Fast forward three years, and here I am with an A1C of 6.9%, achieved with my pump and glucometer, improved understanding of my diabetes related anxiety, and hard work. When my doctor suggested a CGM, I was thrilled. After reading Ryan’s blog and seeing how important his CGM was to his daily living and exercise, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. As a runner myself, I was excited to start mentally enjoying my runs instead of playing the guessing game: how is my blood sugar trending? Am I going to get low? Can I make it ten more minutes before testing again or will my impatience get the best of me?
As with any technology, the cliché is true: the machine is only as smart as its user. I was warned by my doctor to not constantly look at my CGM, or to stop testing my blood sugar all together. Knowing how to use my CGM is a huge part to making this a successful tool. The first few days, I did exactly the opposite of what my doctor suggested: I was looking at the receiver every five minutes and testing it against my glucometer readings; I was calibrating most of these readings, further throwing off the CGM technology; I was waiting for the CGM to mess up and have to live with the scary consequences of a low blood sugar. As the days when on I began to look at the trend arrows, just as much as the blood sugar readings, and to only calibrate twice a day. The most important lesson I have learned so far, however, was to trust my own body and sense of blood sugar, just as I have been doing for the past seven and a half years.
I cannot wait to see how using the CGM will impact my A1C, my overall mental health, and my exercising. Tomorrow I will run my first race with my CGM in Central Park. It will take a lot of emotional strength, but I have decided to leave my “diabetes running kit” behind and just bring my CGM and “smarties” for the race. I am going to allow the CGM to do its job and in return promise to be supportive, trusting, and confident in my new buddy.