I've thought over and over again about this post, and what I should say.
A brief rundown of the events since my last post. At Allison's suggestion and my desperation, I put in new sensor in on Sunday, the 7th. I was hoping to make each sensor last about a week or so, because I had 4 sensors and a month to use them. That sensor seemed to do alright for a day or so, but my blood sugars were also pretty decent. Wednesday, I restarted the sensor, and got another decent day out of it. On Thursday however, everything fell apart. I got a "cal error" at lunch. It showed me in the high 200s, when I knew I was just fine. I had been keeping a close eye on my blood sugar, to see if an ever challenging bagel breakfast bolus was working like it should. I had been consistently clocking in at 100 to 120. Maybe I should haven't have calibrated then, but I was frustrated at it's inaccuracy. Later that day, in a major national exam, the Guardian just went crazy. First, it told me a high glucose was predicted. Whatever, I felt fine, and I was in the middle of this very important exam. Not 15 minutes later, "Fall Rate." This is supposed to mean my blood sugar is falling more than 3mg/dL. Again, I ignored it again. Not 5 minutes later, "Rise Rate." By this point, I was ready to throw the thing out the window. I wasn't supposed to have any electronic devices in the room. I took my chances, and brought the Guardian. Then, I was forced to check it every 5 minutes because it kept alerting. When I got done with the exam (which I passed with flying colors, despite the annoying interruptions) I placed another annoying phone call to Minimed, who did not even want to help me, saying I should contact my doctors office. Finally, she told me I should re-calibrate when I was positive my blood sugars were perfectly level. I felt like telling her- look, I'm diabetic, if I knew when my blood sugars were going to be perfectly level, I wouldn't need technology like the Guardian! She said if I wanted to be completely sure it was back in line with my blood glucose, to restart the sensor. That's what I did. All Thursday night, it alarmed like crazy. First high alarms, then low alarms, all of which were disproved by a fingerstick. After a very frustrating, sleepless night, I tore the sensor out and put the receiver back in the box. I had enough. I kept it off all weekend, while I wrestled with what to do. My ideas ranged from putting it back on, to driving it back to the doctor's office 3 weeks early and telling them never to give it to anyone else. Calling Minimed for help is no longer an option. I've had three unhelpful conversations with them, most ending with them swearing their product is practically flawless, and I must be doing something wrong. Granted, they can't tell me what that is, but it is not their problem. They seem to have a mental barrier to the fact that I did not buy the unit, that I'm only borrowing it. Sorry for the tangent, back to reality.
Sunday, the 14th, I decided to give it another shot. I was going to make sure there was no reason for error. I put the sensor it 4 hours after lunch, with no additional food or insulin. Chances were, my blood sugars were not going far. I waited the 2 hour warm up period, still eating nothing, and taking no insulin. I waited another 45 minutes after the first calibration before I ate anything and took any insulin. I am only calibrating the recommended 2 times a day(I had been doing 3), first time in the morning, after fasting, and now in the evening, which I have also made a fasting time of day to prevent any possible errors. I hate that I am modifying my life to appease a piece of equipment that is supposed to help me. The accuracy has improved minimally. If I am between 80 and 150, it is very close, almost always within the 20% guideline. As soon and I drop out of that range however, the Guardian is way, way off. I realize that even fingersticks are more accurate with normal numbers, but I am talking about a difference of at least 100 points. It still has not caught an actual low. Most of the time, it showed me holding steady in the 80-90 range, while my blood sugar is in the 50's. I have decided to get over my disappointment and move on. The biggest reason I wanted to borrow the Guardian is to get my basals nailed down really well. To do that, my blood sugars should be within the 80 to 150 range anyway. I will continue to monitor my blood sugars like I normally would (not the 20 or so times I did for several days trying to figure out what the heck was going on with the Guardian) and give up on the dream that this equipment could help me prevent highs and lows. Someday maybe it will get there, but it has not arrived for me. Not yet anyway.