{CGM} Taking One For The Team

by Leighann on April 25, 2012

(For several reasons, which I will reveal soon, we decided against purchasing and continuing use of the Revel and mySentry. I do feel that our experience provides valuable information, so I will continue to share our experience. These posts are not and have never been an endorsement of these products. Consult your endocrinologist or CDE for options regarding insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors.)

In the weeks leading up to starting a two-month trial of the continuous glucose monitor (CGM), Q said many times that she was scared. I told her that it’s okay to be nervous about new things, but there was no reason to be scared.

I knew that although Q agreed to be open-minded about starting the CGM that when the moment came she would be reluctant.

Okay, reluctant is too a mild word.

Frantic. Panicked. On the verge of working herself into a hyperventilating frenzy.

In the time it took her to protest we could have easily been done and over with.

Did Q over react?

No. I think it’s perfectly normal for children to fear the unknown.

As she sat in the chair between me, my husband, and the trainer, she really worked herself up. She got up a couple of times and I had to coax her back.

At one point I had to get down to her level, put my hands on hers, and calmly but firmly say, “Look. We are going to do this. You don’t have a choice as to whether or not it’s going to happen. But you can calm yourself down and let us do it or you can continue to fuss and we’re going to do it anyway. Let’s make it easier.”

About this time the trainer asked Q if she would like to see her insert one on herself. Q said yes. I asked if she could insert it on me instead.

I took one for the team.

Really shouldn’t we all experience what we put our children through?

I remember my husband and I practicing giving each other injections with saline at the hospital at diagnosis. I poke myself to demonstrate to teachers each year how to check blood sugars. (It always hurts like a son of a…) Why shouldn’t I also see what it’s like to have a sensor inserted?

Q made me pinky swear that I would tell her the truth about how much it hurt. We reminded her that she had lidocaine cream on her tummy and I did not. I was fully prepared to downplay the pain.

It was in before I knew it. It didn’t hurt at all. (Again, I credit those extra 20 lbs for that.) My husband said later that he watched my face for clues and that I didn’t flinch or grimace.

Q let us put the sensor on her and she even giggled a little, perhaps a nervous laugh, when she realized the sensor was in and it wasn’t all that bad.

Medtronic mySentry CGM

Were the next few sensor insertions a breeze after she realized that it wasn’t so bad? Uh, no. She continued to be absolutely terrified of the insertion. It didn’t matter that we had lidocaine cream and she was numbed. All that mattered was that there was a giant needle protruding from a seemingly medieval torture device!

We came up with a solution, which I will tell you about in the coming weeks as I tell you more about our CGM trial. It isn’t a perfect solution and it presents it’s own challenges, but we are making it work.

Further Reading

Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum: The Event (I talk about perceived pain versus real pain.)

All posts about continuous glucose monitors

Medtronic Disclosure

In full disclosure, Medtronic provided us with the necessary devices and supplies for this two-month trial at no cost to our family. A prescription was needed from our doctor. Medtronic provided in-home training to us, as they do for all of their customers. They did not ask me to write about the products or trial and I am free to write whatever opinions I have about the experience. I am not being paid by Medtronic.

All images are copyright D-Mom Blog and D-Mom Media and may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Moira April 25, 2012 at 8:05 am

Back in the early days of pumping we D-Moms (before the internet) used to go over one anothers homes and insert sites in each other — to see what each kind felt like for our kids. Sounds like a party, eh?


2 Stephanie April 25, 2012 at 8:36 am

I remember when we were doing our pump start and I had a site put on me first. Poor Adam was so nervous, but after it was in, he was like, “That was it?” Luckily for us, the Dexcom CGM doesn’t have a protruding needle (it’s hidden in the inserter) so he doesn’t mind it at all….as long as there is numbing cream, of course! 🙂


3 Jacquie April 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm

I’m 33, and I’ve had the CGM for almost two years, and I STILL freak out when it’s time to change the sensor. It’s a weird, panicky kind of anxiety that I don’t feel at all when I’m changing an infusion set. I think it’s still the newness of it all, and the fact that each one is so expensive, I’m afraid I’m going to screw it up.


4 shannon April 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm

i so look forward to your tips coming in future posts b/c my kid also LOATHES the cgm insertion. ugh. glad you could help by ‘taking one for the team’ though. 😉


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