Friday, November 4, 2011

Sensor life

 I use Minimed's Revel Pump with the CGMS system that comes with it. I had to wait for about 2 years for insurance approval, but now it is included with my necessary pump supplies.

I have learned from another diabetic blogger, JonahDiabetic, that glucose sensors can be used for longer amounts of time than expected (Dexcom can go 10+ days). I have normally discarded them after their time was up (3 days). Sometimes if I was too busy to change them, I'd cheat an extra day out of one by resetting the sensor link and get some extra time out of it. I was on board with the 3 day time limit because I was worried about tissue damage associated with having it in place longer. Last year, I would notice inaccurate readings or discomfort at the sensor at about the 3rd day.

I have found that since I have been achieving much better control, my sensors last longer and my skin at the site is not irritated as much as it used to be. I have a theory that getting lower average glucose numbers has improved my body's ability to deal with foreign intrusions into my skin.

I have also been able to extend the time on my infusion sites without seeing any decrease in it's effectiveness. In times past, I had noticed that sometime between 2 and 4 days the site would stop working well and I'd have to change the infusion site in order to get my insulin to fully work again. Lately, I have been keeping the site working until I refill the reservoir, which is about 5-6 days. All told, I can go a whole work week on one sensor and infusion set, and then the weekend I either go without a sensor, or start a new one.

I'm not sure it's all glucose control that's giving me more time. I'm eating a diet high in quality fat, and believe that my level of systemic inflammation has been lowered by improved glucose control. I'll be curious if this trend tracks this way long term. Right now I'm pretty happy about not needing to puncture myself as often. I'm not a big fan of sensor changes, and the first day of calibration readings.

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