Tag: high blood sugars

Nobody Is Aware Of Diabetes

Nobody Is Aware Of Diabetes

Nobody Is Aware Of Diabetes

I wake up today with no saliva in my mouth and a dire quench for thirst. My insulin pump is still giving me insulin. I’m still hooked up to medical devices, but my body is resistant. Maybe due to illness, hormones, or because it’s a Tuesday. My blood sugars are high, much higher than a normal persons blood sugars. I’m tired, fatigued, and the feeling of mortality creeps in. I go to correct with insulin, drink water, and attempt to bring this down. But I know this won’t be the last time I experience this.


But nobody notices.

I spent my day monitoring my blood sugars, calculating and measuring how much insulin to give myself. My dosing is only an educated guess, and I have to make these decisions everyday in order to stay alive. But nothing is ever the same or perfect. I’m constantly on a tightrope, hoping not to fall. I’ll do the same thing every single day but receive different results.

When I go to pick up my insulin from the pharmacy, I get this overwhelming sense of sadness. I realize that the same insulin that keeps me alive comes with a huge price. Insulin is one of the most expensive drugs in the United States, and yet I can’t survive without it. Financially, this disease has crushed me. I’m in debt just for trying to stay alive.

But nobody cares.

Once I get home, I receive a notification that my blood sugar is low and dropping fast. I feel lightheaded, disorientated, and starving for glucose (energy). I go to the kitchen to grab anything I can find to raise my blood sugar. I feel alone, helpless, and I’m fighting to survive. It’s a near death experience, that I’ve experienced many times. A low feels like my body is shutting down. A low enough number could cause me to go unconscious, have a seizure, coma, or death.

But nobody is aware.

The night follows with finding a diabetes joke going viral on the internet. Where it’s mocking the disease, assuming it’s caused by being lazy and eating poorly. This is where I stop and realize that nobody notices, nobody cares, and nobody is aware because nobody actually knows about diabetes.

Nobody knows that diabetes kills more people than AIDS and Breast Cancer combined. Nobody knows that diabetes can be caused by an autoimmune disease. Nobody knows that children are dying from this disease. Nobody knows the overwhelming sense of fear of not knowing if your blood sugar will withstand the night. Nobody knows how it feels to experience the highs and lows.

Nobody knows our desperation for a cure…

…Except the person living with diabetes.
And those caring for them.


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Why CGM Coverage Matters To Me

Why CGM Coverage Matters To Me

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) has been becoming more widely used by diabetics. There’re a few different companies who supply it. I, personally use the Dexcom. I only starting using it a year ago during my third pregnancy. I’ve always been a brittle diabetic who has hypo unawareness. So my doctor suggested this device to help keep a close eye on my blood sugars while relieving some uncertainty.

At first, I will admit I was hesitant to start using something new. I thought I had too much to juggle already. Taking insulin—checking my blood sugar—and raising children. I knew this wasn’t a cure. Was this really going to help? I will say that it absolutely has helped! This device has changed my life! I wish I knew about it sooner. Now I can’t even imagine my life without it.

Why CGM Coverage Matters To Me:

1. Fewer fingersticks

I went from checking my blood sugar 8-10 times a day, now down to 2-3. It’s given me freedom to not have to “think as much”. The CGM goes everywhere with me. It’s reassuring knowing it’s there to alarm me of my blood sugars especially when exercising, driving, and out of the house. I no longer have to drop everything I’m doing to see what my blood sugar is. I only have to calibrate it twice a day to make sure it matches up with my fingerstick blood sugar meter. It gives me the knowledge of what my blood sugar is at all times and the trends throughout the day.

2. Safety net

Having the CGM gives my family the reassurance that I’m okay throughout the day. When I don’t answer my phone, for instance, they can check on the Dexcom share app and see what my numbers are. The receiver alarms me if my blood sugar is low or high. The issue I had prior to this is I would go from 120 down to 50 in a matter of a half hour, and not even realize it. This has helped prevent many hypoglycemic episodes beyond belief. Granted—this isn’t always 100% accurate, but only by 20 points from my finger stick meter.

3. Feeling in control

I use the CGM in conjunction with dosing my insulin. I no longer have to make sure I washed my hands thoroughly in hopes of getting an accurate reading on a normal blood sugar meter. This is constantly attached to me (besides the 2-hour warm-up) and is constantly supplying me with readings. Once taking my insulin, I’m able to see how accurate my bolus amount was to what I ate. In a normal occurrence, without the CGM, I’d often give myself too much insulin and risked hypoglycemia without knowing. This device helps prevent DKA, seizures, and other diabetic related emergencies.

While in modern day diabetes care we have advanced so much. But we continue to battle with insurances covering this device as deeming not medically necessary. It’s been announced that the FDA will be having a meeting on Thursday, July 21, to discuss CGM access and approving CGM as the replacement for insulin dosing.

Why is this so important?

  • This will take prominence over fingersticks for its given accuracy.
  • More Insurances including Medicare will be more enabled to cover this device.
  • This is a breakthrough of what’s to come for the future in managing diabetes.

Why CGM Coverage Matters To Me…

 

Why CGM Coverage Matters To Me

I could never go back to the day before I started on the Dexcom. It’s given me a better quality of life. I feel freer and I’m able to relieve some of the stress that comes from having to manage this disease. Replacing CGM over fingersticks is so important—this will help this device become available to so many more people. I strongly believe in having CGM coverage for all.