I never had any training for the dexcom, and with the help of my husband, we figured out how to use it just fine. We did the same as you, read the manual, watched the DVD, etc. It's pretty easy to figure out. I'd say just go for it! My doctor actually told me that a lot of people don't get the training and just start on their own because it's pretty easy to use. My only piece of advice is that the inserter seems a lot more intimidating and scary than it actually is. In my opinion, the faster you press the plunger, the less it hurts, but that's just me. Good luck! Hope it all goes well.
If you're comfortable with the pump infusion sets, then I think you'll do fine with dexcom w/o in-person training.
If any sensor doesn't work well, you should be able to get a replacement from Dexcom. Dexcom says to wait up to 3 hours if you get ???, as sometimes the ??? will disappear, and then work fine. I've had a few with ???, some that resolved, and others that I got replacements for.
I met with a local dexcom rep for a trial sensor before I purchased dexcom. I inserted the first 'trial' sensor, while she watched, but I think I could have done it without her. But I also had experience using MM CGMS. So when my own dex arrived, I didn't have any additional in-person training.
I did have problems with my 2nd or 3rd sensor, and I got the dreaded ???. I called dex support, and they agreed to send me a replacement. Once I knew a replacement was coming, I took out the old one, and that's when I realized I hadn't locked down both corners of the transmitter, which probably caused the problem ! The 'twisty' thing doesn't always work well (for me), so I use my fingers if needed to get the 2nd corner snapped in.
I agree, best to get a good fast push on the plunger ! It's not 'spring' loaded.
Good luck !
Honestly, I wouldn't wait.
If you're kind of savvy, I can't think of a reason not to try it out. Use caution, and if you finger test anyway, where's the harm?
My training for my CGM was pretty poor, and the girl doing it was inexperienced. She seemed surprised that I hadn't already started using it.
The best advice I can give is to only calibrate with a finger stick test when stable.
I'll sometimes have a lousy glucose reading when the CGM is demanding a test, and I just tell it to hush up while I get myself to a more level/stable ground.
Meaning, not just after meals, not in the morning, etc etc.
Before when I would enter in that reading anyway (not being aware enough of that delay in time between the CGMs reading and my actual blood level), thus completely throwing off the validity of the reading as my glucose may have still been rising or falling, zeroing in the CGM to a false number that it then happily continues to track.
Molly has it right too. I'll put in a new sensor the night before I switch it on. They have a tendency to be a bit twitchy before they're thoroughly 'wet'.
I've always found 12 hours to be enough for my minimed CGM to see it testing accurately.
Breaddrink- I agree it was helpful for the Minimed CGMS to insert the sensor 12 hours or so before starting it, to let it 'wet'.
But this is not necessary for Dexcom sensor. Dexcom is a bit less accurate the first 24 hours, but it's usable, and trends are usually accurate. I start it immediately after inserting sensor, and then enter calibrations 2 hours later when prompted.
Dexcom says you don't have to be 'stable' to enter calibrations, but I agree it does work best when you do. I also calibrate when dexcom is off by 20%, as suggested by dexcom support. Usually within 5-10 min, the dexcom reading is adjusted to be close to what I entered.
When my meter reading is far off from my dexcom, I'll do another meter BG. It's been a surprise to sometimes find consecutive meter BGs to be quite different. So I'll do 1 or 2 more meter BGs to find a consistent number. (making sure my hands are clean).
I started in the stomach too, as recommended, and did ok. But then found I prefer my thighs and arms.
Check out the Dexcom group, there are several discussions on locations.
Here's a neat video for arm insertion on a young boy. I do mine in the opposite direction, with needle going downward, as I didn't have good results going up.
You've probably already calibrated now, but when you do those first 2 meter BG checks for calibration, it's best to get 2 readings that are within 5-10 points. So I don't enter the calibration until I've done at least 2 meter checks.
I was trained to only do one finger stick, but to put the number in twice for calibration. I've been doing it that way for 2 1/2 years now.
What a brave little boy in the video!
It works for me almost anywhere - abdomen, buttocks, love handles, thighs, and my favorite place- lower part of upper arm. It's only FDA aproved for abdomen.
Have you seen the threads on making the sensors last longer?
I strongly recommend Opsite Flexifix around the edges of the sensor tape. The stuff stays on forever and prevents the adhesive from gradually pulling up at the edges.
The sensor has enzymes on it, and shouldn't pass through anything like Skin Tac.
I cut strips, some folks cut a hole for the sensor. The other thing you can do is apply a small amount of Skin Tac around the edges after it's in. Personally I think the flexifix works best ;)