DexCom Dispatch: Thank Heaven for Tankinis

I’ve had the dubious good fortune of obtaining my DexCom in the middle of summer, so I’ve been sporting my little black box at the pool a lot. I was so disappointed at having to bypass the bikini collectiTankinion and drag out that single one-piece swimsuit I own, usually reserved for ‘Mommy and Me’ swim class. But last week I suddenly remembered that I actually own a Tankini! Wore it the next day and it worked beautifully.

Except the shower patch poked out a little, and I’m still paranoid about the DexCom getting wet (although it already proved itself), and oh, the shower patches REALLY irritate my skin. Nothing is perfect, right? I still wouldn’t forgo the DexCom for the world.

Why? Because after just three weeks, I am amazed at how well I’m able to steer myself into the target range — right between those little dotted lines on the CGM screen (i.e. 70-220). I am proud and elated to report that I’ve hardly gone over 200 in the last week! And I’ll be damned if this doesn’t translate into a significantly lower A1c.

One sensor copped out on me after a day-and-a-half last week, and I nearly had a conniption fit. Not for the usual customer reasons, you realize, but because I felt cut off from my lifeline, as in: Help!! How in the heck can I stay in range if I can’t continuously monitor my blood sugar?! How will I know what’s happening after meals? How can I tell if I’m going high overnight? Oh, I am soooo hooked.

Thankfully, I was able to re-initialize the DexCom CGM sensor so that my lifeline was back up two hours later, still under the Tankini. Thank heavens for both!


11 Responses

  1. Lyrehca
    Lyrehca July 19, 2006 at 8:11 am | | Reply

    Yep, tankinis are awesome for regular insulin pumps, too, I was pleased to discover a few years back. Let’s hope they never go out of style.

  2. Kathleen Weaver
    Kathleen Weaver July 19, 2006 at 8:38 am | | Reply

    Please go into the “water proofness” of the Dexcom.

    That is one thing that would hold me back from getting one. We have both a pool and a hot tub in our back yand and I use both regularly.

    How does the Dexom work in the pool? Hot tub? Will either destroy the seneor?

  3. AmyT
    AmyT July 19, 2006 at 11:12 am | | Reply

    The DexCom comes with a shower patch that works extremely well for water-proofing, also for swimming! But as noted, it does tend to irritate the skin.

    As far as I know, the sensor cannot be submerged in very hot water, so hot-tubs are a no-go (you can plan to dip on sensor-change days, I guess)

  4. Eric Jensen
    Eric Jensen July 19, 2006 at 1:32 pm | | Reply

    For the sensor that “copped out” – did it give you the “fly away” graphic? In that situation, I’ve had good luck with just restarting the sensor (i.e. just telling the Dex there’s a new sensor in and waiting the requisite two hours). Of course, you need to then check that you’re getting sensible data, but often you can keep going. I’m at day 7 with my current sensor…

  5. Becky
    Becky July 19, 2006 at 2:03 pm | | Reply

    Oh Amy, I have sensor envy!! I may have to rethink my “wait for the Navigator” plan and order a Dexcom because I want one now!! I’m really happy that you are finding it so useful.

    FYI, the family from the Until A Cure Blog (with the 11 year old on a Guardian) was successful in getting insurance reimbursement for the unit and the sensors! !YAY!! There’s hope for the rest of us!

  6. Alexis
    Alexis July 19, 2006 at 6:36 pm | | Reply

    How long have the sensors been working for you? I’ve heard anywhere from 3 to 6 days, and I believe the FDAA says its 3 but Dexcom is applying for an extension on that.

  7. AnnaQ
    AnnaQ July 20, 2006 at 1:47 pm | | Reply

    My husband has had some scares with the shower patch as well. Not so much a problem with women (we hope), but we’ve questioned how watertight the things are over his hairy stomach. Also, it was in the 90′s here yesterday and he was rather sweaty when he put the patch on. He later thought he’d gotten some water in it while showering. (sorry honey for divulging your unsavory details, but anything to help out other PWD!)

    The fact that the transmitter isn’t waterproof really sucks. You’re left with the choice of: 1) wear the shower patch and potentially fritz the $250 transmitter, or 2) unhook the transmitter and have to restart the 2-hour calibration process.

    Btw, my husband was able to use one of his sensors for 10 days. I write more about it in my blog:

  8. Sam
    Sam July 21, 2006 at 8:53 am | | Reply

    I would recommend trying your hip as a place to put the sensor – I think it could help the problems you’re facing. I have been using my hip (on my side/back side an inch or two under my belt line) even though it is not on label. I see 3 big advantages over when I used my stomach
    1) It is completely out of vision for me when I don’t have a shirt on.
    2) It is completely painless to put on (generally).
    3) Gets much less wear and tear for some reason and has lasted much longer. I have been able to use the same sensor for 10 days.
    As for the Navigator – I cannot wait for it to come out (the accuracy issues I’ve had with the STS, the software, etc. just seems like a better product) – but listening to the company’s conference calls they are constantly pushing back expected FDA approval date. It now sounds like it wont be until 4Q06 – which is October or later (they mentioned potentially late 3Q06, but they always seem to overpromise with timing and that seemed like a rhetorical stunt).
    I also agree with the poster who said to just keep reinitiating sensors that seem to fail – they generally work after the 2 hour wait unless they’ve fallen out.

  9. christmasx2
    christmasx2 July 23, 2006 at 3:51 pm | | Reply

    On the accuracy issue, it is my understanding that you get a reading every five minutes. When you get an inaccurate reading, are all of the surrounding readings (before and after) also similarly inaccurate?

    Thanks for the info. I am still debating whether (or when) to jump in.

  10. rach
    rach August 9, 2006 at 11:04 am | | Reply

    If you are think of getting Dexcom think again. It is not accurate. You will go thru strip after strip. And sensor after sensor (they don’t last) $35 a pop!! Readings come and go. Very expensive. I could go on and on. Let them get all the “bugs” out of the system and then try it. It is EXPENSIVE for something that does not work properly. If you are thinking about getting on the pump consider the Mini Med by Medtronic it has the sensors and the meter and the pump and it all works together. The pump is the way to go!!! Dexcom at this time,is not!

  11. MikeG
    MikeG August 10, 2006 at 12:25 pm | | Reply

    I’ve had my Dex since June 2, and it’s been a life-changing device. I use the sensors for 7 – 10 days. I’ve had problems with 2 sensors, which Dexcom replaced. For me, it’s been more accurate, more durable and much more usefull than I expected.

    It handles water better than expected. I run in 100 degree heat, and the sweat doesn’t bother it. I swim, using the shower patches. I had one patch open up while I was doing laps, which meant that the sensor and transmitter were underwater for 10-15 minutes before I noticed. I dried off the area, and 10-20 minutes later it was working fine. You can also pop the transmitter out if you need to and pop it back in without restarting a session.

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