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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Love/Hate relationship with Dexter

I am having a serious love/hate relationship with our new Dexcom that we have been using for 3 weeks now. We get good numbers sometimes. Sometimes we get good arrows telling us when he is rising or crashing. But the rest of the time I am getting woken up at 2 am with beeps for crazy "imaginary" low blood sugars or beeps in the daytime for lows/highs that aren't there. Sometimes I get ???, no arrow at all or LOW despite normal sugars.  I try to recalibrate, I try to change the sensor, I try to call tech support (very sweet people BTW), but at the end of it all I just want to throw the stupid thing in the toilet and get a new one. So far this Dexcom, AKA Dexter by Parker, is just driving me crazy and prompting me to poke his sweet little finger way more ofter to than I should have to in order to get Dexter recalibrated. Super frustrating!

Any tips?


  1. I understand! So far, I am loving my Medtronic sensor. It has been pretty "on" for the most part...except for today. I think it may have been pooping out since it was the 5th day, but it showed me high, which match my meter, so I gave a small correction, then proceeded to drive home. 5 min later, my sensor showed I was in the 140s and dropping fast with a predictive low. It's not even supposed to alert me of a low at that level, but I double checked and sure enough it was waaay off. 5 min later and it showed me at 58!! I was freaking out a little, but my meter still showed me in the 200s. It has never been that far off, so I decided to switch out my sensor...hopefully it will be ok now!

    I'm not sure how the dex works in comparison, but I do love medtronic's version so far. I won't tell you how many times I tested my BG while driving because I was worried maybe the sensor was right and my meter was off. So nervewracking!

  2. Hang in there. Where are you placing the sensor? I have found Joe's arm to be the best spot. Back of the arm, pinch the skin way up and once the adhesive is applied you crank that inserter WAY back. You want to insert into the subcutaneous tissue...not muscle.

    Now, with that being isn't always roses. Sometimes we have AWESOME sensors and sometimes they suck. I use them mostly for "trending"...but have been having great luck lately, so I have been using them for "boosting" as well. I have Joe's high limit set for 300. I am not sure if you could just turn off Parker's high limit at night...if I remember right he is on shots and has long-acting insulin on board so DKA isn't as imminent for him. If you find you aren't "correcting" him at may give you less "sleep interruptions" to turn off the high alarm while you sleep...I dunno...I hope this helps. Chin up. You are doing grand.

  3. We have the Dexcom on Ellie too (age 4, diagnosed 1 year ago). We put hers on her butt and have never tried anywhere else. It is a love hate for us too. We have good times with Dexter and not so good times with Dexter. We use it more for trending as Reyna mentioned. If I find a sensor is running really well we'll rely on it a little heavy and not finger poke as often...but this rarely happens! We have her low setting at 100 and her high turned off. One reason I turned the high off is because we are always checking her and I didn't want her to be in constant stress from the alarms going off from post meal spikes or what have you when we are pretty much already aware of the issue and wouldn't act on it at the time the alarm went off anyway (we use the Omnipod pump too). I struggle with the low setting because a CGM is at least 15 minutes behind in the actual BG reading so if it's saying 100 we can potentially be really much lower than that 100, but again at home she is carefully watched and we catch on to the low numbers long before Dexter gets there. If she's at school I tell them to start finger poking at 140 with any down arrow combination because she will be lower most of the time. There is a book you should look into getting that may help (it helped me a lot!). Beyond Fingersticks, The Art of Control with Continuous Glucose Monitoring by William Dubois. He is a little "spicy" but knows his stuff and says it like it is! Hope this helps and keep your chin up the CGM's are really really helpful over all I think! I wish everyone had access to them! ((hugs))

  4. Ally uses the Medtronic CGM, so my experience is with that and not Dex. We love our CGM, but we have days like that too once in a while. When we get numbers that far off, it usually is my cue to change sensors. Once in a while if we get a more "bloody" insertion, it will take a lot longer for the cgm and meter to be in sync.

    We do have more good days than bad with the cgm. Hope you can find some answers to help you with Dex.