Sorry for the awkward selfie but see that disc on the backside of my arm?  That little guy has a sensor that is constantly monitoring the level of glucose in my interstitial fluid–a CGM, or continuous glucose monitor.  It’ll be with me for at least the next 4 weeks.  My labs have (luckily…) never shown an elevated A1C but I was curious how often my blood sugar may be spiking and if my low dose steroids are affecting anything in regards to blood sugar stability. A cortisol surge can naturally increase your blood sugar, and–thanks to autoimmunity wreaking havoc on my endocrine system–all my cortisol now comes from synthetic sources dosed throughout the day. I’m interested in what trends will surface over the next month and what connections I can make to how I’m feeling.

Public Service Announcement: Did you know that almost anyone can get one of these?  If you’re willing/able to pay a little bit out of pocket, you don’t have to be prediabetic or go through insurance/doctor approval. There are multiple private sector companies (Levels, Veri and more coming I’m sure) that don’t take insurance but do have the medical staff on board to screen the necessary details.  And they’re *so* much easier to work with than insurance.

We moved away from traditional insurance years ago and I was commenting recently how glad I am that we did.  My thinking about health interventions now has very little to do with what insurance will reimburse but rather what my body will benefit most from.  (And we do still have coverage through a sharing ministry for the big stuff.) If I were going through a more mainstream model for preventative care, my doctor would likely see no value in this device since I’m not close to being diabetic and that’s the only reason insurance approves them.  And maybe nothing earth-shattering will surface.  But if I pay attention and make the most out of this month-long investment, I will learn how my body metabolizes glucose and how other factors like stress and exercise contribute to increased blood sugar for me.

The thing that surprised me most on day 1 was that my glucose went markedly up at about 9:45pm.  I hadn’t eaten since about 7:30 so was confused, until I realized I’d been taking a hot epsom salt bath, and the water was actually on the extra hot side (and hence a little stressful) for the first 2 minutes or so.  Not necessarily bad or good, just interesting.

While I’m doing so, so much better than I was last year (before being diagnosed with primary adrenal insufficiency), I still have enough unpredictably hard days–despite being on all the right meds per the textbook protocol–that I’m not done digging into whatever I can to better understand my own body.  Plus I’m just curious and this is something I’ve been wanting to do for years.

So here we go!  I got mine through Veri and am excited to see what else I learn…

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