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Getting a DexCom

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mom2Av, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Mom2Av

    Mom2Av Approved members

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    Hi, we are still fairly new to all this, diagnosed in January, started pumping in August, managed to get a Dex later this week. Whew, been a learning year! So, with the Dex....what do I need to know? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Just a little background, my ds is 10 1/2 and is learning to do well w/ carb counting and putting everything in the pump. We did a 3 day trial w/ DexCom, per insurance and he liked being able to look at the screen and see where he is, w/out finger poking. Although we found the Dex and the finger could be off 20-50 points either direction. I'm guessing we will learn when we can trust the DexCom and when we can't. I've seen a thread about no Tylenol, throws readings off. Did I imagine that? What other little things have you learned that you can pass along?! THANKS!!
     
  2. Ndiggs

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    Yep, nothing with Acetaminophen (includes tylenol but lots of cold stuff too). May want to look at tape for the sites as they can start to come loose towards the end of the seven days.

    Remember not to put in a BG reading if you check and the number on the dexcom is within 20% of the reading on the meter.

    Oh and for us the first day on a new sensor is usually way off on the Dexcom for us.
     
  3. TheFormerLantusFiend

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    You can calibrate with numbers that are within 20%. I don't calibrate right after it recovers itself if it's been going ???

    But I think Dexcom is pretty user friendly and you don't need to know much. It'll be okay if you calibrate it more often or less often. You may want to know that you can restart the sensor- after it times out after the week is up, you can just press "Start new sensor" and it won't know that it's an old sensor. Dexcom will replace sensors that fail if it wasn't your fault and sometimes even if it is, if they fail pretty quickly- so call if they fail.
    The Dexcom receiver is not waterproof. The transmitter is waterproof ONLY if it is attached to the sensor.
    The Dexcom software is pretty neat but if a receiver breaks and you have a different receiver, it won't believe that you're the same person and it won't combine your data from two different receivers.
     
  4. Richard157

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    I had a very hard time getting any agreement between my Dexcom and my meter with my first few sensors. Then i found a Dexcom Users group with over 700 members. I learned things there that are not in the manual. My Dexcom was giving me much more accurate results after that. If you want to join the Dexcom group you will have to join the following site: http://www.tudiabetes.org. Once you are in the site click on "Groups" at the top of the page and scroll down to find the Dexcom group. Join the group and ask your questions. There are many pages of questions and replies. Back pages have valuable information, if you have time to read them. The topics listed will help you decide which discussions migh help.
     
  5. diabeticmeg

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    I understand how you feel. I got a dexcom within 6 months of diagnosis and a pump 6 months after that. So understand that its really tough right now but it really does get easier. And all the technology you have at your fingertips will help a lot.

    That being said, I love my dexcom. Here's what you should know. Use a skin prep before applying to help extend the life of the sensor. I also put tegaderm around it as it starts to lift (never put tape or tegaderm over the sensor but around it on the sticky part is fine). And as someone else mentioned, as long as it keeps reading, keep it on as long as possible. Just restart it when it says to replace the sensor.

    I still finger test before just about every meal and calibrate it in the receiver. I was told that the more information you give it, the "smarter" and more accurate it gets. Obviously, if your child is ever acting funny (high or low) and dexcom says otherwise, do a finger stick. Every once in awhile it is off for no apparent reason. But that is rare.

    Keep the receiver within 5 feet of your child so it reads accurately. The BEST part of the dexcom is the arrows. It helps you make good decisions when you can see if the glucose is stable, rising or falling. Keep in mind that if it is rising or falling quickly, there is a slight delay in the receiver to reflect that. But I find this especially helpful before bed or when I am running around at work.

    You will love the dexcom as you get more familiar with it. Don't let it replace fingersticks completely though, as tempting as that is. This is a fairly new technology that they are working on improving.

    Oh, one last thing a CDE told me, if it always works really well in one spot, you can continue to use that spot. The little wire that is under the skin to read the glucose level does NOT cause scar tissue the way insulin can if you repeatedly inject in the same place. I rotate it just so I can have my pump on one side and the dexcom on the other but this is not necessary.

    Good luck!! We're here to help!!
     
  6. Ndiggs

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  7. Michelle'sMom

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    I agree with Richard. The Dexcom group at tudiabetes.org has been a huge help for us. Even if you don't join the site or group, reading there is a real learning experience & well worth the time.

    Calibrating: I find that if we calibrate several times during the first 24 hrs of a new sensor, it's much more accurate. Other than that first day, we calibrate before breakfast & dinner, & when the readings are way off. We've also had better luck when we insert the sensor at bedtime, but wait until morning to start it. We get amazing accuracy most of the time.

    Site prep: We used IV Prep before insertion for the first month. After reading at tudiabetes & a few other sites, I finally realized the IV Prep was probably part of the reason the accuracy was off, & we rarely got a sensor to last more than 4 or 5 days without an error. We use betadine wash or hibiclens to wash the area, let it air dry & then apply liquid Skin Tac (we "paint" an oval leaving the center open). We don't have problems with skin issues or with having the sensor tape peeling up.

    The less movement you have with the sensor itself from day 1, the better the readings. It also extends the sensor life. We use the Skin Tac & Hypafix tape from day 1. Average life of a sensor for us is 14 days. Longer sensor life = fewer sticks for my child.

    We rarely see the famous ???s but when we do, we move the receiver out of range for about 15 mins, then bring it back in range. The ???s almost always clear.
     
  8. Mom2Av

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    THANKS for all the great suggestions! Hopefully everything will get here today, and we will be working by tomorrow! I really appreciate all the support. Happy Holidays! :)
     

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