About two weeks ago, we bid him adieu. Ol’ Dex, Luke’s continuous glucose monitor, has been awarded a vacation for an undetermined amount of time from Luke’s arm.
Why? Luke was tired of dealing with the alarms for false lows, especially in the middle of the night. (Me, too!) He was tired of worrying about it falling off during swim practice. He hated it when curious kids asked him about it. He was just ready for a break.
What has taking a Dex break done for us?
Taking a break from the Dexcom has actually been a really great thing for us. I spend way less time needlessly worrying about Luke and his blood sugar. When I had a constant visual of his BG level, I would always wonder why it was high… why it was low… what he ate to cause it… if it was done climbing or dropping. I’d text him and ask him if he’d taken care of his high or low. (He always had, by the way.) Now, I maybe think about how his sugar is doing once during the day… maybe. It’s just not at the forefront of my mind anymore. Which is a GOOD thing.
Luke has been able to feel more independent with his diabetes care. In other words, he doesn’t have mom breathing down his neck via text. He knows I’m not there to keep him in check, so he takes on the responsibility himself. Which leads us to the next pro of giving up the Dex…
Luke has become extremely responsible when it comes to taking care of himself. He tests his blood sugar anytime he eats- without prompting. He enters it into his pump so it can correct a high. He decides if/when he needs to correct a low. He rechecks to make sure it’s back in range. He counts his own carbs. And he continues to change his own pump sites on the day it’s due to be changed.
I just asked him, as I’m writing this, if he’s had to correct a low lately. He doesn’t remember the last time he corrected a low. When asked about the highest finger prick he remembers lately… 165. I honestly think not having the Dexcom causes him less stress, which also helps to keep his blood sugar in range.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, Luke feels a little bit more like he did pre-T1. Aside from carrying his bag around, there is nothing visible on him that screams, “I’ve got diabetes!” anymore. Being a middle schooler, this is really important to him.
Do I think giving the Dex the boot is what every family needs? Of course not. However, it has been an amazing thing for us. Will we ever use it again? It’s hard to say. Maybe Luke will want a break from so many finger pricks again. Maybe his blood sugar will become harder to manage at some point. We might decide to pop one in when he’s sick because that can mess with sugar levels. In any of these cases, we’d probably use the cgm again. For now, though… we are happy with our decision to send Dex on a vacation.