Kim: How CGM Saved the Day

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It’s been about three weeks since we got Kaitlyn’s new continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS) up and running. My first impression is that I love it, and I can’t believe that we’ve done without it for so long! I’m amazed at the accuracy. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darn close. Within the first few days, I realized how helpful it was. I was able to get a much better idea of which direction Kaitlyn’s blood sugar levels were going and make decisions based on trends, rather than a single number. I was also able to have more insight into what adjustments should be made in her basal rates and carb ratios. I must say, the best part about the CGMS is the alarm that sounds if she goes above or below her target range. I simply put the receiver on the nightstand next to my bed, and I can hear the alarm go off if she goes too high or too low.

After a few days of playing with the CGMS at home and learning how it worked, we decided that Kaitlyn was ready to take it to school. I talked to the nurse and her teacher about her new device and let them know that it would be an added benefit… just something to give everyone a better idea of where Kaitlyn’s numbers were going throughout the day. I explained further that it would not replace any of the checking and dosing that they were already familiar with. At the time, I had my fingers crossed, hoping for an easy transition…

No such luck! The second day she had the CGMS at school, the low alarm went off during class four different times. Kaitlyn’s poor teacher didn’t know what to do! She kept sending her to the office over and over again so the nurses could figure out how to help her. Several days went by, and it kept happening! She was running really low all the time, and I could not figure out what was going on. I kept telling everyone that this was not typical for Kaitlyn and that hopefully she would get back to normal quickly.

Day after day, I would try different things. I set temporary basal levels, gave her hefty breakfasts and allowed free carbs. It took about three weeks and three rounds of adjusting basal rates and carb ratios before she was stable again. It really was an odd coincidence that she would have a streak of low numbers right when we got the CGMS.

I do wonder if I did the right thing by sending the CGMS to school, and I feel bad that it caused such a disruption to the school day for Kaitlyn, the nurses, her teacher and even the office staff. However, I hate to think how low she would have gone if she hadn’t had it with her. Despite the inconveniences it caused, I think it was actually a huge blessing. Her health and safety are what matter most!

 

About the author: My name is Kim. My daughter Kaitlyn (the third of our five children) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just a few years after my nephew James was diagnosed with the same disease. I'm excited to pair up with my sister-in-law, Jen, to share our story with you!

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.