcom and thats definitly the one I'm leaning towards, but I think my parents are feeling more comfortable with the Navigator. I'm the one wearing it....but they're the ones paying! It looks to me like the dexcom has almost all the same features as the navigator but the sensor is so much smaller, and that is a big issue for me. If I wear a tighter fitting shirt i think the sensor on the Navigator is big enough that it would cause a noticable bulge if i wore it on my stomach. And I also like to sleep on my stomach, and I've heard from a few people that that can cause problems with the sensor.

Tough choice....but overall I think both CGMs have their pros and cons and I would probably be happy with either.

Thanks again,

Kelsey