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Dexcom

So we jumped on the bandwagon and decided to try this sucker out. We were able to arrange a trial with our local rep so that we could see if Liam would even tolerate it. We were lucky enough to be able to start this journey with Joanne, Fred and Elise-which made the whole thing a lot more fun and less scary. (For the kids and the grown ups). We currently have Liam on the OmniPod, so he's not used to having to carry or wear anything. When we were first considering this, we really struggled with the idea of him wearing a medical device that he actually had to lug around. It's hard seeing an insulin pump on your kid, but we've felt fortunate to at least be able to use a tubeless pump that doesn't get in the way. It's one less thing HE has to deal with. This CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) has a range of about 5 feet (barring the odd piece of clothing or particularly dense gust of wind, as we discovered). That means he's carrying it on his body. Up front, my husband and I tried to prepare ourselves for this. We knew that Liam was a great candidate for a CGM since he has a lot of variability in his blood sugar levels, and since he has had several lows recently below 50. Yuck. He doesn't consistently notice those lows until he's around 50 or below a lot of the time, although he is getting better. We also know that we are nerds. We LOVE information. We knew that once we got this thing on him, we were never going to want to take it off. We discussed how we could see ourselves using this device- as a TOOL. As much as we wanted to know everything, all of the time- we really wanted to approach this as a way to check in every month or so to make sure Liam's pump settings were helping to maintain a steady blood sugar. As much peace of mind as we know it could give us, we just worry that it's unfair to put him through more medical stuff so we can sleep at night. So how was it? The first couple of days, it felt like I was totally cheating on Liam's PDM (remote to his OmniPod). We usually have a hands-all-over-each-other kind of relationship. And we have battery stash to prove it. With this new toy in the house, it was all I could do to not stare at this thing every 5 minutes (and sometimes every 2 minutes to see if it was a new 5 minutes yet). While the numbers was within 40 points or so most of the time, it was the trend arrows that were invaluable. It caught a low I wouldn't have ever suspected right when he hit 80 (and his meter said 81).  It was a particularly aggressive one, and out of nowhere, and I was thankful for the guidance. The sensor survived several rounds of swimming and slip-n-slides before falling off on day 5, but to be fair, I probably should have taped it by then. When it came off, we had a tiny little dot left where the wire had been (but again, day 5, not 7). We've definitely had pod sites that looked much worse after 3 days. The sensor didn't bother Liam. Sometimes we lost signal when he was sleeping on it- but usually for brief periods of time. He didn't seem to mind carrying the receiver in his cargo pockets, although it made it clear which shorts were a little too big, because the extra weight would bring them down if he got past a leisurely walking pace. We were pleasantly surprised. I even watched him break into an older group of boys playing some kind of outer space police force game by flashing the monitor and telling them he was a not just a policeman, but a SUPERHERO- to which a particularly amazed looking boy told him "Wow! Come with me!" Not bad at all. If I had any hesitation, it's not what I expected it to be. I thought he'd feel burdened by carrying it. I imagined it as a physical albatross he was being forced to drag behind him- but it wasn't like that for us. He misses it. The problem was more what I saw it do to him. We've been very open with Liam about his diabetes. But we've also made it clear that he can do whatever he wants to in life. We see him first as a four year old boy. For that, we've made it our goal to make it as small of a part of his life as is reasonably possible. We monitor him closely. We work behind the scenes as much as possible so that he can just be a kid sometimes and not worry. Don't get me wrong- he knows exactly what we're dealing with, and he knows how his pump works and knows that we need to weight and measure his food and count carbs (he even knows it is a REALLY bad idea to say numbers out loud when mom is doing that!). So while we cut back on one of the most invasive parts of his diabetes- the finger pokes- we replaced it with more of a mentally invasive one. Every time the alarm went off because he was falling or rising or high or low- he'd come and tell me he was buzzing and beeping with a worried look on his face. The numbers I love every 5 minutes meant that at times, he was thinking about his diabetes every 5 minutes too. I had a really hard time with that part. I wish I could wear it instead. All said and done (and we are SO sad it is done)- we're trying to get one. Assuming our insurance sees the medical need- which seems pretty apparent given the information I sent them- we're covered at 100%. I can't say for sure what role it has in our lives, in our family, but we know that we need to be able to see what is happening so that we can make some truly educated decisions on how to manage his needs- which are a whole other post in the works. We are so thankful that this kind of technology is available, and so thankful to Dexcom for allowing us to see if it is right for us.

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