Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Week 10: We Got It AGAIN

We got that stupid stomach bug AGAIN. Or maybe it was a different one. It was awful.

I've also finally stumbled on alert settings on the CGM sensor that I think will work. I want a tight enough range that my blood sugars will be in a range that gets me a healthy A1C, but I also don't want it so tight that I'm getting alerts when I don't need to do anything about it, especially since the alerts tend to make me anxious and irritated. So 100-130 is way too tight, for example.

I've found that 80-150 seems to work. If I learn that I'm headed down at 80 mg/dL, I have enough time to grab myself some juice before I get down below 60 mg/dL. Same thing with 150: if I learn that I'm headed up at 150 mg/dL, I can give myself some insulin before I'm up above 180 mg/dL. I do spend a little bit of time ignoring the alerts at those levels. For example, occasionally I'm at 80 mg/dL and that's OK because I'm hanging steady and going to be eating lunch soon. Or I'll be at 150 mg/dL because I just ate a meal and it's going to take some time for my blood sugar to come back down. But I don't find myself tuning out the sensor or finding that I'm being alerted more often than I'd want to know. I'm getting better at staying between the lines, too, by eating small amounts to bring my blood sugar back up and watching my blood sugar on the way down to keep it from going too low.

Originally I didn't want to be bothered by the low blood sugar alerts when I was at 60 mg/dL because I've always tolerated 60 mg/dL as a necessary evil on the way to a healthy A1C. But when I set the alert for 60, I always seemed to end up in the 40s by the time the thing was said and done because it would take me a few minutes to look at the sensor after I heard the alert, and then it would take me a few more minutes to get the juice, and my blood sugar was going down all the time. And I realized that now I have the sensor, I don't HAVE to tolerate 60 as a necessary evil on the way to a healthy A1C! So I bumped it up to 80 mg/dL to accommodate the fact that it just takes me a little while to react when my blood sugar is going down. I still get down below 60 occasionally, but below 50 mg/dL has only happened once in the last month. That's a great feeling after having a handful of 20s, a few dozen 30s, and too many 40s to count in the last few years and pregnancies.

Similarly, I had originally set my high alert to 200, thinking that I didn't want to be bothered with how high my blood sugar was rising every time I ate a meal, but then I realized that most meals didn't bring my blood sugar up that much. My former co-blogger Jenn advised me that meals should only raise my blood sugar by about 30 mg/dL, and that has not been hard to do when eating less total quantity of food and fewer carbs. So if i'm at a good level pre-meal, then I don't have to tolerate 200 even at my peak after the meal. I usually do give some insulin if I get all the way up to 150, even if it's just a tiny bit. It's only the occasional meal that brings me up that high.


  1. I look at my Dexcom so frequently that I hardly ever set a high alert. My low one is usually 60 (at least at night) because it seems it always reads me 10 points lower and I hate being woken up when I am actually 70 or 80... The CGM is super helpful in my experience, although annoying at times :)

    1. Yeah! I actually often forget to look at it when I'm taking care of the kids, so I like to be told what to do more often. Screaming baby, crying toddler, yelling's an important and relevant noise to sort through and sift throughout the day. :)