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Hi All, Our endo is ordering Kennedy's dex today, Their training website is quite nice. I've been through most of their presentations. Not sure if we will do formal training with a clinical person or not. I'd love to hear everyone's top 5 tips for a dexcom start!! Anything you would have done differently?
It was really pretty simple. Just don't panic when you realize how bad things have been. It gave me a lot of information at once that I didn't even realize I was doing because I wasn't getting readings every 5 minutes. Things I couldn't see were brought to light. Also, don't treat anything before you test with a meter as it is not 100% accurate and sometimes it is just wrong.
HA HA! Like when the alarm keeps going off and you are sitting there waiting for the insulin or sugar, that you just used to treat, to kick in. I know that feeling.
My daughter has loved her dex. One tip is to consider silencing the alerts (the low alert can not be silenced). We know that she will have a post-meal high so the high alert is not that useful at least to us. Seeing the trends had really helped us improve her BG control. She now knows to give herself insulin 15-30 minutes before a meal if possible (especially breakfast). We were also able to track whether or not a switch of insulin would be beneficial or not. In her case, we found out that apridra was a better option for her than humalog.
The one thing I found useful about training with my CDE is that I was able to practice
insertion (on a stuffed cushion) a couple of times (with real but presumably expired sensors). The sensors are so expensive I would not want to waste one with a mistaken insertion on me. Other than that, the thing is very simple to use and the online training is sufficient.
As others have said on here...you can restart the sensors when they expire and get more time out of them. I am getting about 14 days...after that it frequently starts to flake out.
I found the adhesive was starting to wear out around 7 days, so now when I insert the sensor and transmitter, I cover it with about a 2" square piece of pre-cut tegaderm. That seems to work well.
I find the low alarm useful when sleeping...it is enough to wake me up. One day I got impatient with bringing down a persistent high, and injected a bunch of insulin repeatedly ignoring my pump's IOB calculations...and ended going low overnight. The Dexcom alarm me up ... I was sweating and at 41. Now I know not to cheat the calculations :(.
I'm in my third week on the DEXCOM and I have to say that I absolutely love it. I'm scheduled to meet with a trainer this weekend and I'm curious to hear what she has to say about alternative sites. I'm now on my 10th day of sensor #2 and still getting good readings and haven't even touched the tape. My first two sensor have been on my stomach and after about day 3 of the first sensor, I haven't even known it was there. It's that small and un-noticeable. :-)
Putting the first sensor in is a little intimidating (at least for me), as I didn't want to screw anything up. It was going to be two weeks before I met with my trainer and I just didn't want to wait. It went pretty smooth and by the time I swapped out for the second sensor, it seemed like a piece of cake.
As others have stated, you might be a little overwhelmed by the amount of data you're going to be getting. The first week I was fascinated by all the results and wanted to check my readings every five minutes. :-)
Now that I'm into my second sensor I'm learning a lot more about my patterns and how different foods are affecting me. I'm still making small changes and not trying to go overboard everytime I see an unexpected rise or fall.
Best of luck and looking forward to hearing how things go.
What did you find out about alternative sites? I'm interested it on my upper arm.. little concerned that might not work out too well for me as I don't have much fatty tissue on my arms if thats what it needs. My unit is on the way, looking forward to it
Hi Natalie! Really excited for your new tool in your toolkit!
Top 5 tips for Dexcom newbies :)
(1) Never, ever treat a low or correct a high based solely on the Dexcom reading. Always do a fingerstick first. Been there, done that. According to my endo, this is a common mistake for newbies and it can put you on a rollercoaster ride. As tempting as it is, the Dex is not a substitute for finger stick checks.
(2) Try not to get frustrated while figuring out how to make it work best for Kennedy. Try different sites to see which ones are most accurate for her...it varies from person to person. My favorite place is upper arms but don't tell Dexcom that because it's not a site approved by the FDA. Also be prepared for some crazy numbers if Kennedy is having fluctuating bg and don't panic. Sometimes the Dex doesn't know when to stop if spiking up or will tell you you're dropping fast when you're not really.
(3) Try to do sensor changes at a time when Kennedy's bg is normally most stable. You get better start up results that way plus it won't show readings during the 2 hour sensor start up. I usually try to do mine mid morning on the weekends. I don't like to change my sensor at night to give it a chance to get calibrated before I sleep.
(4) Don't get concerned if you lose the arrow and only get a number periodically. Mine has done this before and it's normally when my bg is unstable. It's like the Dex can't decide if it wants to show up or down or steady. The graph will still show the number point so you can see where it's trending. Most of the time, my arrow comes back after a bit.
(5) As Lorraine said, resist the urge to throw it out the window! :) I always say I have a love/hate relationship with my Dex but I wouldn't give it up for anything!
I am going to request a Dex tomorrow at my Endo visit, wish me luck:)
Good on you! You'll love Dexie.
Dex is on its way!!! Fed ex in Memphis TN should be at my door Wednesday the 16th by 4:30 pm.