It was rough last night. The CGMS woke me up several times last night to address minor hypoglycemia. I got up several times to test my BG and treat with a box of juice. I need mucho coffee.
When my wife was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the late 1990s, at the age of 9, the technology available for giving her body insulin, which her pancreas is supposed to make but can’t, was relatively primitive: Mollie measured her blood sugar with a device the size of a TV remote. It took a full minute to process the blood sample she provided, which could be obtained only by pricking her finger once for every reading. Administering the insulin required a syringe, a vial, and the assistance of an adult. The hardest part of jabbing herself throughout the day, she says now, was learning to ignore the child’s natural instinct to avoid pain.
It was also frighteningly easy back then to take too much insulin. When she was in middle school, my father-in-law found Mollie unconscious from hypoglycemia, a condition that can cause brain death and cardiac arrest. Her first year after college, she ended up in the E.R. again, this time because she hadn’t taken enough insulin.
It could’ve been worse: Until the mid–20th century, Type 1 diabetics seldom survived adolescence.
Although I don’t agree with the headline (I would rather have a working pancreas), diabetes technology has come a long way. While having type 1 diabetes changed my life, I’m glad to be living at a time when technology can reduce the burden of diabetes management.
I currently use the 670G with the Guardian 3 CGM. Last year my endocrinologist recommended I try the 670G and I had no issues getting approval, and I started using the system in March of 2018. My A1C is worse than it has ever been. The 670G target BG is programmed to for 120mg/dL and unchangeable. My target BG has always been 90mg/dL.
But I’ve had too many issues with failed sensors over the last year. I have called into the support line over two dozen times since getting the 607G. I was losing my patience, and each call into the support center ended with a ” … we will send you a replacement sensor”. The support reps responses made it seem that the problem was me, not the product.
No matter how carefully I insert and tape down a sensor, The sensor reading becomes unstable when I exercise. Medtronic reps told me directly, “The sensor can become unstable during vigorous exercise.” It was recommended that when this happens, I should replace the sensor. I exercise every day. What am I supposed to do?
Eventually, after numerous calls over two months last fall, I was given a link to request a new transmitter with updated firmware. That was several weeks ago, and I have not heard anything from Medtronic.
I don’t care anymore. The system is unusable to me. If I can’t exercise safely or go hiking with a CGMS, then it serves no purpose.
This week I had a long chat with my endocrinologist. She stated her other patients were doing well on the 67G and G3. They had improved outcomes, but these are patients who were never as tightly controlled as I was. She called Medtronic on my behalf. A Medtronic diabetes educator called me, and we spoke. She admitted that my A1C would be higher with the 670G system in auto-mode and recommended disabling auto-mode. So that is what I will do.
I may talk to my endo about going back to Dexcom. The G6 seems like a fantastic bit of kit.