Chili for Halloween and a Truce with the Endo

Just a quick post today as I’m putting the final touches on my chili for the third annual chili cook off at work. Every year, we have a Halloween party complete with a costume contest and chili cook off. My company is not exactly the best place to work on a day-to-day basis, but they really do know how to throw a good party.

My Endo finally called yesterday evening. We ironed out a few things and we’ll reassess at my appointment on Monday. Basically, he does not want me to increase my basal rates, even through a temp basal. Instead, he wants me to use boluses to treat out-of-range numbers. I am also going to have to buckle down and log all of my insulin and carb intake, because my insulin pump does not do it for me (long story, but it does not communicate with the Medtronic reporting software.)

He also encouraged me to think about a CGM, which I have been thinking about, but I am leery of yet another hole in my skin. Also, he is pushing the Medtronic, and I have heard that it is not as accurate as the Dexcom. I also don’t look forward to the insurance fight to get coverage. So I guess I am still on the fence on this one.

Does anybody have any experience with any of the CGMs? How accurate do you find them? Did your insurance company make you jump through hoops to get the supplies covered? How are the insertion sites? Those sensors are so long!

Thanks for any advice you can offer! Have a wonderful weekend and a great Halloween.

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6 Comments on “Chili for Halloween and a Truce with the Endo”

  1. Terry Keelan Says:

    I use the Dexcom, never used the Medtronic.

    In terms of ‘accuracy’, it’s not a concept that applies to CGM’s. In other words, you can’t and shouldn’t count on the number reflected on the CGM the same way you would with the number on your BG meter. They sometimes match, they sometimes don’t. This is why the manufacturers and the FDA tell us not to use the number on the CGM to make decisions about injecting insulin.

    The focus in using the CGM is spotting trends. Rather then the absolute number you’re looking at relative numbers – is my bg going up, down or staying level? If it’s changing, how fast is it changing? It gives you a graphic representation of the effects of eating, exercise or other events. From this information you can make educated adjustments to your basals, bolus, diet and/or activities.

    In that sense, my Dexcom has been ‘accurate’ in that it tells me how my levels are doing. It doesn’t go up when I’m actually going down or vice versa.

    See if you can get your insurer to authorize coverage first. Actually, any company that wants to sell you one has an insurance representative who will do the insurance work for you. Give them a call. The worst the insurer can say is ‘no.’

    Terry

  2. Shannon Says:

    Hi Nici,

    I wrote all about my experiences with Minimed’s CGM and my decision to switch to DexCom (http://ladadeeda.com/2009/10/cgm-wars-minimed-vs-dexcom/). I hope it helps!

    Shannon

  3. Di Says:

    Nici,
    I currently have the minimed cgms, and I am not thrilled with it. It’s great when it works, but I have had problems with the accuracy. As stated above by Terry, it’s not going to be exactly like your meter results, but it should accurately spot trends. I have found that mine does not.

    I’m seriously thinking of giving the DEX or Navigator a trial run. As far as insurance, my endo had to write a letter of necessity, and I was still denied coverage for the sensors. You can appeal the decision, but I have to admit that i just gave up, mainly because I don’t use it all the time right now. But, if I find that a different system works better for me, then I will have to get back on them and see if they will cover the sensors.

  4. Lorraine Says:

    Hi Nici, My 6 year old son just started using DexCom a couple of months ago. I had an insertion done myself. Although it doesn’t tickle, the insertion was bearable. But that’s me only having done it once. Caleb has tolerate the insertions well and it helps that he doesn’t have to to them more frequently than every 7 days. I just made a couple of blog posts about CGM and a couple of videos too. One is Caleb’s first insertion and the other is mine.

    All the best – Lorraine
    http://thisiscaleb.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/taking-the-cgm-plunge/
    http://thisiscaleb.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/adapting-to-cgm/

  5. June Says:

    I tried the DexCom7 (their OLD version – not their new one) while wearing the OmniPod. I switched to the MiniMed pump (Paradigm 522 with CGMS.) I find the MiniMed work for me, provided I keep the HI BG set at 150, and the LO BG set at 100. There is definitely a delay of 20 minutes between what the CGM says and what the pump says.

    Assuming you’re pregnant (did I misunderstand that?) then I think you need to read sixuntilme.com
    According to Kerri, who is pregnant, the DexCom7+ is what she wears WITH her MM pump (!!) and it catches lows accurately – and she’s gone as low as 24 during pregnancy. It will be a nuisance to have yet another insertion, plus wear a transmitter besides your pump, but this might be your best option at present. As I said, the MM works fine for me, but I’m not pregnant!

    • nici Says:

      Thanks so much for sharing, June. I have not heard many positives for the MiniMed device, so your comments give me some hope. I sure do like their all-in-one reporting functions.


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