During my time with the Young Leaders in Diabetes, I saw a variety of needles, injecting devices, insulin pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitoring systems (CGMs). It was incredibly insightful to hear the different experiences people have had with their devices. Subsequently, I finally decided to take up my educator’s prior offer of trialling a CGMs for a week. I had left this on the back-burner for several months due to school and placements. The CGMs would be useful for determining patterns in blood sugar levels (BGLs), particularly with various sports and overnight trends; something that would be very beneficial for my varied and active lifestyle to help fine tune my management. Yet, even as holidays came around I still procrastinated and hesitated. Why have I been so slack? Well, I’m actually secretly terrified of the insertion process. At the Congress, all the display inserters had an air of impending doom around them, despite reassurances from everyone that the process is quick and painless. Painless?! I was definitely skeptical that such a thing so big could be painless. At the same time I felt silly for being held back by an irrational fear. I have been injecting insulin every day for the last three or four years. I have gotten numerous blood tests done with huge needles that I never turned away from. And now I’m afraid of a little device that everyone is saying doesn’t hurt?! Rubbish.
In my brief moment of courage amongst the young leaders, I texted my educator to make an appointment for a CGMs. I hate cancelling appointments so I knew I was locked in. On my way to the clinic, butterflies tickled my belly. Once my educator saw me in the corridor, there was no turning back. I suppose it’s a similar feeling when people get their first pump; a mixture of excitement and nervousness. After going through all the paperwork, we got down to putting the sensor on.
My educator is fantastic in settling nerves by making me laugh. But then again I laugh at almost anything. Imagine my surprise when I realised she had already loaded up the inserter and it was on my tummy ready to go! At the next mention of my nervousness, she gave me this look that said ‘suck it up’ while she explained how the inserter worked. All I heard was this loud ‘clunk’ sound (which may have made me jump) and it was all done! I barely felt anything! I probably feel more pain doing an injection than what just happened.
Initially, I was blatantly aware of the sensor sitting on my tummy, but after a few hours, it’s barely noticeable. By the next morning, I had forgotten it was even there! Although I can’t see the trends of my BGLs instantly with this particular CGMs, I’m excited to be given this opportunity to fine tune my diabetes management. It also gives me a good indicator of what it’s like to be attached to something in the lead up possibility of getting a pump. For the next week, I will be wearing the sensor before returning to the clinic where the data will be downloaded. Together with my educator, we will sit down and look for any patterns alongside my logbook of activities/food. Wish me luck!