Category Archives: Continuous Glucose Monitor

Tricking Out a CGM Sensor – MiniMed Enlite

Hey guys. I’ve said this recently, but I now am using Medtronic’s latest insulin pump – the MiniMed 530G with Enlite. The main reason that I got it was because my warranty had expired on my old pump, and also because this pump had a more accurate sensor.

To clarify, my old pump used the Sof-Sensor, and now this pump uses Enlite.

So with the Sof-Sensor, I got pretty good at tricking it out. For instance, it had only been approved by the FDA to wear for three days, which is not ideal when they are so freaking expensive. I found that I could get about a week of accurate number readings until I had to pull it out. I still hated the thing, mostly because of the RIDICULOUSLY HUGE NEEDLE. I’m not squeamish, but really?

Trying to remove the adhesive of the Enlite sensor.

Trying to remove the adhesive of the Enlite sensor.

Now that I’m on to the Enlite sensor, I’m trying to figure out if it is possible to trick out this one as well. I haven’t been successful yet. I know it is theoretically possible, but the battery of the clamshell portion of the sensor (the monitor that beams readings to the pump) is only supposed to last for a week and the whole thing is taped down so well and is so adhesive that in my attempts to remove the clamshell without ripping out the needle have so far been unsuccessful. The first time I tried I felt like I was doing aerobics that didn’t have the desired result.

The reason I haven’t just tricked it out without bothering to recharge the clamshell is because I’m worried that will have just as much as an undesired result by losing battery. But maybe I’ll try that next time anyways.

I’ve heard really good things about being able to trick out the Dexcom sensor for weeks while maintaining accurate readings, but I don’t have the Dexcom.

Tricking out the Enlite CGM

This is harder than I thought it would be!

Has anyone else been successful in tricking out the Enlite? If so, I would love to hear how you did it!

Thanks for reading!

MiniMed 530G With Enlite – The How I Learned To Use It Version

It’s been a while, but a little while ago I got the newest Medtronic insulin pump model. The biggest reason that I upgraded was that I wanted to use the new continuous glucose monitor sensor that came with the pump. Besides that, I don’t find the pump to be all that different from the previous Medtronic versions. But the sensor is totally worth it because you can keep it in (FDA approved, at least) for six days.

Barbara Davis Center logo

Barbara Davis Center logo

I took a training class to learn how to use the new sensor and insert it at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, the care and research facility in Denver, Colorado. In the training session with me there was an older guy, an older girl, a girl maybe a few years older than I am with her mom, and a boy who was maybe ten or eleven with his mom. I was with my dad.

So, great, we learned how to put in the sensor and turn it on. Even better, I can do it myself, unlike the last one. (That one had a needle so big that we called it The Harpoon.) But the class really was weird in that I was the only person who actually seemed to know what they were doing. The teacher would ask a question, such as, “How do you treat a low?” And then I would look around and no one would answer so I would answer. It was a very odd experience. At one point my dad even said, “Are the rest of you even diabetics?” He was joking, but that’s kind of how I felt. And later, the teacher said, “Great, you could be teaching this class!”

Learning how to put the new sensor in

Learning how to put the new sensor in

I guess this means that I’m a good little diabetic. Because I actually know a lot of the theoretical knowledge (although applying it is tricky). I just thought that it was very odd.

Ciao for now!

Battling Blood Sugars

Exercise is going to kill me. I mean, it’s good for you and everything, but it’s still out to bite me in the butt because blood sugars are so hard to manage, and I can’t ever seem to find a pattern.

So my school is on a block schedule, and therefore every other day I have dance class for an hour and a half. I love dance class. I am not exactly what you would call coordinated and it takes me a million practices to get something right, but it is a really really fun class. Right now we are learning the choreography to a swing dance that we are performing in a couple of weeks, and earlier this week I was low in the middle of class.

Oh, and one quick thing! It’s really hard for me to tell if I’m low when I exercise, so when lacrosse season started again I put my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) back so I could get an idea of when I was going low. Usually the CGM doesn’t get readings fast enough, especially when I’m dropping quickly, but something is better than nothing.

So I was low earlier in dance class this week. I realized I was low when it was taking me longer than usual to get the steps down, so I tested, and sure enough, I was 56 mg/dl.

So today I had dance class again and I didn’t go low during, but I went low immediately after class had ended. So I was sitting in AP Lang eating my lunch and waiting for break so we could go to lunch, and of course I forgot to bolus, so when I tested after I felt crappy near the end of class I was 286 mg/dl. Lovely.

I pretty much rode at that blood sugar during the whole last period of the day and it was with that blood sugar that I started lacrosse practice. I gradually went down to levels within range throughout the practice (I checked my CGM practically every five minutes) and then, of course, at the end of practice I was low. I wasn’t feeling low (the whole exercise and can’t feel your blood sugars thing), but I knew something wasn’t right. But I was already late for my clarinet lesson so I just jumped in the car and drove and stuffed a granola bar and some oreos into my mouth on the way there. Just a basic assumption that I probably needed to dose. BTW, I wouldn’t follow the example I set.

By the time I got to my clarinet lesson (rush hour is a killer) I actually felt low so I drank some juice and ran inside. And then at the end of the lesson my CGM alarmed telling me that I was 179 mg/dl. Sigh. When I got home I was in the mid 200’s mg/dl. So I dosed and then waited until 9:00 to eat dinner.

I wonder what people who don’t have diabetes worry about.

Oh, and I found this really funny picture on Facebook so I thought I would share it.

Random picture that I think is funny so I thought I would share it. I like Facebook.

Random picture that I think is funny so I thought I would share it. I like Facebook.

Cio.

Sincerely,

Claire Montgomery

Related Posts:
Claire Does Lacrosse

Why The Continuous Glucose Monitor is Awesome

About a week ago I got the nicest note from a girl named Erin.

“Hi Claire I’m 10 and I just read your blog for the first time and really loved it. I liked reading about how you deal with diabetes. I saw the Harry potter movie and loved it too. I am sad that the series ended though. We have talked the CGM. I wasn’t that interested but am going to give it a second thought after reading about you liking it. I will keep checking your blog. thanks and have a nice summer. Erin”

Thing Number One: I told people that the CGM is awesome. And it is. But I decided to give all of those people who don’t have CGMs reasons why it is so awesome.

1. It charts your trends. You can go online and see that every Monday at nine you go to 180, and then you can adjust even for that very minor high.

2. It confirms your senses. Like when your feeling low and all that jazz. Thus making you feel more confident. Somebody once told me that the reason they didn’t want to get the CGM was because they thought that they would start to ignore their body. I find that to be the opposite. When I feel low, I look at my graphs, and I feel almost rewarded to see the double arrows going down. You have to do a finger stick to confirm, anyway.

3. If you have any arrows going up, but are still in range, and are about to eat lunch, you can give your self a wee bit extra insulin to compensate for you inevitable high.

4. Once you have your self under more control, you can give your fingers a break.

5. There’s the technology out there, so you might as well use it. It will help to keep you in range.

Thing Number 2: Don’t be afraid to contact me. I love it when you do. (Usually I dance and sing my head off and drive my parents crazy.) I also love comments. I also dance and sing when people comment on my blog. So I thought that I would just ask people (though hopefully I’m not being selfish!) to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE comment on my posts. I love it when you do; it really is the best part of my day when I get a comment. :) And also, it helps me get found on Google. And my ultimate goal is to be part of a community (in this case, type 1 diabetes) that is so unique. And chances are, I’ll give you a feature in my blog like I did Erin.

So thanks for reading me and letting me ramble! And sorry if I came off as a bit pouty in my whole “contact me sales pitch”.

Sincerely,

Claire Montgomery
Type 1 diabetic, diabetic blogger, CGM user

Crazy Days Are Here Again

At the moment, I’m not particularly happy. Last night my blood sugars were wacko, and today looks like it’s going to be a repeat of last night.

207 with double arrows going up.

I ate dinner at eight o’clock. I was 60 mg/dL, so I didn’t bolus for my 40 carb meal. In hindsight, I should have bolused a little bit, but still, that shouldn’t have sent me above 250 mg/dL for the next three hours.

Yah, you got it. I alternated from being 280 mg/dL to 300 mg/dL. Oh, and a quick side note: I can’t sleep when I’m high. So I was up until after midnight. Lovely.

I did a new sight change, and yet, two hours later, still above 250 mg/dL. And I’ve got graphs to prove it.

Up, up, and up. Then down. Now up again.

Finally, I got fed up with feeling bad and re-reading several different books (including Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and Eldest), so I tested again, over-rode the suggestion of zero units of insulin, and gave myself two units. Then I conked out.

Woke up at the wonderfully pleasant number of 90 mg/dL, but apparently we can’t go with out a day of craziness. My CGM says I’m 207 and going up fast.

Sincerely,

Claire Montgomery
Type 1 diabetic, Continuous Glucose Monitor User, Frequent Rider of the “Blood Sugar Roller Coaster”

If you have any crazy stories about wacky blood sugars, feel free to contact me!

Maybe SpiderMan Was Diabetic

Mastisol + Accident = SpiderMan

Well, I’m a diabetic who uses a CGM, or a Continuous Glucose Monitor. I live in Mexico, which is a humid climate. And guess what? Humid climates aren’t the best place in the world if you want your CGM to stay stuck to your body. I mean, like fall of the moment you put the needle in your body. So my doctor, Stephanie, recommended Mastisol, which is this sticky stuff that makes the CGM stay put. I mean, if you doused yourself with Mastisol, you would become the next SpiderMan. Seriously.