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Friday, March 15, 2013

T1D: My Ongoing Science Experiment

As PWDs know all too well, there is a large amount of thought and calculation that must go into everything, every minute of every day: food, activity, stress, etc. My endo calls this "an ongoing science experiment", and I tend to agree. Having worked in a laboratory for the larger part of the last decade, I am all too familiar with science experiments:

1. They often go wrong.

2. You often don't get what you expected.

3. You must continue to repeat the experiment, and can only "trust your data" if you have seen consistent results at least 3 times under identical conditions.

4. When going from the test tube into an experimental animal model, do not expect anything to go right, because physiology is so darn complicated (read: I was advised to come up with backup experiments for my dissertation, as any work with mice is "most likely to yield inconsistent results and/or fail completely").

*Nevertheless, I love science, and am grateful for the insulin and devices it provides to keep me alive. I believe that over the next 20 years, we will know so much more, and be able to help so many people who struggle with numerous diseases. (A part of me cringes when thinking of BIG PHARMA, but at the same time, I [and many others I'm sure] do it for the people, to try to bring happiness to those who struggle with whatever health problem - diabetes, cancer...)

**Now: back to Diabetes:

After my endo appointment last July I realized that I'm actually testing 15-20 times per day on some days, so for the sake of my fingertips, I took the CGM leap - and I'm glad I did. Bottom line: my A1C went from 7.8 to 7.1 (during what is probably one of the most stressful times in my life: being a Ph.D. student). I'm working on improving that while maintaining my awesome record of about 1-2 "real" lows [i.e. under 70 mg/dl] per month (not too bad IMO)... It's great to see when Dexcom catches an impending low around 85, and I'm able to treat calmly (read: 1 glucose tab, not a bottle of juice) before I even get symptoms (depending on my IOB of course)...

The CGM made what my endo calls my "ongoing science experiment" a lot easier. Even when I'm not wearing it, having found new patterns I didn't realize existed and seeing the consistency, especially in terms of monthly hormonal fluctuations, giving me more confidence when making treatment decisions. The CGM is just a tool. But in my five years of treating T1D, it's the best tool I've found yet... And I can't wait to see where we will be 10 years from now.

1 comment:

  1. I have more lows per month now. My last A1C was 6.8 and I have a high suspicion that's it's higher than that now :) K? K. ;)