Monday, February 18, 2008

Bye Bye Dex!

I've been using the DexCom STS seven for several months now. It has been a great experience, I've seen some improvement in my HBA1C and managed avoiding more lows than pre CGM. Unfortunately, the $240 a month is too expensive for me to continue to pay out-of-pocket, so I've adjusted my last basal rate with Dex. Now that I'm stable, it's time to say bye bye to Dex.

I've put in an insurance claim with Federal BCBS, and I'm anxiously awaiting what I'm sure will the first of many rejections. So, until I'm approved, adios!

If you're interested in CGMs, check out http://groups.yahoo.com/group/diabetescgms/ to learn about CGMs and all about battling insurance companies to obtain coverage.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Blogging on hold ...

Dex has been good to me lately, I've been managed to get on average 3 weeks out of a 3-day sensor. Not much else to report, other than my family, community, and work committments, not to mention recreation, are pushing blogging off to the side for now. I'll probably be only posting sporadically, until a new CGM is released.

I'm anxiously awaiting the Abbott Navigator, or the DexCom STS-7. I have not decided whether to stay with Dex, or to go with the Navigator when (I know it's always next month yada yada yada) it's released. Cost will be a big factor. All CGM costs for me are currently out of pocket; and that's the way it's going to be for some time.

If you are a CGM user, whether it's DexCom or MedTronic, or you're a diabetic interested in CGM, you might want to check out a discussion group on yahoo that I co-moderate with the leader of my Insulin Pump Support group:

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/diabetescgms/

Farewell until Dex or Abbott release their new products.

Cheers

-Gary

Monday, December 18, 2006

Down with HBA1C!

Forgot to post this, things have been crazy since Thanksgiving getting ready for all of the holidays. I am happy to report that after 3 months of DexCom, I have dropped my HBA1C a full point. I initially purchased the DexCom to help me lower my HBA1C after losing focus on my diabetes, and to help me prevent hypos.

I have almost reached both goals: nary a hypo in sight, and the HBA1C is down from 8.3 to 7.3. Granted I've got a ways to get below my desired goal of 6.0, but I think I can make it; I've started Symlin along with my pump (more to report on that later). For me, I would not have gone on Symlin without CGM. This stuff really stomps on your BG and keeps it down low. I've been through some roller coasters with Symlin, and the CGM has been invaluable in helping me determine the correct dosage.

Back to more holiday activities; with 3 kids and everything else going on, life is swirling around.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

From CGMS back to fingersticks...

A *BAD* couple of D days for me.

I went to work out at the gym, and accidentally pulled my infusion set out. I replaced the set with one of the straight-in infusion sets(inset), and was in the 200s all day, haven't done that for awhile.

BS's continued to rise so I took several injections at work. Still in the 200s at home, pulled my infusion set, and you guessed it, that straight in cannula was bent at a 90 degree angle; hence little or no insulin delivery, hence the 200s.

I inserted one of the angled sets I have, the comfort short (which I
*WILL* be going back to), and BS's returned to normal, except that my DexCom receiver showed lots of *NOISE* in the morning, with readings all over the place.

I have been getting 10+ days recently; this is only one of a few sensors that have crapped out after 4 days.

No time to replace the sensor this morning, forgot to bring an extra sensor to work, so I'm back on lots of fingersticks for the first time in awhile. I'll probably end up testing every 2 hours or so depending on how busy I am at work, and then I'll insert a new sensor at home.

I've adjusted my Basal rates fairly well while on the DexCom CGMS, so I'm at 108; it will be interesting to see how I make out while I'm NAKED without my sensor the rest of my work day.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tag Results: Don't Read if You Have a Weak Stomach

1. For a midnight snack, I used to occasionally eat hotdogs without cooking them: my wife thought it was disgusting, but hey- aren't they already cooked? I've stopped that 'disgusting' habit ever since I started going to the gym a year ago. What's really in a hotdog, anyway?

2. I used to operate a nuclear reactor on a U.S. Navy ship 25 years ago. I don't have most of my hair any longer, but I was able to father 3 kids.

3. My favorite class in high school was creative writing (I'm an engineer; hey did you know that engineers CAN write?).

4. After 20+ years of using a PC running Windoze, I finally upgraded to a MacBook Pro Duo, so now I can run Mac OS and Windoze. I know, I know, why bother to run Windoze on a MAC? Yech!

5. I want to sell my house and live in an RV, touring the country when I retire. "Yeah, Right!" says my other half.

Now I'll peruse the Diabetes OC for 5 more D's to tag.

What Happened to My Insulin Pump?

So I'm driving to work this morning, I'm almost there, and I get this call from my wife:

"Your pump is sitting on a pile of clothes in the bathroom, are you coming home to get it?"

Oh Sxxx! What a way to start a Monday morning. I stay up late watching the Pats/Colts game, and look what happens; my mind turns to milk toast. No way I'm going to drive one hour in the opposite direction to get my pump. Fortunately, I've got backup insulin and syringes in my diabetes kit, along with my DexCom.

So far I've had to skip breakfast, and I have 4 used syringes on my desk. At least my BS hasn't gone above 200 this morning. I'm getting really hungry since it's lunchtime and a little weak, but I'm still too high to eat at BS = 171. The trend is headed downward; extrapolating the graph, I should be around 120 in another hour or so, and then I can eat.

If I didn't have CGMS, would I have turned around to get my pump? Probably ... I just don't have the time to do a fingerstick test every half-hour or so.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Where's my pump?

So I'm driving to work this morning, I'm almost there, and I get this
call from my wife:

"Your pump is sitting on a pile of clothes in the bathroom, are you
coming home to get it?"

Oh Sxxx! What a way to start a Monday morning. I stay up late
watching the Pats/Colts game, and look what happens; my mind turns to
milk toast. No way I'm going to drive one hour in the opposite
direction to get my pump. Fortunately, I've got backup insulin and
syringes in my diabetes kit, along with my DexCom.

So far I've had to skip breakfast, and I have 4 used syringes on my
desk. At least my BS hasn't gone above 200 this morning. I'm getting
really hungry since it's lunchtime and a little weak, but I'm still
too high to eat at BS = 171. The trend is headed downward;
extrapolating the graph, I should be around 120 in another hour or so,
and then I can eat.

If I didn't have CGMS, would I have turned around to get my pump?
Probably ... I just don't have the time to do a fingerstick test every
half-hour or so.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

New Sensor Longevity Record

I've been away a few days, so haven't had a chance to blog. My family and I traveled to New Jersey over the long Columbus Day weekend to see Godspell at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Excellent show, updated for the current times. Rap wasn't around in the 70s. I was concerned during the show that my DexCom CGMS might sound off, but fortunately, it didn't! I wish they'd add a vibrate all feature, similar to my Verizon Razr phone. I'm paranoid about it going off in church, the theater, or a movie. So far, it hasn't happened, but it's only a matter of time.

Anyway, took a chance this past weekend and didn't bring an extra sensor. The sensor lasted the whole long weekend in addition to a week before that, for a total of 11 days inserted in my stomach. After removing the sensor, I saw only a tiny red bump, the same size and shape that I've seen after leaving the sensor in for 3 days. There was only a very mild pink area where the adhesive was; very encouraging; averaging that sensor cost over 11 days, that's less than $3.50 a day, very reasonable, at least for my pocketbook.

I think I'm going to change the sensors a max of every 10 days, even if some others have had them in longer. The last couple of days I thought that the sensor values were 50 or so points off from the Ultra meter, even after frequent calibration.

Only a month left until my next HBA1C; I've got my fingers crossed that this CGMS is really going to help me; I've modified my behaviors a great deal because of the CGMS; I'll be VERY DISAPPOINTED if I don't get some decent results!