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Dexcom - I'm in love

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Anja821, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. Anja821

    Anja821 Approved members

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    After 7 months on the medtronic CGMS, we've thrown in the towel and switched to the Dexcom. First, I was amazed at how easy the process was! I called Dexcom on a Thursday and had the unit on Wednesday! Six days! Insurance covered 80%, which I can live with considering the medtronic was such a disaster. It was worth the investment.

    We didn't go to training at the diabetes center; the online training was sufficient. The system is very easy to use. Most important is that the sensor is ACCURATE. We've had instances with the medtronic where the difference between BG and sensor was 150 points! It was completely unreliable, and we found we were doing as many finger sticks as we were without the sensor. So far with the Dexcom, we've had differences of no more than 50 points.

    With swimming over the holiday weekend, Evan kept the sensor on without issues, even with being in and out of the water and on/off the pump/receiver. The sensor stayed accurate.

    I finally feel the freedom that the medtronic just couldn't deliver. Evan is having a tonsillectomy on the 11th and will keep the sensor on. I won't be worrying as much about his BGs during the surgery.

    I can finally send him to his friend's house right off the bus and be confident that no matter who I leave him with, he'll be safe.

    Just had to share this... I'm really feeling so thrilled!!! Thanks for listening :)
     
  2. timsma

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    We also jumped ship from the MM cgm a year ago. Best thing we ever did! The navigator is accurate and very easy to use as well. The MM one was way too much work for very poor accuracy for us. And to not know just WHEN it was deciding to be accurate was frustrating for sure. I could never trust the readings without doing a finger poke. Now on the navigator, he doesn't have to do as many pokes because it is accurate.
     
  3. sammysmom

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    I continue to think it must have something to do with body chemestry. Some people have absolutely no problem at all with the MM and it is a great device for them. Sam has the dex, which is totally accurate on him but when we did the navigator, it was a disaster for us even when others were raving about how accurate and spot on it was. I am glad you found a device that works for you!!
     
  4. emm142

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    Glad you're having more luck with the dexcom - although I personally find the accuracy on the MM to be about as good as it can get, I've spoken to people who didn't find that it worked for them. I think different systems just work better for different people - as we all know, YDMV!
     
  5. GinaB

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    We love the Dexcom. Very accurate and reliable for Joseph. The only problem I've experienced is if we do a sensor change close to bedtime we get ??? Much of the night. The next day when he starts moving his arm around it works great. This stressed me out the first couple of times and we'd do another sensor change after three hours. Once I read about other people's experiences I learned to wait until morning and it will work. It's much less stressful if you go to bed prepared for ??? most of the night.
     
  6. KHM

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    So...would anyone care to be more explicit about what made you unhappy (other than accuracy) about the MM? We're close to making a decision and I'd like to have some real world use of these devices before we commit.

    Also, someone mentioned that switching cost them only 20%---is this after your insurance had paid some amount for the one you were ditching? I'm just worried about what would happen if the device we choose to go with doesn't work for us and we need to switch...

    I'd appreciate any input---if folks would just say what CGM they use and what they do and don't like about it...that would help!
     
  7. Flutterby

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    I think this is definitely a case of YDMV.. we've used MM pumps for over 4 years and the cgms for 2.5 years.. VERY accurate for kaylee.. we went from testing 15+ times a day to 8 times a day (and we'd cut it down more, but DH is OCD and HAS to test her at certain times.).. what works for one may not work for others.. I am glad that you have found a system that works well for you.. and I agree.. I think it must have something to do with the body chemistry/build or something of the like.
     
  8. Wendyb

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    We have been MM CGM users for a couple of years now. One difference to be aware of is the calibration difference between the dex and the MM. The MM has to be calibrated when BG's are stable. This system will not be accurate if it is calibrated during rising or falling BG's. The Dex system (from what I have read) can be calibrated during BG changes or stable BG's. Some parents may find this a value due to the ease. If we were not integrated with the MM pump and my son was willing to wear an additional device, we would be more open to the other devices. However, the MM works well for us so we are sticking with it.
     
  9. Melissata

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    We have not used the Minimed system, but used the Navigator for over a year and now using the Dexcom. The Dex can be calibrated with bg of 40-400 which is great. We used to have problems getting Navigator calibrated if she were anywhere in the 70 range. Also, you don't lose reading on the Dex if you don't do the calibrations on time, and I believe that you do with Minimed. I know that you do with Navigator. The Dexcom can be restarted without removing it and we don't use any additional tape until about a week in. The last sensor stayed in almost 3 weeks. Dex is super simple and you don't have to know anything about ISIG. The numbers on the display are large. My daughter finds it very comfortable. The insertions are not painful for her at all. Most people do find the Minimed is and some use numbing cream. Hopefully these companies will all keep improving these products.
     
  10. Flutterby

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    We've never had a problem calibrating an 'unstable' numbers.. we try not to do it with double arrows and when I know she's moving fast.. but we have calibrated, many of times, with one arrow, while doing a correction and before meals.. Maybe we're special because we have no problems with this. :cwds:
     
  11. hawkeyegirl

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    MM has predictive alarms, has the ability to set different high/low thresholds by different times of the day, and has the most information available on the receiver. Also, it has a 40 minute memory so that if you go out of range and come back in within 40 minutes, you don't lose any data. Oh, you don't have to know anything about the ISIG. It's just a really useful tool if you do. Also, the MM receiver (if you get the Guardian) allows you to have a "parent monitor" while still having integration with the pump. Also, if you pump with MM, all of your pump and sensor data is integrated. It makes it much easier to make sense of sensor data when your pump info is on your reports too.

    You might want to PM Diana. She has used the Navigator, the Dex, and is currently trialing the MM. She's like the CGM guru on here. ;)
     
  12. saxmaniac

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    We have used both the Guardian and the 7+.

    We had reception problems with the MM. The dex we could easily leave on a table in a room that he's in, or even a room away, and we'd get readings. This is great for a playing kid in the house. As he bounces from room to room I still could get some readings, and if not, I could move the receiver to "catch up" with him. The Dexcom passively reconnects if it is out of range briefly. You'll lose some readings, but once it's near it will pick up new readings with no effort.

    The MM would fail to read at that distance, so we had to have it in his pocket all the time. This would be fine if it was integrated with his pump, but he doesn't use an MM pump.

    Even with it being on him, it would frequently disconnect. Yeah, the transmitter was charged. Maybe it was poor placement but we had 4 sensors that all acted the same. The problem with the disconnection is that you have to go through a "find lost sensor" routine. On the positive side, if it was disconnected for less than 40 minutes, all that data is kept.

    But that it didn't matter. Pound for pound, we lost more of data on the MM than on the Dex.

    For example, he might be outside playing for a few hours. If some thing happened where the sensor couldn't read for 40 minutes, then he might come in, and we wouldn't notice it was disconnected until the next time we went to look at it, which might be a few hours later.

    For swimming and sports I think the MM is better, as you can have them come back to where the receiver is, take a break, and a catch up on the _all_ old readings. With the dex the readings are lost, but even 1 reading per hour is enough to read a good trend. We found the auto-reconnection to be a really key feature.
     
  13. hawkeyegirl

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    Scott, the MM auto-reconnects within the 40 minute period. After that, you do have to do "Find Lost Sensor", but it does alarm when you lose the sensor.

    I've said before that I think you had a faulty transmitter. We easily get 10-12 feet, and sometimes more. With him carrying it, you should have never lost the signal for more than 40 minutes. It was a bad/dying transmitter. It's too bad that was your only experience with the MM.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  14. saxmaniac

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    RIght. Alex ignores the alarms, so it became unworkable unless we were on top of him the entire day.

    That makes a lot of sense, I had thought at the time charging it up would take care of that.
     
  15. Flutterby

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    I agree with Karla, it sounds like you had a bad transmitter.. Using the 'find lost sensor' if you happen to be out of range for 40minutes or more is really easy.. it just picks up where it left off.. if you hit 'new sensor' then you need to do a calibration before you start to get readings..

    We have great distance on our.. we do leave it in a central location in the house, she may lose a signal while furthar away, but as soon as she walks by or comes closer, it starts reading again.. LOVE that it can hold up to 40min of data.. we hardly ever lose information..

    To bad your experience wasn't better.
     
  16. saxmaniac

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    Right. We did figure this out, but by then we'd be out 2-4 hours of readings. I was thinking it couldn't possibly be that bad. Good to know, and get that out of the way.

    However, getting 1 week out of a sensor with no restarts is really nice... our first Dex sensor just worked the entire week right off the bad.
     
  17. Flutterby

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    Thats great.. I'm hoping that when MM releases their new sensor that it'll also be approved for 7 day use. I really don't mind the restart on day 3 because it only takes 5minutes..

    If you were having to restart after a lost sensor and it was taking 2 hours it to ask for a bg cal then there was definitely something wrong with that transmitter.. the 2 hour warm up starts when the green blinking light blinks at the original connection..
     
  18. saxmaniac

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    The missing 2-3 hours was not the startup time, it was time between the sensor disconnecting, and when we finally noticed it was disconnected. I figured out how to do lost sensor pretty quickly.
     
  19. Melissata

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    That is one of the best parts for sure, and to do a restart only requires telling the system to stop and then start again. We never tried to do restarts on the Navigator because it just didn't make sense to try, having to wait 10 hours for warm up and then maybe not getting the full 5 days. We don't get any more than the 5 feet range though, so don't really try anymore. We all could design the BEST CGM though, with all of the best features of the 3!
     
  20. Anja821

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    We use the Emla numbing cream for the sensor insertions. MM was easier to put in initially, but now that I've figured out the Dex, it's getting better. Evan's only on his second sensor.

    The MM transmitter gets charged with every sensor site change which MM recommends doing every 3-6 days for about 20 minutes. The dexcom transmitter does NOT get charged at all and can be worn for 7 days (though I'm seeing some people leaving it in longer). The Dex transmitter is supposed to last a year before needing to be replaced. I don't know the cost of that, however.

    MM can be set to alarm for highs/lows. Dexcom alarms can be set for falling or rising BGs as well. That is an awesome feature. It also has multiple arrow indicators - rising/falling slowly, rapidly, or if steady.

    Having an integrated device such as the MM is convenient because one upload to the MM carelink site creates reports for the doc to review. Having the MM insulin pump requires one upload and the Dex reports are on a separate upload/report.

    We had many problems with getting the MM sensor started. It got to a point where I would insert the site, attach the transmitter, but not start the sensor until morning when it had several hours to soak up the body fluid.

    Starting the dex the first time took 3 hours (book said 2). The second time also took a little over 2 hours.

    Another plus is the dex can be calibrated at any time, not just when sugars are stable, which with a child constantly eating, is impossible to do on the MM.

    Hope this helps! Good luck with your decision!
     

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