I’ve posted quite a bit lately but feel like I’ve become obsessed with my Dexcom data.I just recently started wearing one regularly. I freak out when I increase by 10 points but if I look 5 minutes later I usually drop back the ten points or within 5. I also get nervous about random high spikes after meals. I’ve been diabetic for 16 years and while I’ve always have had good control, I feel like I never obsessed over my finger sticks unless there was an obvious reason like a stubborn high or low to do so. I know I want to continue with my cgm but I also feel like it’s causing me anxiety too. Anyone else feel this and how did you stop obsessing?
Taylor @Tee25 , I’ve seen all your posts and see that you have some good diabetes management skills and knowledge of TypeOne. Thank you for your posts, what you say will undoubtedly help many other PWD.
What you are experiencing with your Dexcom CGM is very common; when I got my first one, I found myself looking at the readings about every five minutes - YES, data overload! What I find helpful, is to pay little attention to five-minute by five-minute readings and changes, and rather, look more at the bigger picture. Look at my trends and the slope of the curve of the graph.
One of the most useful charts for me in Dexcom Clarity is the “Hourly Statistics” where I can see any particular hour or hours where my glucose goes out-of-range, and MAY indicate that some adjustment might be needed. I use the AGP Report for “bragging” about how I’ve narrowed what had been a wide blue river in overnight hours down to just a narrow blue creek.
Hi @Tee25 and thanks for writing. I understand what you mean. I’ve been using Dexcom for many years with my Tandem pump, and seeing those numbers and arrows did make it very tempting to take action right away. I use CIQ now but I used to see myself trending up and think “Oh no - I’d better take some more insulin!” even though I had some on board that had not yet had time to work. My doctor saw that I was stacking insulin and dropping later, so she told me not to take an additional bolus for 4 hours (time may differ based on the insulin you take) unless I ate something else or had an epiphany that I had under-counted my carbs in the first place. So I set my high BG alert to a high number so I wouldn’t get notifications, and forced myself not to look at my pump for the numbers until the time had passed. Sure enough, even if I got to the mid 200s, the insulin I initially took started bringing me down without any additional help. I have turned my high alert on and I do look at my pump now, but I also look at how much insulin I have on board that still needs time to work, and let my pump do its job.
You’re probably wondering “Why were you going to the mid 200s?” Time due some detective work: it could be a one-off - I ate a mystery food and had to guesstimate the carbs; it was a fatty meal; I forgot to bolus🤪 or should have bolused in advance. On the other hand it could be a repeating pattern that indicates I might need to change something.
Keep in mind, your body is doing what it was before you got the CGM - now you have awareness of it. When thinking of my goal with using a CGM, I like to use the analogy of a bike ride. There are different types of rides: there’s one that takes you through a park or perhaps your local neighborhood (unless you live in San Francisco😉): you cruise along on a fairly flat surface, with some dips and some inclines or small hills in various places, but overall it’s pretty flat.
On the other hand there’s the “Tour de France mountain stages” type, with insane inclines and steep descents you would swear would flip a rider over the handlebars. I’m in awe every time I watch - the mere fact that they can peddle those long, steep ascents and at those speeds is amazing! But I digress. My goal is for my graph to resemble the ride through the park, with my numbers falling within or not far out of my high and low settings. And yes, there may be an occasional steep hill - things happen with the numbers and you try to figure out why - but let the overall big picture drive you, as Dennis advised.
When I got my first CGM I was so excited and again looked at it all the time to see what was going on. The fluctuations were indeed frustrating but over time you learn so much from this information and begin to not overreact to what you see. Blood sugars will never be a flat line. My doctor repeatedly reminds me that even someone without diabetes can go up to Almost 200 right after a meal but then of course they drop back down very quickly. I once showed my Dexcom to a friend who is in intensive care nurse when we were at a dinner party and about one hour after the meal my blood sugar was 183. She looked at it and said oh my god that is so high. She obviously does not understand that blood sugars do not stay at 100 all the time. by the time we left The party my blood sugar was down to 119 which is about where it was before the meal. I do like to have my after meal blood sugars not go quite that high but I was not able to measure my foods as usual at home and was eating some combination foods that were a bit more challenging to count. To avoid stacking insulin I have discovered from this information that it will take 2 1/2 or even three hours for a high to start coming down. I use NovoLog insulin and it just doesn’t work as rapidly as the developers had hoped when it was developed. i’ll even pre-bolus as much as one hour before meals and still get spikes. I am hoping that the new faster acting insulin‘s that are coming out might be beneficial at managing after meal spikes.
I too have been on Dexcom G6 for about 1.5 months, a few weeks after a change in diagnosis from T2 to T1. I was also always looking at the thing, still do to a large extent, enamored with the tech (I’m a geek) and the ability, yet stressing over every little climb and fall. I’m just now beginning to take the longer view and realizing its a number and I don’t have good (sometimes any it seems) control over. It will take me more time for that to sink in better and learn how to incorporate it to take appropriate actions at appropriate times. I was feeling proud thinking I had learned quickly how to use the arrows on the app in taking action on headed low, then over-corrected on the last one anyway and ended up going high; hope I’ll do better the next time. I feel the same concerns and frustrations you have and hope we both improve with time.
Glad I’m not alone! I think I’m starting to get the hang of it a little more and I’m less focused on the number but by the trend arrows. Also just realized that the arrows are indicators of what could happen but not a guarantee which has changed my mindset slightly too
Agreed on the mindset-change about what arrows mean. It’s a machine, after all, and only “knows” what it’s been told. You know if you took carbs/insulin/exercised, but it doesn’t. Plus there’s the built-in lag: your body needs time to absorb the change, and even Dexcom “only” updates every five minutes. So, yeah. We sometimes say out loud whatever the relevant action was, and then read a book or otherwise distract ourselves for the appropriate time interval before looking at it again.