Don’t it always seem to go

That awkward moment when you write a post that mentions waiting for the next generation Dexcom approval the night before it is approved. Here’s the post as I wrote it Sunday night.


Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
‘Til it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
(sing along – yes I know not the original)

I have been “doing diabetes” for almost 5 days now without a CGM and I had no idea how much I relied on that technology until I didn’t have it.

I started using the Dexcom system in September 2010, and I have never gone this long without wearing it before. The only previous gap was when I left the receiver on a plane and had to wait for a new one.

It’s my fault but certainly not my preference to be without the CGM right now. There are some diabetes related products that my insurance covers very well. I can get all the test strips I want (sort of) for $0 copay. I refill that prescription the DAY it is eligible. With the current Apidra savings program, I can also get my insulin without a copay so I have a note on the fridge reminding me exactly what day to refill that prescription too.

The coverage for my pump is not as ideal. Let’s just say I “bought” it in April and will still be paying it off for a while. My Dexcom is very much out of warranty but I am praying it will hang on until the new version is approved** (and I pay off some of my other expenses). I wear each sensor until it is hopelessly inaccurate or completely falling off my body – two to three times longer than FDA approved. Those sensors are expensive and I need them to last as long as possible.

The last time I placed a sensor order (for 3 months worth) was February (I even loaned one out to a friend during my summer travels!). It was definitely time. But I wasn’t paying attention and I forgot.

Then when I finally ordered it turned out my prescription had expired. Then they had trouble getting ahold of my endocrinologist. Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. That right, you have. I wrote almost the same paragraph 13 months ago.

I took my last sensor off on Wednesday night because it was hurting and basically half off anyway. About an hour later I realized I should have grabbed every last minute off that sensor.

Bedtime is especially scary for me. I live alone. It gives me a small (but important) degree of comfort to know what direction my blood sugar is heading before I fall asleep. So what if my meter says 99 or 145, or any other number. What direction is it going? I have been purposefully running higher to feel a little bit safer. I have been setting an alarm for the middle of the night. I wake up higher than I’d like which takes most of the morning to correct down.

I am definitely checking my blood sugar more than I do when I wear the Dexcom. When I first got the CGM, I was checking the screen obsessively. I didn’t think I was so obsessive now, but I did not realize how much I relied on those alarms. I know there are plenty of people who have great diabetes management and can live the life that they want without a CGM. I didn’t have a CGM for the first 7 1/2 years that I lived with diabetes. I know there are plenty of people who don’t WANT to wear a CGM.

I am not one of those people.

Only knowing my blood sugar 10 (?) times a day scares me now. I need those arrows to know what direction I am heading. To sleep, to drive, to eat, to hold meetings at work without interruption or worry.

I need to figure out a way to stockpile my sensors (or at least get better about ordering them on time) because this week has really made me realize how much I rely on that CGM technology.

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
‘Til it’s gone…


** I woke up this morning to an exciting tweet from Kerri announcing Dexcom G4 approval. As I mentioned in my original post, I am hopelessly out of warranty. I’ll call my insurance to check on the exact amount, but as Kim put it in her post this morning, Santa is probably going to have to help out too.

See also posts from Stacey, Bennet, and I’m sure many others as the day goes by.

And now I’m going back to bed. The tweet from Kerri woke me up but I quickly realized today would be a sick day. Throbbing head, burning eyeballs, questionable stomach, stupid ketones.


  • I have been without my Dexcom for a few days while I figure out how to pay for the next box of sensors. It is weird being without a CGM. Thanks for writing about how difficult it is at night. I feel the same way. It is hard, but at least it doesn’t have to be lonely and hard. Feel better soon, OK?

  • When elise decided she no longer wanted to wear the dexcom, i went through many of the same withdrawl symptoms, but it got better… although there are times i wish she would change her mind!

    Hope you feel better soon!

  • We went a weekend without Bean’s cgm…a camping weekend at that!…when the silly folks at D-Camp tossed the transmitter with the receiver when it wasn’t working to their liking. UGH! It was HORRIBLE being without it. Those arrows are addicting, even when the numbers aren’t spot on.
    Drooling over the new G4, for sure…but it will need to wait a bit. Thinking we’ll cross that bridge in December when our stock of sensors is just about out and our deductible is still covered!

  • I’ve already written my thoughts on the new Dex a couple of places on the internet so I won’t do it here (except to say they are favorable).

    But I must ask: how long from the time you receive Dex sensors is the expiration date, and do they work past that date? Medtronic seems to always ship sensors that will expire in 3-4 months, thus ensuring we don’t stretch it out. 🙁

    • This is all personal experience and not FDA approved information. The sensors I have received seem to expire about 6 months after arrival. The last sensor I used expired 2 months before I put it in, and it didn’t work any differently than the first one I put on in February.

  • Its scary how reliable we become on technology. we have no CGM coverage in Canada so I only use mine every once in awhile. But when I do have it on for a week and then take it off I feel completely blind and naked.
    I’m almost better off never wearing it than wearing it every once in awhile.

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