Friday, 4 March 2016

My CGM Experience

Those who know me know that I have been struggling with my diabetes. I have been struggling with the usual burnout symptoms, but unlike a lot of people, when I go hypo I usually end up having a seizure as well. Because of this I struggle to feel safe at a lower levels, such as 6. As I was on a Medtronic pump when I started having these seizures, my hospital thought it would be beneficial for me to have the accompanying CGM, so they put in a business case for me to get funding for the Enlite sensors because the low suspend feature would help me when I'm out and about myself. And I got funding!

The main factor for them funding my CGM was my seizure on a flume where I nearly drowned  (as detailed in my last post). I find it difficult to fathom why I had to nearly die for them to even consider me for a CGM, but at least they have been funded. I am funded full time for it, but one of the conditions of me being funded it is that I do where it all the time (even if I want a break!). I really have found it beneficial though, and am so grateful that I have been funded it instead of having to shell out money myself for one.

When I first got the CGM, it was a bit temperamental. I wasn't sure where to place the sensor or when to calibrate. I inserted my first sensor in my stomach, as I believe this is the recommended area, and I calibrated every time I tested my blood sugar (which was a lot at the start because the CGM was really far out from my BG). I got calibration error twice before I got asked to change sensor, and I was so frustrated because it was supposed to be helping me but it was just making me become disheartened!

I soon figured out, after help from Facebook, online blogs and personal experience, that I shouldn't calibrate every time I test my blood sugar because it tends to confuse it. I also learned that it is best placed on the arm. Nearly every sensor I've worn on my arm has been accurate and it also doesn't get in the way of waistbands or seat-belts as well!

I've had 2 seizures on the bus, so going on the bus myself is always scary for me, but because I've been refused my driving license, I have no choice. The first seizure I had, I was on my way to meeting an employee from Diabetes Scotland about volunteering for them, and I ended up in the hospital instead of in Costa. The second seizure was on my second Diabetes UK camp, a year exactly from the seizure where I nearly drowned. The CGM has helped immensely with traveling myself, meaning I don't have to rely on my family as much and also meaning that my mum doesn't        constantly worry and pester me!

My CGM has been really good in helping controlling my blood sugar in events like exams and sport. During my exam period, I was so grateful that I had my CGM, and I honestly don't think I could've coped with the stress without it. It has also given me more confidence in doing sport, because the low predict feature helps me catch hypos and makes me less afraid of having hypos.

My Hba1c is by no means perfect, but the CGM has given me a better handle on things, and allowed me to go about things with more confidence. I do get conscience about having it on show on my arm, but I am so happy that I have this technology.


  1. Wow, you are so brave and strong. Sending a lot of respect and hugs your way!!

  2. Glad to hear CGM is working for you Alyssa.


My name is Alyssa Faulkner. I am a Type 1 Diabetic Teen living in Scotland. I currently use a Medtronic insulin pump and an Enlite CGM, and am a volunteer for Diabetes Scotland.