Saturday, March 26, 2016

I Wanna Be a Pole Dancer

Yes, I do like to joke about taking up this hobby when I retire in some of the places I post at in the social media world for diabetes, I'm looking as this being one way to be able to afford my diabetes gadgets that help me to stay in control when I am no longer working (retirement is fast looming up after 35 years as a 9-5er).

So come into my dream world, and dance away with me ..... 'cause  "I wanna be yours" ...

Three weeks ago, I had a second go with an MRI scan that had been delayed from a previous visit when I found out ... a Dexcom sensor cannot be worn, even if it's not placed anywhere near where the portion of your body is being scanned (my knee has been acting up over the last 3 years).  The problem was the day before I had only placed a new sensor on my upper body, which usually lasts an average of a month.  No insurance coverage for the CGM (and I'm not alone in paying out of pocket) meant I wasn't about to rip it off.  So my file was left open, and viola, 4 weeks later ... I was back without any piece of metal on/in my body (I didn't know tattoos can react to MRI's as well - and I have one). The things you learn, but in reality, these questions should be given to the patient prior to making an appointment, not on the day you arrive.

So, after the 2nd MRI (I twitched alot even though I tried to be still during the 20 minute scan), I went back home to place a new sensor on.  This time, it wasn't going to be on my regular real estate  portion on my body which is either my stomach, upper back, upper thigh or arms.  I had seen a post from JeVonda Flint who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) 6 years ago.  She places her sensor on her calf, and finds it works well for her there.  So between myself and another T1D here in Canada, I decided I'd give a try.

Yes, I was abit terrified about placing it into what is abit of a muscular portion of my leg (actually I think there's alot of fat, if I was a chicken or a turkey, I'd feed a family of 4 easily).  The good thing, I felt nothing when inserting it.  If any of you have seen the introducer needle for the Dexcom sensor, it looks abit scary.  I felt nothing at all, and even thought to myself, "did I do it properly - did it go in?".

Two hours later, calibration done (you have to take 2 blood tests to get the CGM going) ... I was all set to see if the sensor would work as well, and as long on my body as the other sites do that I place it in.

Sadly, it didn't ... by Day 3,  I was seeing gaps on the trend line or 1/2 hour here and there, along with a few other warnings (e.g. having to restart sensor due to sensor failed warnings - and I tried twice that day to restart).   I realised it wasn't worth continuing to try to keep it on.

The only three factors that I can come up with:

  1. When coming back from a walk as well that day, had my boot cuff (yes, it was still cool here in Canada 3 weeks ago), did I perhaps rub on the sensor too much since it's advised not to have anything bump up against it).
  2. The sensor was expired and this time my luck ran out?  The majority of the time 2 out of 3 sensors I use are expired and work fine  (I can only afford to buy new sensors a few times a year due to cost, once in a blue moon I get a lovely package of expired sensors from American diabetics who do have insurance coverage).
  3. Is my receiver starting to maybe go (I haven't had any warnings yet that should say it's on going to stop).  It's getting close to being 2 years, again, the receiver was gifted to me, and I really have no idea of how much it was used prior to my receiving it.  I have already replaced the transmitter portion that is inserted into the sensor, and so far, it's gone past the 6 months time frame. So eventually, this will go as well and I'll have to buy a new one.
I'm now approaching into my 3rd week without a sensor, and in the beginning I did miss it, but one thing I didn't was how it affects my sleep at night with alarming (combine that with menopause hot flashes, etc. I don't sleep like a cute little kitty).  The same goes with my insulin pump as well, that I'm still not reattached to since the end of January when I went on my holidays to Cuba.

The one thing with not having the sensor on,  I'm not constantly obsessing about the trend of my blood sugars during this period, and from others I have spoken to who wear this device, they can be checking it alot compared to my once in an hour check up.  Along with comparing it against my blood meter (and with the calf placement I was doing check up alot due to how it was not as close to the real thing from the blood meter).  I'm very fortunate that I can still detect when I'm going low (though I think wearing the CGM has made me abit lazy since I woke up to a few in the 2 mmol/l range ... which I never used to do).  Also, I know for some die hard CGMS wearers,  it can be dangerous due to their not having hypoglycemic unawareness!

So, yes, I will be placing a sensor on again, probably next week, and I will probably not be placing it back on my calf again due to the results I had with first placement.  I'll stick to my usual spots, and know that I will hopefully get my 3-4 weeks out of the sensor.  Maybe if I had coverage, I'd be different with not being so anal about keeping the sensor in place, but when you're not quite a pro a pole dancing, well, a cat girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

Oh, and the outcome of the MRI, despite my twitching knee during the whole process?  I had been trying for past 3 years in Quebec with no success of seeing a specialist (I tried but kept on being told to call back in 6 months and there might be an opening) and  GP who looked at my MRI in the beginning, said it was my age and  arthritis.   Finally, I've been diagnosed by an orthopaedic surgeon  -  with a torn meniscus  - and am now on waiting list for surgery - whoo! whoo!.  It'll be nice to have a knee that doesn't go wonky on me - but at least I finally got to see someone who knows their stuff (and they're interested in what I do within the DOC as well)!


  1. Very interesting. I guess cats, I means girls just have to be careful where they put these things! So glad you got a proper knee diagnosis. And one that can be fixed.

    1. Thanks Cathy! Just so happy to at least have the knee bit finally looked at here in Ontario! I maybe homesick for Quebec, but not the health care that I was paying higher taxes for that were not as good as this province!!!

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