Recently, we have been considering asking our doctor to prescribe a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system for Kaitlyn. From the very beginning of diagnosis, we were pretty sure we wanted to get Kaitlyn on a pump, and we’re glad we did. After we made the jump and pumping was going well, we were eager to take advantage of any other technology that was available for patients with type 1 diabetes. We knew that the next natural transition would be to get a CGM system.

For those of you who don’t know, a CGM system is a device that gives continuous readings of blood sugar numbers. It has a sensor that the patient wears on his or her body and a monitor that receives the readings. It has customizable alarms for highs and lows. Sounds pretty cool, right? We were really gung-ho at first, but as we thought more about it, we realized that we had too many unanswered questions and decided that it just wasn’t time yet. Here were some of the questions we had about getting a CGM system:

  • Will the sensor hurt Kaitlyn? She already has to change pump sites every couple of days. I’m not sure if I want to make her deal with one more pokey thing.
  • Are the readings accurate? I wouldn’t want to make decisions based on information unless I knew it was current and accurate.
  • What does it take to calibrate the system? I’m already checking blood sugar many times a day; will we need to check just as often or even more to calibrate the system?
  • How big is the monitor? Will it be easy to carry around?
  • The alarm system sounds really great. Will it do its job and alert us during the day and be loud enough to wake us up at night?
  • Once I have the information, what do I do with it? Will I feel overwhelmed with all the information at hand?
  • Will I become nervous and obsessive about knowing her blood sugar readings every minute of the day? Diabetes is already such a huge part of everything we do… will the CGM system make it even more ever-present?
  • Things are going well. Her A1C number is great. Why rock the boat?

Some time has passed since Kaitlyn’s diagnosis, and the technology is getting better and better. Many of my friends and the people I’ve met through online support groups are just raving about the success they’ve experienced using their CGM systems. When we’re ready to consider it again, I’ll have a conversation about the pros and cons with our endocrinologist. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to ignore the lure of technology much longer.

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. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.

Related topics:
People in the Know: Transitioning to an Insulin Pump
Pros and Cons of the Pump
What I Learned by Trying James’ CGM Device on Myself

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