A lot of people have asked me to update once I figured out how to manage my pretty severe allergy to the dexcom adhesive. So I figured I would post an update to my ongoing saga.
Feel free to scroll past this info if you want.
Background info: Around 3 weeks into dexcom use I suddenly developed an allergy to the adhesive. In the outline of the adhesive I had a burn mark that blistered (and left a scar I still have). It was on my upper arm and I also had hives up and down my arm as well as my neck as well as a generalized red itchy rash (but very minor compared to the hives).
Now: I was gchating with my cde on thursday and she suggested trying to get the dex to work sooner rather then later to deal with some pretty scary lows the medtronic is just not catching in time. It just so happened that, that night I was working with 2 guys who went to my college and came back to visit who happen to be er docs. We were all hanging out at my house and figured it might be a nice project to remove the adhesive and see what we could do. I was fine with it since I was in pretty great hands if I were to have any sort of reaction.
DISCLAIMER: I 100% don't recommend doing this without speaking to your doctors. This is probably not the most responsible thing I have ever done. And I am pretty sure dexcom would not approve of this in any way.
A side note here: I get hives on my hands from touching the adhesive. I wore latex gloves for this whole thing and changed them between steps. The guys made sure not to touch my skin without changing gloves.
To remove the adhesive, we first just tore it off. We then used a uni-solve wipe to get the rest off. We then used some wax remover I found in an old home eyebrow waxing kit to remove the rest. It was then cleaned with alcohol prep and sterile water several times and the bottom and sides of the sensor were covered with 3 layers of opsite tape.
For my skin we put down 2 criss crossing layers of opsite tape. We then put down a piece of opsite tape sticky side up and taped 2 edges.
We then removed the green back of the tape and taped the other sides.
We then placed the sensor on top of the sticky part and inserted. We attached the transmitter and taped over with opsite tape. 1 piece in each direction.
My boyfriend did all of the touching of the sensor for the process of inserting it.
The entire process took around 20 minutes. But we were fooling around a lot so it could probably take under 10 if you were actually concentrating.
Results: I have had close to perfect accuracy. It is putting the medtronic sensor to shame with regards to catching lows. I have not had such great blood sugars in forever. I am on day 4 now with no reaction of any kind. My skin looks great under the tape.
Reason we used the 7+ instead of G4: Well first the G4 is at home not at school and we gave away the sensors once we realized I was allergic. And, I have a bunch of expired 7+ sensors a friend gave me so I figured we wouldn't be wasting a sensor if it didn't work. I am not really sure how this could be any more accurate any way. I am finding little to no delay- maybe 5-6 minutes at the most for highs. Other then some wacky extreme numbers the first 12 hours it has been +/- 10 points for every single bg check. Since I got hives from touching the adhesive for this sensor I am assuming whatever I am allergic to is in both adhesives.