Sugar surfing is taking over. The CGM is a tool. Every good tool needs a user’s guide. Sugar Surfing (a great read by Dr. Stephen Ponder) is the user guide. If you’re not already familiar with Dr. Ponder’s story, listen to our podcast with him recorded right before the conference hosted by our friends at Diabetes Solutions in OKC (another former podcast guest Kim Boaz-Wilson). Continue reading
Research indicates that the more a patient wears the CGM, the lower the a1c travels. This makes sense. If you see your blood sugar rising, you’re probably going to take action to stop it. If you don’t see your blood sugar risking, you’re probably not going to take action until you feel high, or test again. That’s a good 30 minutes to 2 hours saved from having a high blood sugar. Like I said, all of this makes sense. Every CDE will share this advice, as they should.
I need to backtrack first. Technology is taking considerable chunks out of our lives. I get an urgent “request” from an app, website, or social media site to install a new push notification just about daily. I know I’m not alone in this sentiment, sometimes it feels that way, but I do not like getting notifications. I do not want to be told what the score of the Thunder game is at the end of the 1st quarter. If I want to know the score of the Thunder game, I will check the score. In my experience, the conveniences offered through push notifications are rather inconvenient. Continue reading
Yes, I know it’s a phone but for our purposes they might as well be the same.
I knew what I was getting when I signed up for this CGM thing. I knew full well what could happen to myself when given the chance to know my blood sugar, all the time. The consequences of that gift have been two-sided. First, it’s drastically reduced really high highs and really low lows. Secondly, it’s created another distraction in a world full of attention grabbing things. I cherish the ability to be present, let things unfold, and react accordingly. At times, the CGM has challenged that mantra. With each alarm or urge to check it, that takes away undivided attention from studying, conversations, and work projects. With a set of rules developed through experience, I am now apt to deal with the CGM with balance, well, at least sometimes.
Here are those rules for diabetes management with a CGM:
1. Employ multiple ranges.
Most continuous glucose monitoring devices allow for flexibility in your CGM alarm ranges. At night, I prefer to loosen up the reins. Instead of being buzzed and beeped when I approach 200, I prefer to buzzed and beeped when I approach 250. Sleep is the priority. During the day, I take the opposite approach with the goal of being below 200, to optimize brain function. Continue reading