Friday, August 19, 2011

Introducing: Our DEXCOM 7!!!

Several months ago, I read about this amazing piece of technoloy over at Diabetes Sweeties.
Then, several weeks later, another "D-Mom" local friend of mine told me about their experience with it and that "they didn't know how they had lived without it for the last 4 1/2 years!"

Couple those experiences with my thinking through how stressful last school year was and how I've been praying about and thinking through how I could possibly afford another set of "eyes and hands" to help me with all that's on my plate every. single. day!!
We've been watching Ashlyn's blood sugar numbers creep up and up and we've felt like we're just chasing after highs all day long.
We give her more and more insulin and don't seem to see any changes.
It's frustrating as a parent.
You feel like a failure.....every. single. day.
You try changes in diet, writing things down better, chuck it all and just go with her meal readings, add more insulin, call the diabetes educator, get a new routine......still she's high......really high.

So when I did a little more research on the continuous blood glucose monitoring systems I knew this is EXACTLY what we needed!!

We still use ratios and insulin pens.
We're not on the pump.
I'm just not ready yet to hard-wire her to this disease.
I know that's a juvenile way to think of it, and that everybody just loves them and find they have so much better control.
But all I can think about is the maintenance and site changes and tubing and basically being chained to one of her parents when it comes to going overnight somewhere because nobody else is trained in knowing how complicated this thing is.
What if it gets plugged or the site gets infected or she starts dropping and her pump is still pumping insulin in?
Having to take the time to learn all that right now is just too overwhelming to me.
One step at a time.
Plus, she's not that interested yet.

So I needed some way to know what her sugars were doing all throughout the day without having to do a jillion finger sticks!!


The Dexcom 7!!

I talked about this a couple weeks ago {you can click on the previous statement to go to that post} after finding out the cost was going to make it completely out-of-the-question for our family.
But a family member decided she wanted to help us make this possible for Ashlyn.....
So we're IN!!!

There was a bit of paperwork to get through {which our Dexcom Representative helped us with}, but it came this last Monday.

It was a little overwhelming to look at all the books and leaflets this thing came with, but we had her wired in and running within several hours.

(Here you can see that in the last 3 hours, her blood sugars have been above the range we set for her {80-200} and that she's at a steady 245.  It alarms when she goes above or below her range and the arrow tells us if she is steady, going up or going down.)

So far, we've been swimming with it and at the water spray park and it has worked wonderfully.
The second and third full days she wore it, she was in her target range almost the ENTIRE DAY!!
We haven't seen that happen in months!!!
Today, she has been back in the 300's since she woke up.
The great thing is though, now we can see exactly where she is every 5 minutes and can act right now to treat her!!
Before, we just waited until the next mealtime to check her blood sugar numbers.
It's great for her to have this meter right next to her giving her a continuous flow of information!!

It's the extra set of "eyes and hands" that I've been praying for!!
It's my personal opinion that this technology is absolutely necessary for every Type 1 Diabetic.
I couldn't believe that our endocrinologist had not pushed this for us from the beginning.
It's REVOLUTIONARY to their care!!
When I spoke to our Dexcom Representative about it, he said that this device is not marketed to children under the age of 18.
It's not FDA approved for children.
When I asked him, "WHY??" his response was....."Well, that's the million dollar question."
It's absolutely unavailable to the uninsured also because medicaid will not cover it.
In my humble opinion, this needs to change.
This would help so many people living with Type 1 Diabetes change their quality of care dramatically!!
I know it has it's cons {though I'm still looking for them), but the pro's of the information it provides is priceless!

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