The Wrath of the Sensor Gods

I use Enlite sensors. I really like them most days. I know they’re less accurate and less cooperative than Dexcom, but this is my first CGM, and it’s a lot better than nothing! They also integrate with the software to make things easy for me and my doctor to review. I do worry about whether my quality of life or management is lower because I use Enlite rather than Dexcom, but all the factors that go into my decision not to rock that boat for now are for another post.

Mostly my sensors work okay and we stumble through life together. But this week, the Sensor Gods are angry.

On Saturday, sensor change day, my sensor said I was low and alarmed repeatedly for about two hours. I was low exactly none of that time. I was hanging out between 100 and 110 and would have loved some credit for being in range. Stupid sensor.

I try to be extra generous on sensor change day, but this was particularly annoying after a low in public with my parents, who are still adjusting to my diabetes life and can sometimes be especially scared of lows, that was missed during my sensor warm up time.

Fine, sensor is wrong. By a lot. In these cases, we calibrate if we haven’t already calibrated too many times today. So I calibrated.

But nothing changed on the readout, and about 30 minutes later, my pump started flashing “SENSOR ERROR.” Not cute. Sensor Gods are clearly demonstrating their mood.

I’ve had this happen once before but couldn’t for the life of me remember how I resolved it. I was pretty sure I just had to start over with a new sensor, but I was away from home by this point in the day.

Next my pump flashes “CAL ERROR” about twenty minutes later. What the hell is a calibration error? How could I calibrate wrong? My meter sends the data directly to the pump. This seems like a personal problem to me, diabetes devices.

Twenty minutes later, my old pal “SENSOR ERROR” returns, at which point I go into the sensor settings in my pump and switch the whole system off. I was done. But the Sensor Gods were not done with me.

My sweet husband helped me change my sensor for the second time that day. (I wear CGM stuff on the back of my arms and can’t get the hang of taking out the inserter needle one-handed.)

Sensor Gods were temporarily appeased. I thought I was back to my typical, mediocre accuracy CGM life, and I was happy to have it.

And then Wednesday came. My first dentist appointment in an embarrassingly long time. And these people wanted to take X-rays. I know lots of people wear their Dexcoms in dental X-rays, but I’ve only had this CGM for 6 months and I love it too much to risk it, so I just ripped it out in the dentist’s chair. Perhaps that was the Sensor Gods’ plan all along.

In maybe the worst possible scenario, I had a low during the appointment. I don’t know at what point this happened, obviously. I went in at a cool 120. The dentist eventually said “Are you okay? You don’t look so good.” I’m increasingly hypo-unaware, and I was already lying down, but I definitely did not feel my best.

I had attributed that to my hatred of people touching my mouth literally at all in any way, but I pulled out my meter just in case. 55!

“Lololololol” – Sensor Gods.

The sweet people at the dentist’s office brought me some of their secret candy stash even though they had just finished cleaning my teeth. I also had the chance to offer them a little diabetes education (“Yes, orange juice would be good, too. No, my pump is not permanently attached” etc.).

As I write this, I’m not wearing a sensor. You have to calibrate twice in the first 6 hours with Enlite (Is this how Dexcom works too?) so I hate to put them in at night. Tonight, the Sensor Gods win and I sleep without the protection of CGM data, but with much higher chances of sleeping through the night.

But tomorrow, we rise! (and ask my long suffering husband to change my sensor early in the morning on his day off. Love you, bae.)

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