I just got a call from my insurance company saying I’ve been approved for a Dexcom G5! Aaaaaaaaah! I’m super excited; I’ve been wanting a CGM for a while.
I’m also a bit nervous. I don’t do very well with needles (ironic, right?), so the insertion process scares me a bit; there’s also so much that I just don’t know about it yet. Where should I wear it? Do I really have to change it as often as they say, or can i go longer? How good is the bluetooth range?
So many questions! I would really appreciate any tips, info, reassurance, etc.
Thanks so much!!
Should I say “Congratulations Abby!”, or just wish you well with your new device and extend hopes that your experience will be successful.
From what I’ve seen you write, I see that you are very ‘with it’ and know that a CGM will not manage your diabetes, but that it will give you plenty of information to digest and figure how it best works for you. Yeah, plenty of info - maybe too much at first so just take it bit by bit until you are comfortable.
Hesitant with needles? I am to, even though the year before I began pumping my logs indicated that I had taken close to 2,000 injections - and then figure what I have done since 1957 when we used, and reused for years “horse needles” that had to be boiled before use.
I have the CGM but I don’t wear it all the time. I don’t like to wear it all the time but I only wear it when I notice my blood sugars are off so I can see the trend of levels and fix fix my doses. I was very hesitant to wear the CGM too but what I normally do when I wear it is I ice where I’m going to out it, then let it dry so it numbs the skin and I don’t even feel the needle going in. It says to keep it on for 7 days but it will give you an alert on the CGM to tell you when to change it. On Dexcoms website, there are so many useful videos to watch to see the inserting process and the bluetooth and all that other stuff to get it started. The main things I didn’t like about it was I used the dexcom app on my phone so I had to keep bluetooth on the whole time which drained my battery. Also, the calibration process in the beginning took forever and I have a very busy schedule so I didn’t have the time to get it started. Now the CGM is not for everyone, but it is very worth it.
Thanks so much Dennis! Your reply was very reassuring and certainly made me grateful for the technology I have. Fingers crossed for a good experience!!
Thanks for the info Brittany! The ice is a great idea, I think I’ll give that a try.
The Dexcom G5 is awesome! The insertion process is scary the first time, but it’s super easy after! It’s just like inserting with insulin pens but almost easier because you don’t see the actual needle being inserted into your skin. Super simple and painless!
I usually wear it on my stomach. I’ve been without it for a few months and need to reorder supplies, but once I get it again in the next couple of weeks I plan on trying new places to wear it. I think some people have success wearing it on their arms, thighs, hip, etc.
I tried to change mine at least once a week, but the sticky stuff would come off every four days or so, so also looking for tips on how to make it stay longer! I heard that some people can make the adhesive last two weeks, though.
Our son is 14 and uses the CGM continuously. Extremely helpful for an active teen with a huge appetite! He plays basketball and we have his phone in the stands and it receives the Bluetooth signal just fine. One small tip, if you are using now your phone as the receiver of the G5 signal rather than the Dexcom device, make sure you keep the app open! Sounds silly but our son kept closing the app when he first started using it and we couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t get data!
As far as sites, he wears his transmitter on the upper buttocks and the back of his arms. The Dexcom requires an automatic sensor reset after 7 days but my son gets 14 days’ use from a single sensor. Just reset the sensor without changing sites. Some people go even longer but for skin integrity purposes, we change after 14 days to give that site some time to heal.
We use skin tac to prep the site before applying the sensor. Key is to allow it to dry so skin is tacky before applying sensor. This allows it to stick very well. Occasionally need to reinforce with tape in the second week or use a bioocclusive dressing like tegaderm. Also use Unisolve to remove sensor (and Omnipod) painlessly and gets rid of the sticky residue.
Hope this was helpful! Best of luck!
Thanks so much Sophie!! I got my Dexcom on Friday (inserted it myself, aaaah!) and you’re right, it was super easy! I’m wearing it on my stomach and it seems to be working great so far (my phone broke yesterday because PERFECT TIMING but other than that… lol). Your advice is super helpful! I’m planning to change mine once a week; my endo recommended Skin Tac to help it stay on longer and that’s working well so far. I’m starting my swim unit in gym class today so that’ll be the real test!
Thanks Cindy!! I can’t even tell you how helpful your advice was about closing the app. I’ve been SO CONFUSED as to why it’s randomly stopped working the past few days!!! I always close out all of my apps so that’ll be a bit of an adjustment lol. I’ve never heard of Unisolve but it sounds great! I think I’m going to change my sensor every week (I’m lucky that my insurance allows me to get a lot of sensors at once) so I’ve been a bit apprehensive about removing it since it’ll probably still be pretty sticky; I might look into getting Unisolve. I do use Skin Tac and it seems to be working great so far.
Really appreciate your advice!
Congrats on the new Dexcom! You’ll love it so much. Don’t be scared by the insertion device—it seems big/bulky/scary, but the actual wire that stays in your skin is a bit longer but MUCH smaller than an insulin pump cannula. It’s totally painless! But I will say that I sometimes have problems with my skin bleeding if I try to do the insertion slowly—so I’d suggest pulling the clip off and pushing down on the plunger very quickly to just get it over with.
As far as where to put it on your body, my favorite places are my stomach, backs of my arms, upper thighs, and love handles. Pro tip about using it on your arms: This is the only place you’ll probably place the sensor vertically instead of horizontally. Make sure the “G5” (not the “Dexcom”) end of the sensor ends up nearest your head. So, insert with the plunger going upward into your skin instead of downward. I’ve found that when I have done it downward in the past, the weight of the sensor pushes down on the wire going into my skin and causes that area to start hurting and aching around day 3.
As for how long to wear it, I know there are lots of people who wear it more than a week at a time, but I am always hesitant to wear it longer than you’re supposed to (that goes for both my CGM and my pump) because I find that my skin heals better if I wear my devices for shorter periods of time. I don’t want to end up all scarred. I wear mine for 7 days and no longer. Sometimes, depending on where you’ve placed it on your body, the adhesive will start coming off. You may want to purchase some GrifGrips (or something similar) that have the Dexcom hole cut out in the middle. Another pro tip: Don’t put on the GrifGrips when you first put on your Dexcom. Wait for your Dexcom adhesive to actually start peeling off your skin first and then apply the GrifGrips! For me, if it’s going to peel, it’s usually around day 3. If I use GripGrips too early, they can start to peel by day 7 as well. There’s probably a better brand out there that has the same products of GrifGrips but doesn’t peel after a few days but I just happen to have bought the GrifGrips brand haha.
Good luck with starting your CGM!!! Oh, and be sure to set your loved ones up with the Dexcom Share app!
Oh ps—almost forgot another piece of advice that I just learned recently… when you change your sensor and start a new one, that’s when your new sensor will be the most off-base from your actual blood sugar levels. I read on a few T1D Instagram posts about a process people have termed “cooking” your sensor to make it more accurate when you first switch sensors, and it actually works! Instead of taking your current sensor off and placing a new sensor, place your new sensor site 4-5 hours before you plan on taking off your old one and switching over. This lets the new sensor wire “cook” (not sure why this term was chosen haha) and get used to your body before being activated with the actual sensor. I’ve found that, although weird, this actually really helps my sensor get calibrated a lot more quickly!