Saturday, March 10, 2012

Phase I: Complete!

Today marks the day that the first process for the trial begins. Today I had my continuous glucose monitors (CGM) inserted under my skin. I woke up an hour and a half before my alarm even went off, which is kind of a big deal because to be honest I quite enjoy sleeping in. Yet at 6:30am I was wide awake and ready to get this thing started. I picked up my friend Carey for the 2.5 hour hike out to Charlottesville and it was real. I was really on my way and really going to do this. I've been completely terrified of having the CGMs inserted, since it's basically a fiber under my skin that's attached to a sensor, and can anyone really say they would be thrilled to have something foreign hanging out under their skin if they didn't have to? So for the past few days it's really all I could think about. And I'm pretty sure from the second she got in the car Carey could tell I was freaking out a little, but the kind of freaking out where you try to hide it and be brave because you know that what you're freaking out about is actually something really great. Either way I am clearly terrible at hiding how I'm feeling so to help calm my nerves Carey and I pulled out all the stops on the drive there. Wawa breakfast, Hanson blasting on the radio, you know, the usual stuff that two girls from NJ do on a road trip. It totally worked. I can't say that I wasn't still sort of a mess getting to the office to have the CGMs inserted, but I think I was more excited than I had been at any point so far.

Molly, a nurse and my main contact in the research team met with us and after all my worrying the whole thing took about 5 minutes and the two sensors were attached to my stomach and I didn't feel a thing and FINALLY I could breathe. Well for a couple days at least. In case you don't know, the purpose of these CGMs is to check my sugar every few minutes and send a reading to their respective receivers, which is a really cool thing, except that I don't get to see what the readings are until after the trials! Eh, I'll pick my battles. Thankfully Carey is a great photographer so she was able to get some shots that pretty accurately show how I was feeling.

So now I get to carry around not one but two receivers on my belt, which in my dads words look like "those super nerdy cell phone holders" but I prefer to think of them as the most functional fashion accessory available. I still can't believe how fortunate I am to be a part of this. The artificial pancreas is going to be a part of history and I have the opportunity to make a difference and give hope to anyone who's lives are touched by Type 1 Diabetes. It really doesn't get any better in my book.

I can't say the past few days have been easy, but I can say that the love and support that I've gotten from my friends and family and even total strangers has helped make it a lot easier. My dad drove down to DC from NJ today so he's here helping Zach keep me calm. Tomorrow we will load up the car and dad and I will be headed back to Charlottesville to gear up for the trials, and in the meantime I just need to remember to breathe (which is what Zach and dad are here for).

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