Friday, September 12, 2014

Broken CGM. DANG IT!

I don't know what my problem is. I seem to have this amazing knack of breaking equipment that I've become thoroughly reliant upon.  At just over three and a half years into my life as a type 1 diabetic, I'm not only on insulin pump number three, but I'm now on continuous glucose monitor number two. 

Last night, our local RWB community hosted a September 11th memorial event supporting both Team RWB and another veteran service organization, Operation Enduring Warrior.   Intent on participating in this moving tribute, I anticipated run-walking between three and six miles of this "11 on 11" relay, but my blood sugar had other plans.  Waddling almost the full length of one whole block (see how I made that sound like a loooooong way?), I reluctantly had to turn around when my CGM announced my impending hypoglycemic doom.  As I didn't have sugar on me or on the stroller (bad habit to get out of, eh?), I shuffled my way back to our start/finish line to avoid catastrophe and wait for the triumphant return of our patriotic crew. 

HB leading the event invocation (check out that growing belly! Oh my!) 

Upon flopping down on top of the large green cooler RWB provided for the runners, I set my glucose monitor, keys and cell phone on the ground beside me as there was plenty of time (11 miles, even for the fastest will take a while) before needing to pack up for the evening.  I then spent the next couple hours cheering for our athletes as they completed their laps and knocked out their memorial miles, I conducted a quick interview with a local online newspaper and I chatted with both new and familiar faces about this, that and the other thing -- none of which did I conduct near my piled electronics. 

Finally, the event completed, we packed up our belongings and made the collective family decision to scrap the idea of going out to dinner as it was approaching 10:00 PM and,  therefore, well past the hour of human/toddler decency.  Having tucked the kids into their respective beds, I came downstairs to check my BG and grab a quick piece of toast or whatever else to eat before crash landing on my own pillow… little did I know, my night was just beginning. 

Upon reaching the kitchen, I pressed the main button on my CGM and promptly covered my ears as the receiver made the loudest BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP I'd ever heard.  Reading the never-seen before message on the screen saying "HWFR CALL TECHNICAL SUPPORT," I attempted to compose my angry, confused and concerned mind into a calm and collected voice-mail to the Dexcom support team.  Unsure of what happened or how to fix it, I waited next to my phone for a return call until I'd fallen asleep.  Much to my annoyance, it was only when I called them back again this morning that I began to get even the slightest hint of what might have happened and what we could do to correct the problem.

Supposing that the receiver was stepped on, dropped in the ice water or some sort of combination of horrible fates one doesn't wish for one's electronics, the Dexcom representative attempted to walk me through the "simple" process of resetting the receiver before we determined that, nope, there was absolutely no shot at saving my barely six month old CGM from warranty replacement.  

So here I sit today, up a creek without my monitor and I'm feeling absolutely lost in the world.  A year ago, I was doing exactly what I am doing right now - occasionally pricking my fingers to test my glucose levels - and it wasn't at all a problem, but now that I've become so conditioned to having CONSTANT access to my trending information I feel uncomfortably naked and horribly ignorant of my own body.  It's like part of me has been amputated and my phantom parts are just too much for me to wrap my head around…  I keep reaching for my CGM and groping the bottom of my purse in hopes that the last 24 hours didn't actually send me back to the stone age only to remember that, yep, I was in fact stupid to be so careless. 

Fortunately, since my system is so young and still under warranty, Dexcom is overnighting me a replacement receiver and I should be back up and bionic tomorrow.  However, even with this quick solution turn around,  I can't help but kick myself for the irresponsibility, the unappreciation, the negligent behavior I exhibited yesterday that cost me, yet again, a piece of technology I am thoroughly reliant upon.  In a lot of ways I find my angst today incredibly ironic given how hard I fought against this system in the first place, but it just goes to show that the mind and the body can adapt to anything and I guess I'm finally okay being part plastic and batteries.  Maybe one day scientists will make a pump and CGM that will actually be able to withstand the trials and tribulations of an active life like mine, but for the time being, let's just hope I've learned my lesson and my new electronics are blessed with a much longer life than their predecessors.  

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