Sunday, August 4, 2013

A wake up call

For the past 11 years, I have been dealing with Type 1 Diabetes. The first couple of years, I worried about complications a lot. My at-the-time-endocrinologist had made me watch a video on kidney failure, amputation of limbs, blindness and all the other "bad" stuff die-a-beetus can bring you. It horrified me to see this documentary on the day of my diagnosis. It was terrifying to go to sleep at night, so I stayed up real late and set my alarm to poke my fingers several times during the night. Sometimes I would catch a low and sometimes I would have great numbers. I couldn't go to sleep (my endo told me) if my numbers were below 180, which resulted in high numbers all night and a high reading in the morning. After 4 years of injecting insulin, I switched to the insulin pump and I did so much better. There was no reason to have a 180 number before bedtime. In fact, I could go to sleep with a 100 on the screen of my glucometer. And I did.. My numbers were better, but I was never rested in the morning.

February 27th 2013. Another date that will be tattooed into my memory. On February 27th 2013, I started using Dexcom G4. I was completely excited about this device, as I had read very good reviews on the accuracy of the readings. A personal visit from a Dexcom rep and a couple of hours later, I could start interpreting the numbers on my receiver. The first nights were horrible. One night I was alarmed of 4 low readings... It was scary to realize the danger you had put yourself into, for having had diabetes all of those years without a warning of nighttime lows. Never before had I come down to this. I always believed my body would warn me if my BG was going too low. NOT! What a bummer.. I must have had a very, very good guardian angel all those years. No emergency calls in the middle of the night. No rushes to the hospital.

Last week, I read about this young mom that did not wake up from a nighttime low. She was found in the morning, in bed. Her life had come to an end, thanks to this stupid condition called diabetes. Just like that, a life is lost. Does that justifies why I wanted this Dexcom G4 so badly? Don't you think all of us are entitled to using a life saving device? Our children deserve to have a mom and a dad. They shouldn't have to fear their parent not waking up in the morning. This device is not some gadget, it is a life saver, as you can see from the graph below. There should be reimbursement for all of us. CGM is important, even more important than our glucometer, since that tool does not come with arrows showing what number you are headed to. I love my glucometer, I really do, but it does not alarm me of upcoming highs and lows. It does not show me the trend of my blood sugar.

I'm getting a bit emotional over my Dexcom G4. You may get excited about getting the latest iPhone or fast car or a trip to the Bahamas, but I get excited about a device that saves my life over and over again..

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