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Switch from MM sensor to Dex G4

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by hawkeyegirl, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

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    So, it's been a little over a week now, and I thought I'd give some thoughts on the G4 as a user who has been using the MM sensors happily for 5 years now.

    Insertion: It's nice that you never see the needle. There is an odd combination of steps, but it's not hard. It's nice that there's no elaborate taping ritual. We pulled the first one after 7 days and it left almost no mark on his skin, as opposed to the MM sensors. I'm sure it would have lasted longer than 7 days, but he was complaining about the tape itching.

    Accuracy: I think it is slightly less accurate than the MM during the first 24 hours. I'm going to insert in the morning from now on for that reason, as it missed some lows during the night the first night both times. After the first 48 hours, I think it is slightly more accurate than the MM. It seems to track highs better, especially. I miss the predictive alarms on the MM, and have set the low at 85 on the Dex to compensate. Many people report readings that are always within a few points, and we are not seeing that, but accuracy is fine. I do like the fact that it adjusts immediately when you calibrate it. I never understood why the MM did not. I should add that we almost always had very good accuracy with the MM, so when I say that accuracy with the Dex is slightly better sometimes and slightly worse at other times, it is also very accurate.

    Alarms: They're louder than the MM, but I was expecting them to be louder than they are the way that people on here talk about them. The biggest downside (and my least favorite thing about the Dex) is that it always vibrates first, and does not alarm for 5 minutes after that. I don't think it realarms as often as the MM does either. I think we would catch lows faster if the damn thing didn't vibrate first. I do not understand why that is not changable.

    Range: It's phenomenal. It reads him on the tennis court during lessons. It read him about half the time in the pool the other day. We got decent range inside with our MM, but outside it was terrible. I think we get 50 feet with the Dex sometimes. This is my favorite feature.

    Receiver: It's basic. None of the information on there that the MM has. No ability to scroll back and see prior readings. No statistics on there, no time to next calibration, no calibration history. The screen is bright and easy to read, except in bright sunlight, when it's very difficult to see. It seems more fragile than the MM. I find myself being very careful with it, whereas we used to toss the Guardian receiver around like a football.

    Overall, we like it, and the positives outweigh the negatives. It's nice to insert it and not think about it again for 7 days, as opposed to having to restart on day 3 and and 6. It's nice that if you miss a cal, it just keeps giving reading. We love the range. Since we're with t:slim now, and he has to carry a second receiver anyway, I think we're going to stay with Dex. Especially since reviews of the Enlite are not exactly outstanding.
     
  2. MomofSweetOne

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    I would suggest calling Dexcom and giving them your feedback. I have found them to be very interested in hearing what people have to say. I was even told they are required to document any comments/feedback given to pass on to their development team.

    I agree with your comments. I don't miss the Sof-sensor insertions and wounds at all!
     
  3. lisanc

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    Thank you so much for your thoughts ... that is getting to be the issue with us, is that I am tired of the wound marks! and I gotta say I am also getting tired of waiting!

    I wonder if the Dexcom is like the Medtronic, in the beginning, I thought accuracy was good but the accuracy really increased the more we used it ... in other words, the more we used it, the better it got.

    Finally, what areas are using for the Dexcom on your son?
     
  4. hawkeyegirl

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    I think it is very possible we will get better accuracy with the Dex the more that we use it. I'm sure there are subtle nuances to calibrating with it (just like there are with the MM) that you learn over time.

    We are putting it on his arm, which is nice. He wore the MM on his bottom for 5 years, and it was looking pretty rough. I just could never convince myself to fire that harpoon in to his little arm, though. It's nice to have new real estate. :) If you try it, you'll be amazed at the tiny little mark that the Dex leaves. I had to really look for it. The difference is really amazing.
     
  5. Mish

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    It's so interesting to see this coming from someone who did have good luck with the MM sensors. I think for most of us the difference is so night and day between what we saw with MM to G4 that it probably accounts for most of the "hype". I know for me it feels like this. We had **** luck with MM so having something accurate is huge.

    This part: no time to next calibration, no calibration history.
    It does show the insertion date/time and last calibration date/time on the "settings -> device info" screen. :)
     
  6. hawkeyegirl

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    Thanks! Knowing the last cal time will be useful. :)

    I think the learning curve with MM is much steeper and longer. I felt like we were still figuring out how to improve accuracy a year into it, and that's with everyday use, and when he was little and in my care most of the time. Dex is easier to use out of the box, for sure. But I suspect that most long-time MM users will not find a huge difference in accuracy. (Which makes sense. I think published accuracy for the Dex is +/-13% and for MM it is +/-18%. In these studies, Dex has an advantage, because it is less fiddly. But with long-term use, I think experienced MM users can whittle that margin of error down closer to the Dex. The learning curve with the Dex is much smaller, so experienced users are probably not at much more of an advantage than newbies with it. That's my theory, anyway.)
     
  7. SarahKelly

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    Now that you've switched how are you guys handling having two different devices to carry? This has been our one trouble spot with Isaac starting Kinder next year, currently he keeps his pump in a t-shirt pocket and we keep the receiver for the dexcom near him, but not on him. I don't think that will work next year in a busy classroom...what did you do or plan on doing?
     
  8. hawkeyegirl

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    He wears a pump pouch for his pump, and we bought a case from tallygear for the Dex that will just slide onto his pump pouch belt. :)
     
  9. Lizzy731

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    Im curious about how accurate the sensor values are when they are rapidly dropping? How far off is the stick when the sensor readings are moving with arrows? Also do you find the arrows disappear as soon as the sensor BG's stabilize or does it take a couple of readings like with the Medtronic?

    Thanks for all your feedback. We are in the process of ordering the Dex
     
  10. hawkeyegirl

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    I think it is more accurate than the MM when BG is moving quickly. With the MM, I know that if there are arrows, the sensor is probably behind BG pretty significantly. With the Dex, there have been more than a few times where there have been arrows and I've checked, and BG has been very close. The lag time seems to be shorter, probably by 7-10 minutes.

    I think it takes a couple of readings for arrows to disappear, similar to Medtronic.
     
  11. Lizzy731

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    Thanks! I am wary of trying the dex because of the larger footprint of tape. Bethany has tape allergies which I manage with cavilon but I don't think I can use it with the sensor. I do an opsite barrier with the Medtronic but that is a very small area of tape.
     
  12. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Just FYI, Maddie would be red and itchy after a few days with the mm sensor tape but can literally go 2 weeks with the G4 sensor without any irritation at all.
     
  13. dianas

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    I had a terrible reaction to Medtronic sensor which initially we thought was adhesive reaction but ended up being an allergy to the Medtronic sensor. I have had no reactions to the Dexcom and I've been using it for about 3 years now. I do have problems with some adhesives though but not others.
     
  14. Lizzy731

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    Thanks for the info about the adhesive. I will be thrilled if Bethany wasn't allergic to the dex adhesive. I am skeptical though as she has a problem with the Omnipod adhesive as well as the Medtronic. We will see...I am so fed up with Medtronic and the inconsistencies that I really want the dex to work.
     
  15. hdm42

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    FWIW, my son has tape allergies and has done well with the Dexcom. We use Hypafix tape on top of the Dex adhesive to keep it from peeling off.
    We can't go longer than 10 days before it starts bugging him, but he does well until then.
     
  16. Melissata

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    Melissa has had issues with the Omnipod for years, but the Dex is fantastic for her. No problems at all with itching or any marks left after two weeks wear. Might be worth a try to see if you can get a sample from Dexcom of just the tape, or maybe someone has an old sensor that they could send you. I finally just tossed mine, they were expired anyway but would have been perfect for you to try out.
     
  17. Lizzy731

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    That's a good idea about getting a tape sample I will try that thanks
     
  18. Gomod71

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    My son is another one that recently switched.

    He too had horrible tape sensitivity with the Minimed sensor. The Dex has worked out beautifully for us in many ways. No irritation or sensitivity is just a bonus!

    Thumbs up here!
     
  19. SarahKelly

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    Thanks :) We're still trying to figure this one out as he refuses to wear a pump pouch. We currently have the Dexcom in the Tallygear case, but just leave it in the room(s) he's going in the most, in our small home it works well, but I can't imagine a teacher remembering it all the time.
    Sometime I need to ask you more about transitioning to Kinder. I am overwhelmed, but know it will work - there is just so much to figure out.
     
  20. SarahKelly

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    Isaac has very sensitive skin and with the Medtronic he'd have the exact shape of the tape left on his skin in a huge welt. I was prepared for a similar rxn with the dex, but nope, however, it doesn't stay long on his skin without something under it. Now we put IV300 under with a small hole in the center for the wire to go through...and oddly, he can only use this method with the CGM, tried it with the sure-t site and he ended up with an irritated site. There must be something different reacting with the glue on medtronics materials.
    Not sure if that helps, but we've been pleasantly pleased with the switch.
     

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