ARM-tastic ! ARM-awesome ! ARMAZING !! (Dex sensors on backs of upper arms!)

I have learned a lot of great Dexcom tips from many people on this site, but none more valuable than how to place Dexcom sensors ON THE BACK OF THE UPPER ARM ! ~ARMTASTIC ~!

a couple sensors ago I used my arm for the first time, and chose the upper back side of my left arm since I'm right handed. I found a few very helpful online videos of people inserting sensors in the arm, and accomplishing this by myself wasn't nearly as difficult as I had imagined, and will only get easier and easier of course. I immediately loved the arm placement.. since you don't see the sensor there, it's almost like you're not even wearing one ! the first few days I did have to be aware and careful of catching the sensor/transmitter while removing shirts, but working around the arm sensor quickly became second nature like everything else we all do. my very first arm sensor was as accurate as any sensor I've ever placed, AND I WORE IT FOR 18 DAYS before it even started to lose any accuracy, when I changed it. ARMAZING ~ ! I'm now on my second arm sensor, on the back of my right arm and am having equally good results one week in.

here are a few arm observations/suggestions I have:

*before trying your first arm insertion, take note of where you place your arms while sleeping. I hadn't thought about it before, but now realize that I often sleep on my side with all the weight of my upper body on my curled up arm, which meant I was pressing the arm sensor directly into the mattress with a lot of weight. it didn't cause any problems for me except for some slight discomfort, but think about this beforehand, and maybe fine tune the exact rear upper arm spot you want to use.

*remember that if you place the upper arm sensor too low (toward the elbow) that it might show below the bottom of a short sleeve shirt! immediately after placing my second arm sensor I realized it was too low, so part of it is now unfortunately on display to the entire world. before inserting an arm sensor you might experiment by taping a sensor-patch sized piece of paper onto various potential arm sites then checking your wardrobe pieces in the mirror. then mark the exact spot on your arm you want to use before doing the insertion since it will be awkward one-handed the first time.

*my biggest fear was that the arm sensor/transmitter would fall off my arm unrealized, especially while running or working out, and I'd lose it. I've never had a Dexcom sensor/transmitter fall off (I did sweat off and lose a Medtronic transmitter once) but since many of us are finding that the G4 adhesive patch isn't as strong, and since the arm sensor is out-of-view, after about five days I applied liquid "Skin-Tac" all around the sensor patch then taped it back down with strips of "Opsite Flexifix" (learned about both those helpful products on this site!) which made it stick so well that I almost had trouble pulling everything off on day 18! this also gave me peace of mind that the transmitter wasn't falling off, and eventually I stopped feeling for it every five minutes!

*I somehow thought that showering with the sensor/transmitter on the back of the arm might cause problems since I wouldn't be able to protect the site from the running water as easily as when using the stomach. I now have no idea why I thought this might be an issue, because I've had no problems from the sensor and transmitter getting gushed on.

*also, I do work out, incluidng doing hundreds of push-ups and lots of curls with 40 pound dumbbells, and the arm sensors have not been compromised in any way by this.
.

I never would have believed that the backs of the arms would immediately become my favorite sensor location, but that is the case based on two sensors so far on each arm. THANKS to everyone who suggested this!

Biff

Tags: Dexcom, arm, placement, sensor

Views: 240

Replies to This Discussion

Glad it worked so well for you Biff! One of my favorite sites as well :)

Ditto - my favorite place too.
Initially I could only do my left arm (being right-handed), but now can also do my right arm !

Ditto one of my favorite places, and I agree whole-heartedly with find out where your arms are when you sleep. I put a sensor on my left arm too far back and had to remove it the very next day because I just couldn't stand it anymore.
Another point, sit in your car. Find out where the seat belt crosses your lap if you are planning on using your abdomen or thigh. Glad you are happy with the G4. I swim miles every other day and am in the water for at least an hour, if it hasn't gotten a leak from that my guess is the shower is not likely to do it any harm.

Glad to hear it! So far, I have not tried ANY place for either my pump sites or my sensors except my upper belly, and it's getting to be time to do that, because I can see some scar tissue building up (only by the color of the skin -- nothing hard when I press down). So I do think it's time to branch out, and I will look for those videos on YouTube! So thanks for the heads up! :-)

Any tips for putting on Opsite Flexifix one-handed? I don't have any problems with the insertion on either arm, but I haven't been able to do a good job of applying the Flexifix. I've tried both strips and a solid piece with a hole cut our for the receiver. Hopelessly tangled both.

Yes actually. Don't know if you've tried this yet. I use strips, and peel off ONLY the short part of the paper on the sticky part. Stick it where you want the whole strip to end up, then bend back the remaining (longer) piece of paper. As you're pulling it off, stick down the tape.

Hope that makes sense!

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