Like a lot of parents of kids with type 1 diabetes, I have a love/hate relationship with my son’s continuous glucose monitor. On the one hand, I’m incredibly grateful to have it in my life. The alerts let me know when something is up with Miles’ blood sugar and also cut down on the number of times he has to prick his finger to get a blood sugar reading. But, man… blood sugar really doesn’t care about interrupting your life, does it?
Sometimes I feel like the CGM is that needy romantic partner we’ve all had at one time or another. You enjoy their company and appreciate everything they do for you, but sometimes you just need some space. No matter what you say or do, that person is constantly there, begging for your attention. And oh, does he like to share — talk about TMI! In a lot of ways, our CGM is like the most high-maintenance boyfriend I’ve ever had, blowing up my phone ALL. DAY. LONG. If only I could shoot a message back to him when he (and diabetes) will just not leave Miles and me alone. Here’s what I’d say…
Sorry, driving. I can’t even look at you right now. In this state, I could get pulled over (and have!) if a cop catches me glancing at my phone behind the wheel. And for good reason, since I could actually kill someone if I’m not paying attention to the road. Yet somehow you continue to disregard my commute in the timing of your blood sugar alerts. Rude.
Listen, I know you’re on duty 24/7, but I’m on a work deadline here too. My team is relying on me, and if I don’t get this done, the whole project will be pushed back. And then I’ll be known as that working mom who can’t prioritize, the one who slacks off when everyone else pulls their weight. So, yeah… if you could go ahead and just ping the school nurse about the small stuff for the next few hours, that’d be greaaaat.
Can’t talk long, in a meeting. It’s bad enough I have to explain to my boss why my phone has to be on the table, but could you at least help me to look semiprofessional and wait until I’m finished presenting? I’ll only be an hour (unless Nancy from accounting shows up — in that case, we may be here all day).
Oh no. You didn’t. You did NOT just go off at me in a silent, crowded auditorium. I know he’s high; he had lunch an hour ago at school. What do you want from me??? What am I supposed to do now — make an abrupt exit to call and make sure he bolused? Interrupt his school day and, while I’m at it, ruin his sister’s recital?
Ooh, so close — almost enjoyed an hour at the gym solo. But even when you have nothing to say, you have to let me know there’s a signal loss.
Hey… just saw your messages. On the rare night I’m out with my girlfriends, I’m not checking my phone every five seconds (unless we’re looking particularly fabulous and need to Snapchat a selfie). Yet the minute I get in my car, I see your notifications, blowing up my phone for the past hour. And I know you’re somewhere fuming that I didn’t respond. Don’t you know he’s with his dad tonight? Even when someone else is in charge for the evening, you come to me for every little thing.
Babe, I responded earlier when you were harassing me after dinner. I got him outside to play a bit before bed, which seemed to make you happy for a little while. I tried to keep you quiet by using the meter for a blood sugar check, then dutifully followed what your wingman (the insulin pump) told me to do. I even checked in with you before turning my light out, as I always do. And you know I’m going to wake up and check in with you at least a few times before dawn. Isn’t that enough?
Sometimes I think I need to take some time off from the CGM. The constant contact is just… a lot. But then I realize I’m being pretty unfair. It’s actually one busted pancreas that’s to blame for the 24/7 interruptions. The CGM is just trying to help.
I think I owe someone an apology.
Promise you’ll never leave me CGM!!!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring.