My CGM has changed real estate. While it says it is only approved for use on your abdomen, I know that people have had success wearing it other places, such as their arm. This cold weather has left my skin rather dry and sensitive to the tape. For this reason, I decided to switch things up and move the sensor to my arm, giving my stomach a slight break. This is a move that I have done once before, with assistance. Inserting the sensor isn’t exactly difficult, but it does have multiple steps. Push down on the plunger like piece then pull back up removing the needle. Hold down the two side pieces while you pull off the top plunger piece and snap the sensor into the plastic piece. Then I always cover it with another piece of tape, fitting the hole around the sensor. Not necessarily difficult, but also a process that typically requires two hands. When inserting the sensor on your arm, you can obviously only then use one hand, making this feat much more challenging.
This time though, I didn’t want to ask for help. I was going to do it one handed. And I did. And it was hard. At one point, I had the needle pushed into my arm, but I couldn’t get the piece to pull back up. The apparatus was just hanging from my arm, held on by the tape as I stood there taking deep breaths, silently coaching myself through the task. Then the piece wasn’t disconnecting, I tried jiggling it with one hand, trying to get it to cooperate. And the tape, yea it’s hard with one handed and limited vision to line up a piece of tape so that the hole fits exactly over the sensor while still lying flat everywhere else.
So why didn’t I ask for help? Well because I know this is something I need to be able to do on my own. I started a new job this week (which is partially why it has taken so long to post this week). In a few months I hope to move to the city where I am working. While I’ve always lived with someone else, whether it was my family or roommates, I’m now looking at places by myself. The thought is half terrifying and half exciting. But living alone means that there won’t be someone there to help me insert the sensor in my arm. Or to keep an eye on me when I’m feeling low. Or grab me orange juice when I need it. I am independent when it comes to my diabetes; I know I can take care of myself. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have these moments where I catastrophize a situation. What if I drop so low that I pass out, no one will even know. How long before someone realizes or finds me? Granted in 13 years of living with diabetes, I’ve never passed out, but I can’t help my mind from jumping to the worst case scenarios. But I’m not one to let the “what ifs” (especially the irrational ones) or my diabetes hold me back.
For some, independence is being able to support yourself financially or living on your own. For others, independence means being able to jab a sensor in your arm with one hand.