Saturday, June 6, 2009

Keep on trying...

As I started to write this post, we were starting day 5 on our 4th CGM sensor. We were going to try to keep this one going for 6 days. I have spoken to a few people and they have been successfully keeping their sensors on for 6 days without problems. The 3rd sensor only lasted 4 days. Last Saturday, after swimming, I reconnected Adele's pump (she can't wear it in the water). Once the pump started reading the sensor glucose values it began to beep. The alarm indicated that Adele was low. It said her sugar was 2.9. I asked Adele if she felt low, she said no, but then maybe. I checked with a finger poke / meter and she was 17.4 !! Major difference. The blood glucose level (finger poke) is always more precise than the value in the interstitial fluid (CGM sensor), so the 17.4 was the right answer (but not a good blood glucose value - way too high). I'm glad that I didn't treat the 2.9 with more sugar, it would have made matters much worse. I tried recalibrating after this for about 3 hours and kept getting BAD SENSOR errors, so we decided to remove the sensor and go back to the old school method of finger pricks. I was away Saturday night until Sunday around 8pm, so we didn't have time to insert a new sensor before the beginning of the week.

On Monday night, both me and Michele were home, so it was time for a new sensor. Adele was very anxious of the insersion needle, but understood that it was worth it since she wouldn't need to be finger poked the next day during her school field trip as well as the rest of the week. After another very tense moment just before the needle insertion, Adele said it wasn't so bad this time around. She said it only hurt a bit after it was inserted, then it was OK. We were quite happy with this progress. The pump began reading the sensor signal and I thought we were in business, but after about an hour, the pump could no longer read the sensor signal. We were getting alarm errors. I tried restarting the sensor, but it didn't work. This was just before Adele's bedtime and she was getting tired. She began to cry thinking that we had done the whole insertion for nothing. My last resort was removing the dressing that was covering the sensor. This is tricky business, since you only must remove the dressing (clear, transparent, very thin sticker that keeps the sensor in place) and not the sensor itself. After removing part of the dressing, I gently pushed the transmitter towards the sensor to make sure they were connected properly and it fixed the problem. The dressing was on too tight and it had pulled the transmitter away from the sensor and caused it to not work.

Finishing writing this post after Adele's swimming this morning, her sensor got messed up again. I could not recalibrate and was constantly getting Calibration Errors. It was the end of this sensor. That's the 2nd one that got ruined after swimming. We got 4 1/2 days out of this sensor and are back to finger pricks.

Adele's sugars have been high all afternoon. I have been double correcting and still couldn't bring them down. Here are the highlights:

12:00 pm -> 16.4 (this was right after swimming, gave 1.0 units of insulin)

12:45 pm -> 16.3 (still too high, corrected again, ate and gave more insulin to cover lunch, 2.1 units of insulin total)

2:40 pm -> 16.1 (still too high, gave another 0.7 units of insulin, no food)

3:40 pm -> 17.1 (still going up even after all that insulin, gave another 0.8 units)

5:35 pm -> 16.5 (still too high, it just won't go down, changed her infusion set, corrected, ate and gave more insulin to cover supper, 1.9 units of insulin total)

7:00 pm -> 7.4 (finally Adele's sugar has started to come down, maybe it was the old infusion site that wasn't working properly?)

We're still not giving up on the Continuous Glucose Monitoring. We're not risking inserting a new sensor tonight since Adele is swimming again tomorrow morning. Maybe tomorrow night or Monday? I need to keep searching for something better for Adele. Improvements will not happen by never trying new things and taking risks. She really likes her CGM when it is working as it should.

Looking forward to the Telus Walk to Cure Type 1 Diabetes tomorrow!

Thanks for reading...

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