We asked the Dexcom tech in our area to do the first insertion with us. We looked at the training videos before the first time, the the first couple of times after that. You often pick up more tips from the videos after several times viewing them.
My suggestions based on our experience so far:
- view the videos several times, every time you insert for the first month or so.
- always clean with alcohol, then wait till the alcohol is dry
- always use Skin-Tac. What I learned on the forums here was that (a) you should wait until the Skin-Tac has slightly dried before applying the Dexcom patch (it should be rather tacky), and (b) several layers of Skin-Tac are better than one. I found both assertions to be true in our case. It takes us about 5 minutes to apply 3 layers of Skin-Tac, each time letting it dry some.
- Before you take off the patch's backing, straighten it out as well as you can so that the patch is nice and flat. It makes it easier to apply. Once the backing is off, everything is harder:-)
- after you have applied the Dexcom patch, rub on it strongly with your fingers for about 2 minutes after applying, to make it stick better. The heat of the rubbing makes for better adhesion. Use alcohol pads to clean your fingers (they quickly get sticky).
It helps with the pain if you pinch the skin and flesh layer over the muscles before inserting the sensor, so that there is more thickness under the sensor. My son is really skinny, so it is actually hard to find flesh to pinch:-)
Finally, we found the abdomen not to be a good place for us: my son participates in many sports, and the abdomen did not work well for him. We use the thighs, and carefully rotate insertion sites (we use about 10 sites to rotate through). FYI, my son is 12, and inserts his CGM himself: he has had a CGM for about 3 months, and has done it from day 1 - I am really pleased with that because it makes him more independant. He does need some help in being meticulous about the procedure though.
When you remove it, it really helps to use adhesive remover wipes.