On Tuesday night I fell in to bed exhausted and rolled on to my left side, only to pop up like a spring because of the sharp pain coming from my left hip. My Dexcom sensor was somehow irritated, either from the pressure, or from it being day six, or who knows what else. Whatever the cause, I couldn’t handle it. I grabbed my reciever and deactivated the sensor. I ripped it off my hip, set the transmitter on the bedside table, and slept like a baby for the next seven hours.
The next morning though, I got up early to go to the gym. As I pulled in to the parking lot for the 6am boxing class, I reached for my Dexcom and realized I didn’t have it with me. I did a fingerstick and turned down my basals, but I found myself looking for my Dex the entire hour of class. When I got home and inserted a new sensor, I felt completely lost for the two hours before the new one was calibrated. My fingerstick reading that I would use to set the Dexcom would confirm that I was indeed lost: 220mg/dL. I hadn’t checked since breakfast, hours before around 7:30am. It was now almost 11 and my BG was off the reservation because I hadn’t been checking in on a regular meter. Clue number one that I’m totally, completely addicted to my diabetes devices.
Clue number two was after my CDE appointment on Monday. I asked my CDE for a sample each of Lantus and Humalog pens. I like to keep a few on hand in the event I want to take a pump vacation, or in case of an emergency. Waiting for the elevator, I looked at the pen boxes: 3mL of insulin, 100 units per mL I read off in my mind. I’m not sure how long that would last me? I used to take a split dose of Lantus….what was the morning total? And my Humalog….I think I used to take around 10 bolus units a day? Wait or was it 10 Lantus units in the morning?
And then it all hit me today: I’m out of practice when it comes managing diabetes manually. If right now, this very second, someone took away my pump and CGM, I’d have a pretty hard time going back to injections and fingersticks only. I am so used to having my fancy gadgets with me, that I can barely remember how to do the things I did on autopilot just a few short years ago. Four years ago, I tested my blood sugar at least 10 times a day and barreled through about seven needle sticks in as much time. But today? I’ve got my Dex and the pod doing half the work.
I truly believe that my devices make my diabetes management better. And I also truly believe I am extremely lucky: I have insurance, I have had diabetes education, and I have access to good healthcare. All of these things contribute to the fact that I even get to use these devices. But thinking about going back to manual made me nervous because of the position I’m in right now – my company was recently bought out. Although it’s looking like I will have a job with the new company, nothing is for sure right now. As quick as I can type this post I could be out of a job – and my insurance. The first thing to go would have to be my $800 a month worth of pods and sensors – for which I pay NOTHING right now thanks to my job’s amazing insurance. And I can’t even figure out how long a Lantus pen would last me. Yikes. Suffice it to say that I’m out of shape when it comes to flexing my former diabetes management muscles.
Do any of you ever feel like you’re too comfortable with the tech system versus manual? And do you find ways to practice – e.g. take pump/CGM break sometimes just to get back to basics? Or am I perhaps too worried about this – would it be easy after a few days to get back in the swing of things?