I am truly a very lucky girl in many, many respects. I still can't quite believe that in these times of so many things being cut back, the giant madness that is what government is planning to do to our poor NHS, and all the many other things that have been happening, that I managed to get my hands on a pump. Of course, I have to keep reminding myself that I managed to do so in 2010, although that never sits right in my mind. It feels too long ago. I then have to have a quiet word with myself along the lines of 'you've actually been doing all this longer than you think you have.'
Ah yes. Right you are.
But even before I decided that pumping was going to be the right move for me (a long and arduous process, I'm sure those of you who have been reading my ramblings for a while will recall), the focus of all my covetousness was always a CGM. Oooh yes. Extremely hard to come by in this neck of the woods, especially if you don't have the finances to self fund, which I don't. I paid my bills this evening, and that wincing sound that followed it up should give you a bit of a sense of my general financial situation.
But I recently doubled my basal rates, for reasons I will go into another time. For the most part, this has been rather a great success. However, previous to that I'd been having an awful lot of swings. Dreadful sleep and the like.
Since doubling, things had been a lot better, and my waking scores had been much lower than normal. Being that I'd been struggling to get them under 9(160), this felt like a vast improvement. However, I'd not been able to shake the nagging feeling that something needed tweaking. Again my sleep had been feeling rather rubbish. Perhaps I was going high overnight? So after a fairly disastrous clinic appointment (again, another time) I decided I would throw caution to the wind and ask if I could borrow the clinic's CGM for a week.
Much to my surprise, they said yes.
Huh. Wasn't expecting that. But not only were they ok with it, it turns out that the clinic was in possession of two different CGMs. The Freestyle Navigator, which is what I had initially hoped to borrow, and the Medtronic iPro (I wonder when Apple are going to start hounding them for that name). Given the time that it would apparently take to get funding for a Navigator sensor, I ended up asking to borrow the iPro.
If you're not familiar with it, it will record up to six days worth of data for later upload - you can't view it in real time. However, I thought it would probably give me the most accurate picture of what was going on over a period of time.
What I hadn't taken into consideration was where the sensor would end up. I had imagined I would be able to put it in my arm. Turns out that wasn't an option. Attempt number one was on my abdomen, but went into a patch of skin which makes me think I need to rotate my sites more. So we went for my lower back. Both attempts HURT to go in, and as you can probably see off the photo, the one that stayed in bled.
Now, I had this in for six days, and had it taken out this morning. To channel the Big Bang Theory for a moment, something about either the sensor or the Tegaderm that was placed over the top was something of a wool/fire ant blend. It itched like CRAZY. And also happened to be placed just at an awkward point on the side that I sleep on. Which made for a couple of interesting evenings. TWO FREAKING HOURS trying to get to sleep one night. I just don't sleep naturally on my left hand side, and it was just too uncomfortable on the sensor.
Thankfully, it seems like the data I got was worthwhile. But the main shock was not what I was expecting. I mentioned earlier that I'd been having some really bad sleep lately. I thought I'd been being a bit of a wuss, but getting up had been being harder and harder lately. Looking at the data on the graphs, it turns out that I've been being hypo overnight. A lot. For extended periods of time.
And if I hadn't asked to borrow the CGM, I would probably never have known. That's more than a little frightening. I've always been torn between the belief that, as I'd been told many times, if you are hypo overnight you will wake up. But then I'm sadly balancing that off with far too many blue candles on Facebook, and too many horror stories that I've heard first and second hand from the DOC.
I've knocked my overnight basal down by a fraction. Hopefully that will be enough. Yet I don't think sleep is going to come easily tonight, or for the next few nights. This has made me all the more keen to eventually get my hands on some permanent CGM tech. With Dexcom and the Animas Vibe over here now (and already using Animas products myself), you would think it would be possible. But even though the tech is there, the funds are not.
This scares me. I'm not ashamed to say that. And I will correct this - what other choice do I have?