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24 Responses

  1. Bernard Farrell
    Bernard Farrell June 7, 2011 at 7:02 am | | Reply

    I know this is awkward, but I shower with a hand over the sensor. That reduces the issues with it getting washed away especially when it’s a week old and the adhesive is started to fade. Then when I get out of the shower, I try to pat dry the adhesive tap figuring it might help with longevity. Usually get 11-12 days out of a sensor, though last week I made it to 14!

  2. David Downs
    David Downs June 7, 2011 at 7:12 am | | Reply

    I started my Dexcom on Sat. and I’m still enjoying the honeymoon. My accuracy has been good (not perfect) and I’ll have to watch out for the water/shower issues.

    Are you still getting out for rides? If so, how’s the accuracy? I’m getting out on my bike again and I’m so looking forward to “instant” checks on the receiver so I don’t have to stop and test.

    Good luck!

  3. Karen Hoffman
    Karen Hoffman June 7, 2011 at 7:28 am | | Reply

    I’ve noticed the shower thing, but I truly believe it has more to do with unhooking from my pump (even with a little pre-shower bolus) and getting up in the morning. My rise on the weekends is much lower and more smooth and the rise for workdays is much more steep and sticky – I think it has more to do with the adrenaline of shifting from rest to get-up-and-go than anything else!

    Also, the first 24 hours with a sensor are always less than ideal – I try to change out as early in the morning as I can so I don’t have to deal with all the weirdness overnight!

  4. Mike Hoskins
    Mike Hoskins June 7, 2011 at 7:39 am | | Reply

    Noticed those same trends when CGMing. Even when not using one and having no sensor in me, it’s clear that my BG rises and is slow to come down post-shower. The great Shower Power, indeed… but totally worth it when you get a “free” shower out of the deal!

  5. Jana
    Jana June 7, 2011 at 9:13 am | | Reply

    It’s possible that I’m the only idiot who made this mistake, but remember not to calibrate the Dex *too* often (when it tells you and when it’s more than 20% off, according to the rep I spoke to). I was getting “phantom” highs when I exercised when I was feeding it practically every fingerstick I took.

    I haven’t noticed any issues with showers/water/sweat contact, but I do sympathize on the first 24 hours issue. I pretty much never get through the first 24 hours of a sensor without wacky readings and a few (or MANY) hours of ???.

  6. Denise
    Denise June 7, 2011 at 10:07 am | | Reply

    Why is all your testing stuff in the bathroom? Put a meter, strips, and lancet on your nightstand so at least you don’t have to get out of bed. Be sure it has a backlight and port light so you don’t have to turn on the light and wake your hubby. You can just leave it there for middle of the night checks.

  7. Janelle
    Janelle June 7, 2011 at 10:15 am | | Reply

    I had the same sentiments exactly! It was beeping all the time and was highly inaccurate. It showed I was “low” when I was 150, and I never did end up getting low, was showing me really high high’s when there was none. Doctor wants me to buy one, after this trial run, and honestly I don’t knw if it is worth it. She told me that if I was dropping rapidly for like 20 minutes straight, that it will beep with a low, as in predicting what will happen, but when I got it, she told me it just checks it every 5 minutes, so It didn’t sound like she knew what she was talking about either. So I am still on the fence about buying one. I liked seeing the trends, but do I like it enough to have another thing attached to me? Idk.

  8. Sysy
    Sysy June 7, 2011 at 10:26 am | | Reply

    LOL This was written so humorously :D I take 3 minute showers every day and the last minute is cold (helps with circulation in the legs and keeps them lookin’ good!) but the cold also gets the metabolism up a little because the body works harder to keep warm, which in turn helps my blood sugars. Maybe that’s why I always get low in a pool or the ocean.

  9. gretchen
    gretchen June 7, 2011 at 10:42 am | | Reply

    The Dex needs oxygen to get a reading. Hence if you’re lying on the Dex and cutting off the circulation, it won’t read correctly. When I was using a Dex, I started putting it downstairs overnight, and it was much more accurate without all those false lows.

    However, if you’re type 1 and apt to go seriously low, it’s a serious problem. I think the Navigator, which is no longer available, didn’t require oxygen. Maybe people could get together and lobby Dex to use the other system.

  10. Anne Findlay
    Anne Findlay June 7, 2011 at 11:02 am | | Reply

    you gotta get a meter next to you when you sleep! no more stumbling to the bathroom at least.

  11. Lauren
    Lauren June 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm | | Reply

    I have the medtronic CGm and I have the same problems. I always attach a new sensor in the morning so I can deal with all the issues while I am awake. Overall, even with it’s mistakes. I am so glad I have it.

  12. David
    David June 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm | | Reply

    Same problem, I have to choose my sites carefully to get good nighttime coverage. No need to put in the sock drawer, just go to the menu and use Shutdown. This turns off receiver (not sensor) and all of its alarm functions until morning when you want to turn it back on.

  13. Roselady
    Roselady June 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm | | Reply

    Whenever we put in a new sensor, we get ??? while he sleeps the first night. Just about every time. I’ve just grown to accept it.

  14. Sandi
    Sandi June 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm | | Reply

    We had lots of crazy readings and ??? when we first started using the Dex on our daughter. Discovered that it was the insertion method and location causing the problems. She’s a string bean 5 yr old so it’s difficult to find a fatty location! Make sure you are pinching up so that the sensor wire is only in skin/fat and not muscle. Look at the wire when you remove the sensor. If it is bent, you have a problem with your site/insertion method. BTW – you can always silence alarms if you want to.

  15. Bill Halper
    Bill Halper June 8, 2011 at 8:06 am | | Reply

    I’ve been using the Dexcom continuously for almost three years. It’s an amazing tool, but certainly not perfect…I’ve seen everything you’ve described.

    I’ve had spurious nighttime lows most often when I’m sleeping on my side and the the sensor also is on the side facing the mattress. It’s worst when the sensor is between my body and the mattress…I’m guessing, but I think that any pressure interferes with the movement of fluid around the sensor wire and allows the enzymes on the wire to deplete the local glucose levels. The problem is bad enough that I almost always insert the sensor on my left side…I sleep on my right.

    The too-frequent calibration problem seems to have been fixed in the Seven Plus. The algorithm is secret, but, from my discussions with Dexcom, appears to take into account both the frequency of calibration and glucose trend line. The original Seven would get totally messed up if you calibrated it while your glucose values were moving around. The Seven Plus is much better.

    I usually get two weeks use out of each sensor; ten days at the very minimum. When the tape begins to peel, I take an IV3000 dressing, slice it lengthwise, and use half to hold down the upper side of the sensor. Without it, the stream of water in the shower gets between the sensor dressing and the skin and quickly works it free. The IV3000 lasts a shower or two and then I replace it with a fresh piece. If I realy need to hold the sensor in place and keep it dry and clean (think swimming, hiking, camping, etc.), I’ll take a 3M Tegaderm dressing, which is roughly 4×5″ and stick an IV3000 in the middle, adhesive to adhesive. That leaves a sticky ring around the outside and a non-sticky center. I then just stick the whole thing over the Dexcom sensor. It’s not pretty, but it works.

    Lastly, until this thing gets bullet-proof accurate, I’d never use it to calculate dosing. The trend information, though, is invaluable. Being able to see how different foods affect BG levels over time has allowed me to tune insulin dosage to a degree that I never could before. Even with the occasional bizarreness, it’s wonderful.

  16. Melitta
    Melitta June 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm | | Reply

    Hi Amy: I just started the Dexcom, and am only on my second sensor. I have found it to be amazingly accurate! I had used the Medtronic Guardian two years ago, and experienced the problems that you are describing, but the Dexcom has been a completely different and better experience. My main problem is how I react to all this information. I am trying to learn to “observe” and not react. I hope things improve for you, Amy.

  17. Bob
    Bob June 8, 2011 at 8:12 pm | | Reply

    I use Masisol and the adhesive lasts as long as the Dexcom sensor (two weeks). I swab it on with a q- tip before inserting the sensor and it works just fine.

  18. Charles
    Charles June 9, 2011 at 11:16 am | | Reply

    HELP – I heard about a diabetic supply company http://www.diabeticcare.com I just wanted to know if anyone has ever used this site and what they think about it. From what I can see they look good but I want some input. Thanks

  19. Kathy
    Kathy June 10, 2011 at 5:07 am | | Reply

    I’ve used the Dexcom for almost 3 years and have seen many of the issues others have described above. I must be weird however, because I go “low” during a shower provided I am around 100 before I start my shower – go figure that one out. I’ve also found that 3M makes a tan colored tape that can easily be cut into narrow strips to put over the Dexcom adhesive. I’ve been lucky in that I often get 14 – 30 days out of my sensors. Since I am self funded that part is appreciated. Sure wish Medicare would see fit to help out with paying for part of the CGMS.

  20. Giles
    Giles June 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm | | Reply

    When I had my Dexcom 7 plus I used Glad Press ‘n Seal to cover the sensor for most of my shower (I took it off just to wash there at the end) and I didn’t have any trouble. I can’t conclude that this helps accuracy issues, but it is pretty simple to try.

  21. Anonymity Contractually Obligated
    Anonymity Contractually Obligated June 12, 2011 at 6:03 am | | Reply

    The operating temperature of a sensor will absolutely effect the signal output. Significantly. Since skin temperature rarely fluctuates drastically or quickly, this is a factor that most won’t ever take in to account. A hot tub, a dip in to cold water, a shower- etc will cause you sensor to go up or down, depending. Remember that your sensor is carrying out a complex electrochemical reaction very close to the surface of your skin. Estimate 5% change per degree change in skin temperature. That’s on the high side, but not by much.

  22. Melanie
    Melanie July 31, 2011 at 6:00 pm | | Reply

    I’ve had my Dexcom for about 3 weeks so I have a couple of questions.

    Today is the second time I’ve gotten ??? The first time I called Dexcom, they asked a few questions told me to remove it and sent me a new one. Today it’s 4 hours after insertion and I’m getting ??? WTH? Any chance it will recover from ??? without me having to change it again?

    Also, some of you are saying you’re getting your sensors to stay in for 10 – 14 days. What’s the trick? Mine shuts down after 7 days.

    Nonetheless, I do like observing my trends. I’ve gotten to the point while I’m sleeping, unless it alarms low, I don’t get up to check :)

  23. Debi
    Debi September 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm | | Reply

    I too am new at this cam. I just started my second week and changed my sensor. I thought that I had to change after 7 days. That is what my diabetes educator told me and sordid the deacon as the time approached. So, I too would like to hear more about how you are making yours last longer.

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