Friday, March 03, 2006

Continuous Glucose Monitoring & Nagging

Continuous Glucose Monitoring

I've spent the last week delving into the shady (so much info, so much still lacking) world of continuous glucose monitoring. Imagine my excitement when I stumbled on "LifeAfterDx--The Guardian Chronicles: A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use the Guardian RT continuous glucose monitor." What a great read! But disappointingly, the RT (1) is only available in select US cities, (2) is not yet covered by insurance (sheesh, the whole shebang's expensive), and (3) requires the hubby to carry another monitor (he's currently on a pump). He already gets grumpy carrying his regular BG meter with him. So, I'm not even going to suggest this to him for now.

Additional delving leads to the discovery of "Use of the Paradigm 722 System to Improve Glycemic Control in Adult and Adolescent Subjects With Type 1 Diabetes". The 722 eliminates the extra monitor because it's integrated into the pump... And clinical trials are usually free to participants... And there's a recruiting site 3 miles away from us!

I excitedly email hubby the link. When I get home, his reaction: "I think I want to wait because it's not exactly what I want." What he wants, of course, is a pump which will automatically adjust the insulin delivery based on his BG. I want to scream. But I just look angry and convince him to call them.

...The next day, I call him from work to nag him again to call them. Which he does. But another disappointment - this site is only recruiting 12-17 year olds.

*A note on "nagging": Perpetuating the stereotypical wife-as-a-nagging-shrew? Yes, but damn the man, I have to force him more often than not to take care of himself:

Me: Go see the doctor for that lung-expelling cough you've had for the last 2 months.
Him: What can they do? It's getting better anyways.

Me: You're low. Can you check your sugar or drink some juice?
Him: I'm not low.
(repeat that last exchange about 5 times then go to the next exchange:)

Me (He's obviously low. His BG must be in the 30's): Here, drink some juice.
Him: I'm not low. No!
(repeat that about 6 times. What do I do now? Wait until he passes out to stick some glucagon into him?)

Ok, so it's gotten slightly better lately. He'll actually go check his BG or drink juice when I give it to him. We're still working on the driving when his BG is only in the 50's:
Me: Let me drive, you're still very low.
Him: But I'm totally in control.
Me: You think you're in control, but you're still very low. Let me drive.
(repeat last exchange 6 times). Meanwhile, I'm getting angry, he's getting angry.

It must be all about control

He was diagnosed when he was 20, in the prime of his wild oats sowing. When I met him, he was 33 and still wildly out of control (his BG regulation, I mean). He was adamant about not letting diabetics control or hamper him. Which in theory was possible. He was put on the pen (long-lasting at night, fast-acting during the day) a year after his diagnosis. He was very proud of the fact that he could eat whatever, whenever he wanted. Well, I lost count of how many hypo's I helped him out of the first few years (more on those in future posts). In his mind, he was in complete control.

My arrival into the picture coincided with better regulation because I was nagging him. So when he fights me helping him with his regulation, I suppose he's fighting: (1) handing more control to me, (2) admitting that he does not have complete control over himself, and (3) admitting that the diabetes does affect his life. #3 is a strange one, considering the obvious impacts on his everyday life, but denial will take you a long way. And after 13 years of marriage, I know how stubbornly he can deny...

I try to be sympathetic, I really do. But when it's 3am, and I'm getting up for the 3rd time that night (toddler nightmare, baby nursing, husband nosediving into a hypo), and he doesn't want to drink/eat anything for his hypo, I do get angry at him. Then I feel guilty, because he didn't ask for it, did he? And he's so low, he's totally out of his mind, so how can I expect him to be rational?


At 5/3/06, Blogger Rachel said...


My husband is type 1 and has been for 20 years (tomorrow, to be exact). I can really relate to your "nagging" section. Sometimes he really confuses me, however, and presents me with behavior that seems like he's low and he's just really annoyed. Even more annoyed when his blood sugar is fine after I ask him to test. sigh.

At 6/3/06, Blogger AnnaQ said...

Rachel, thanks for your comments! I'm amazed you found my blog so soon, and appreciate that at least one other spouse shares my experiences =) One thing that helps with my hubby is to very, very nicely ask him to check his BG. He's a lot more cooperative that way, than when I demand that he do so. And it actually feels better for me too. If it turns out that he's fine, I can truly say that I'm glad. Good luck!

At 10/3/06, Blogger bethany said...

I'm confused...I also looked at the website for the trial on the 722 and on there it says that it's taking a lot of ages ... not just 12-17 or whatever ... ug ... I actually just called the New York number ... I wanna do it! <3

At 10/3/06, Blogger AnnaQ said...


We only contacted the site at Stanford, which is only accepting pediatric patients. Probably different sites have different age requirements.
Good luck, and let us know what New York says...

At 13/7/06, Blogger Judy said...

Anna, Rachel, Bethany - It's great to read these blogs after searching for quite a while for just this kind of forum. I too have a type 1 husband. We've been married for almost 17 years and it has been a roller coaster. He is such a good man -a dedicated volunteer firefighter and the best husband/father a family could ask for. His diabetes has made him the man that he is. Knowing and realizing his immortality has made him the most giving person I know. I only wish he would stop taking care of the rest of the world (at least the rest of the town) and take better care of himself. I almost feel selfish b/c not taking care of himself is not taking care of me and our family in the long run. Thanks for letting me vent.


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