I will be starting my new Dexcom today. I have read through some of this forum, especially Michelle starting up, and I have also read through the Dexcom group. But I do have a few questions. For those who insert the sensor at night, do you wait until morning to put the transmitter on? Then do the initial calibration 2 hours later? And how do you make the sensor go beyond 7 days? Thanks in advance for your help!

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I'm not as skilled as you in in the task of of cutting a rectangular "window" out of FlexiFix. A thicker, less flexible, or less sticky tape material would certainly be faster; but these properties are the reason why FlexiFix works best for me. 4 separate side strips at about 30 seconds each (including cutting, rounding off the outside corners, and application) takes me about 2 minutes to finish.

In contrast, my "extra work" is in the "Operating-Room" quality skin cleaning. Nearly all of the "off-label", restart-and-use-longer-than-7-days people on this board find the accuracy and reliability of days 8-10 to be much higher than days 1-2. Many of us continue getting superior results until day 14, or even longer. BUT: I'll SWAG that FDA probably advised Dexcom that they would never, ever approve the device if Dexcom asked for more than 7 days. The reason? amateur site preparation, creating a high risk of non-sterile conditions.

If you're only using IPA -- non-sterile conditions are pretty much assured, no matter how long and hard you scrub. It just doesn't have the killing power to do the job; especially in the case of viruses. Scrubbing longer and harder is BETTER, but (imo) it's not sufficient for a 14-day insertion.
They can only talk recommend IPA, because that's the approved site preparation method. They also can't talk about restarting a Sensor, because use beyond 7 days was not approved. (BTW, these two issues are probably related: I'll SWAG that FDA advised Dexcom, informally, that a request for more than 7 days of continuous use would be rejected, because of the risk of infection damage created by amateur site preparation. If that risk were not present, the Gen-3 device probably already had sufficient accuracy and reliability to justify a 10-day approval: Many people on this board find R and A to be much better on days 8, 9, and 10 than days 1-2.)

FDA has become increasingly strict about vendors discussing "off-label" usage. They have apparently slapped Dexcom, hard, for "off-label" use by children and younger teens. The approved labeling specifies alcohol, and only alcohol, as the site preparation method. Dexcom is required to warn against using anything else.

The dry barrier layer left on your skin by a Skin-Prep application is definitely harmless for the current version of the Sensor wire, and all of it's it's predecessors. (I've used them all.) You must make it completely dry ("hair dryer"); and obviously, if you have an allergy to the Skin-Prep chemicals, it won't work for you.
I find it so much simpler to just use alcohol, then apply the sensor then cut the rectangular windor in a transparent dressing, Use a skin or IV prep under the dressing and change the transparent dressing it every week - Never had an infection But whatever works for each individual!!!
My comparison "you're working too hard" was with regard to:

(A) Your later patch-up, with a carefully-shaped piece of tape (rounded corners, with a "window" in the middle for the Transmitter-holding assembly); versus

(B) I Wipe Skin-Prep, run the hair dryer, start the Sensor, and then add 4 simple rectangles pieces of FlexiFix. This lasts longer than the life of the Sensor, and never curls up.

Longer reply above. My PVI/CHG "sterilize the site" was really a separate process, although I do recommend it. (I know it's a lot more hassle.)

Great discussion, thanks!
No need to round the corners, they come rounded with the dressing and I have almost 100 of them so I will use them up then switch to the 4 inch flexifixtape I think one piece is easier than 4 of the narrower - but to each his own
Rickst29....Whaaaaaaaat? LOL! This sounds so complicated!!! LOL, I'll take my time and read again.
Just got a roll of Opsite Flexifix that dick mentioned. It comes in a roll. I cut 4 strips for the edges -so far it's lasted a week. It's also a totally clear film like tegaderm, easy to handle because there is paper on both sides. I have really sensitive skin but so far so good. Expensive, but the roll is big and I think will last at least a year.

I try to eat 2 hours before inserting, not less than 2 hrs. Then, calibrate immediately. I used to plug a lot of manual BGs into it, willy nilly. It seemed like an easy way to store the data. But, now I'm really cautious about that because I think its calibrating every time I do that, which makes the sensor read more inaccurate. Now, I don't calibrate unless I've had less than, maybe, 30 points variability in the numbers during the preceding hour. I don't really follow the arrows. I've had really reliable data come out of the thing, but it will read off when your bg raises or lowers rapidly, so you should still check manually, while you learn its quirks.

Did you name it yet? You really have to name it.
really have to?? Maybe that will help the wife and I keep them seperate - I do wish we could give them unique ring tones so when they buzz we dont wonder was that you or me?

No names yet here and same w pump oh well just an old fuddy duddy I guess
My insulin pump's name is Mr. Pumpy (I know, original). I haven't named my Dexcom yet, I'll need to get on that.


Our 'search' tool is hard to use, but I'll offer a few hints:

1. With regard to "plugging in early":
When you insert a Sensor and Transmitter, there is a plastic "plate" assembly underneath which will lie underneath the Transmitter. On the top, it has two metal contacts for the Transmitter to measure the "raw" reading from the Sensor. (It measures current through a fixed resistance internal to the Transmitter). Inside the Plate, it terminates the wire -- with one contact into the Reagent, and the second contact serving as "ground".

Unfortunately, this plate floats up in the air, at an angle, until you press it down in place with the Transmitter assembly. Old timers (like me) can plug in an old, dead Transmitter to protect the plate and keep the water-tight box sealed-- while still running the "active" Sensor and Transmitter on the other side of our bodies (left versus right).

People with only one Transmitter can't do this; they must either come up with some kind of cover for the area, one which DOES NOT! damage the "plate assembly" in any way, and one which DOES fully cover the area.

I would look for a plastic container lid. The round lid on a 50-count pakcage of glucose tabs is wide enough to cover the whole area, but it will press down on the "plate assembly." When you move, any motion by that assembly (versus your underlying skin) is DEADLY for Sensor accuracy and lifespan. So, IMO, you're looking for something slightly taller. But I don't have any experience in choosing one, because I've got several "old" Transmitters which I can use instead.

I usually do an overnight "pre-warmup", but keep I my current Sensor running through the night. For me, it's to risky to be without for that much time. (YMMV, of course.) If you end up like me, unwilling/unable to "fly blind" through the night, then you should finding a nice, tall, "cover" which can assure that both the Transmitter-holding assembly AND the "contact plate" won't be disturbed by motion, or open to infection agents, during your "warmup" period.

2. After waiting, do you still have the whole "Initial Calibration" thing 2 hours later?
Yes. Even if the Sensor has already been running for a week, and is ready for continued use IMMEDIATELY, you can't avoid the two-hour wait.

3. How to use past 7 days?
At a convenient time (at least two hours away from driving; at least two hours away from going to sleep) execute "Stop Sensor". Do NOT remove the Transmitter! Immediately execute "Start Sensor", and verify that display shows the two-hour countdown graph at the spot which normally shows the estimated bG value.




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