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  1. Patience

    Wednesday, 20 August 2014

    I was stocking a cupboard for work recently whilst we were on a residential. After going in and out of this cupboard a handful of times I grew to hate it with a passion. Well, not the cupboard itself, more specifically the door. It had no handle, and there was something wrong with the closer, so it took about a minute and half at least for the door to close. 

    A colleague of mine who hasn't known me very long stood and watched me go a few rounds with this door before making a very astute observation - 

    You really haven't got much in the way of patience, have you?

    And he would be absolutely right. Patience might be a virtue, but it really isn't mine, unfortunately. What I learned over the past few days though is that using a CGM seems to require a certain amount of patience, not least for me, the patience of waiting for start up day to arrive.

    I was slightly apprehensive when it came to actually inserting the sensor, as I'd read in various places that whilst the sensor itself was comfortable to wear once it was in, the inserter resembled a harpoon and it was quite painful to go in. 

    I was quite intimidated by the inserter when I got a look at it for the first time, and actually, yes it did hurt somewhat going in. It didn't even make my top 20 of 'things that have really hurt', but I believe my words at the time were 'my, that's not particularly pleasant', which probably does rank in the top 20 most stereotypically English reactions to things I've ever had. My experience though was that although I've never had problems inserting pump sites, I found that inserting that putting in the sensor on my abdomen was somewhat tricky having, well...amble breasts which made seeing what I was doing...difficult.

    Hey ho.

    After that initial ouch though, it turns out the sensor is, so far, comfortable to wear. It's not like the limited experience I had with the Medtronic iPro two years ago, where I couldn't sleep because I found it so uncomfortable. To be quite honest, I've barely noticed it's there. Massive thumbs up.

    Watching that blue bar count down to nothing was difficult. Like I said, I have no patience. I couldn't wait to see how this could help me in the time that I had it.  

    One thing I was that the first 24 hours are a real learning curve for the sensor as it learns to interpret what your body was telling it. I was warned - don't over-calibrate and confuse it. Have patience. Yikes. That was a test and a half. I did well to only calibrate it (I think) once more than the recommended amount, because it was at least 5mmol/l (90mg/dl) away from the scores on my meter. But by the time I got to day two, it was pretty much perfectly in line with my meter. 

    I can see why some people would find the constant stream of information overwhelming. I think you need to be the right sort of person to find it helpful. I know I've had to sit on my hands a bit to stop me from jumping the gun and reacting too quickly. I'd been given the advice to not over-correct and trust my IOB. For the most part, it seems to have worked, but when you see two arrows up or down you want to intervene immediately. It's been fascinating to see what different foods are doing to me, and reassuring to see that for the most part I seem to have been doing things right. For the most part. I don't pretend to be all knowing, or getting everything right, or that everything comes easy. That would be wrong and a whole stack of lies.

    Something that I did find confusing was the appearance of this...

    This kept turning up randomly. Particularly, for some reason, any time I walk into the bathroom in my house. Supposedly I need to bring the pump closer to the sensor. I only ever take it off to shower, and I've taken to leaving it on the shelf by the bath then. But one day, these warnings kept turning up all the time. My reaction...

    This, and other questions proves why the DOC is invaluable. I haven't been throwing as many questions out there to the Twitterverse in a good long while. Probably not since I started pumping in 2010 - it's very reassuring to know that people out there will help with all your worries, niggles and ponderings when you're breaking new ground with your D management. No-one was able to actually work out why I was getting so many ANT readings, or why my bathroom appears to be the magical land of no reception. But knowing that people cared was a massive help.

    So it's so far so good. I'm not wanting to confess the depths of my love affair with Dexcom just yet, as I'm not sure I'll be able to cope with the divorce process of when I have to give it up. 

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