The pursuit of perfection, and the trouble with CGMs

How could I possibly write a whole post about perfection and diabetes? It doesn’t even exist! Well, I think that perfection is my number 1 diabetes landmine. For some reason or another, I will be inspired to take charge of my diabetes and will micromanage for a while. When the monster awakens and runs away with my BGs, I fall face first into my sinkhole. It has created an interesting emotional rollercoaster that coincidentally follows my BG management. This post is a reflection of how CGMs have changed the nature of diabetes burn out.

This is also probably the least understood part of T1D amongst my 5.5er (people who are not living with T1D) support network: no matter how closely we monitor and manage our T1D, our best days are 5.5er regular ones. It can get pretty discouraging when you add burn out to the equation.

More data is better

The net value of CGMs is overwhelmingly positive. Knowing what is going on between BG checks, seeing how BGs behave overnight, it is all invaluable information. As someone who learned how to manage T1D with 5 readings a day, seeing what is going on between meals still baffles me sometimes. I will be the first to admit, however, that there was some relief in not constantly collecting data. I call this the ‘eyes over your shoulder’ problem. Growing up with T1D I experienced many years of diabetes management that did not feel like they were for my benefit, but for the benefit of the people around me. I’m still combatting this association between data existing and someone judging me for the values. If anyone has any good tricks, please let me know! Some of the mental tips in Adam’s book have been a huge help. Thanks, Adam!

CGMs make it evident that Diabetes is a toddler

In a strong year, there are many weak days and weak weeks. After a particularly stressful week of exams when my BGs went with the wind, I wanted anything but to put a new CGM in. There is definite exhaustion associated with using a CGM because it never lets you forget that it’s there (think beeping and buzzing), nor should it!

I have struggled with sticking with my CGM because it can be incredibly overwhelming. Many people who transition to CGMs feel the same way. Some of us who were dia-trained pre-CGMs are not used to having so much information at our fingertips (or I guess CGM sites now haha). We made basal rate and ISF changes based on 5 readings a day. 20 years later, when I look at the mountain range that is my Carelink report, my first thought is, “where do I start?” I see 30 different things that could be changed.

I want to emphasize that the benefits of CGMs FAR outweigh the strains, but they have definitely changed the nature of my diabetes burn out. My burnouts are more frequent but are shorter lasting. Maybe you feel the same or completely different. How has new technology changed the way that you engage with your T1D?


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