Tuesday, May 5, 2015

When in Doubt, Trust the Feeling

Yesterday I wrote about having faith in diabetes systems, even when they do not always work.

Well, on Saturday, I ended up having to have faith in my ability to feel what my blood sugar is doing rather than relying on technology to keep me safe.

I have been using a Continuous Glucose Monitor now for about 18 months. When I put a new sensor in, the first day readings can be a little wonky and when the sensor starts failing, two or more weeks later, the readings can also be a little bizarre. But from the second day until the second week, it's usually extremely accurate. So much so that I will often  treat highs and lows based on what the readings say

So on Saturday morning, when I headed out for a run with my 3-day old sensor, I had complete faith in the numbers.

I was 6.0 before the run. Since I was only (only!) running 10k, I had one date. That should have been plenty.

At the 5k mark, I did a quick check and discovered that Rose was buzzing to tell me that I was 3.8. I didn't feel 3.8 and I should not have been 3.8 but there it was, flashing on the screen. To be safe, I had a package of fruit chews.

I started running home. A few minutes later, Rose's ear-splitting siren alarm went off. The alarm that goes off when I'm under 3.1. It made no sense. I sure as hell did not feel 3.1 but, because she was telling me I did, I started feeling like I might be 3.1.

I refused to eat another package of fruit chews. I knew that one package should be enough and two packages would send me flying high in no time. So even as she kept alarming to tell me that I was 2.8, then 2.4, then 2.0 and then just plain "low", I kept running.

When I got home, I did a finger prick and discovered that I was 5.6.

I knew it!!

I re-calibrated Rose and, for the next 5-6 hours, she behaved herself.

Then, as we were sitting on the couch after a busy day of yard work, I started feeling low. I checked Rose and she said I was 7.0 and holding steady. And she had been accurate an hour before so she should be fine.

A few minutes later, I couldn't wish that low feeling away. I went to the kitchen and a finger prick told me that I was 3.8. Rose still said I was a lovely 7.0.

I had some maple syrup for the low and I shut down my 3-day old sensor. I waited an hour and then I restarted it. Two hours later, it was ready to go and I calibrated it.

Rose has been fine every since.

1 comment:

  1. A great post for me to read as I learn the ways (and occasional whims) of my lovely new Dexcom system. ;-) It's so much better than my previous version, but it isn't, I must remember, a functioning pancreas. I think I pulled my first sensor prematurely (after it got stuck in a trough of false lows). Next time, I'll follow your MO and try shutting down for an hour and restarting. It's funny how that "try turning it off and on again" approach works for so many inexplicable tech glitches!