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excellent thoughts. Suggestions on lifetime make good sense. My experience very similar on lifetime.
For the reasons stated by DianaS; I also suspect that the dynamic range of sensor shrinks with usage time and folks who still have better controlled BG with smaller range changes get to sneak usage out further.
I average 2-3 weeks on mine. That's twice what I used to get. I find if I use waterproof tape to cover the upper margin of the sensor before I shower, it stays on longer. Otherwise I agree with the other comments that each person autoimmune system will start to reject the sensor at different rates.
Mine have averaged right at 7 days. The longest I've had one work is 10 days, and the shortest I've had one work is 6 days.
I am just getting ready to start with Dexcom in a couples of days- training session in two days, reading up to prepare. The user's guide says that the sensor will last only 7 days? It sounds like a sensor's life is set at 7 days the way they speak of it. But I see here that people have been able to get more time out of the sensor, sometimes a lot more. Is the sensor good as long as it continues to stick on you and to gather readings? There is not battery life limit to worry about? I'd sure like to get as much use out of a sensor as possible!
Hi Maggie, yes the guide and instructor say the sensor lasts for seven days. What they don't tell you is that often you can use it longer. At the end of seven days, the receiver will say 'change sensor soon' and eventually it will say ' change sensor now'. At this point, I wait a bit, sometimes two or three hours, and then I go into the menu and push 'start sensor'.
It will often work longer, sometimes just a few days, sometimes a week. If it lasts a week, then it will once again do the ' change sensor now' routine. Sometimes it will do another few days. Some folks have it last longer, and sometimes it will not work past the original seven days. If it doesn't work by restarting sensor, a couple of times I have gotten an extra day or two by 'stop sensor' and then restarting. I figure that if it says 'sensor failed' it doesn't hurt to muck about with it.
There have been a few times when the sensor seems to continue to work past the first seven days, but I have replaced it because the numbers are becoming totally wacked.
I hope this helps, I had a lot of trouble at the beginning. Ask questions. After about a year, someone (on another list) suggested that I try it in my thigh, I did, and my reading accuracy improved.
I echo the improved accuracy using the thigh! I am on day 7 of the first sensor I've used on my thigh and the accuracy has amazed me. So much better than any sites I've used on my abdomen.
Abdomen is useless.
I use arm with good results but I am aware of folks using abdomen with greata sucess.
I'm on day 9- no problem. I did get some serious adhesive tape- Optiflex, recommended previously here. I noticed that the edges were starting to loosen. Been taking long showers lately. :)
Why are we not concerned about any scarring/hardening around the site?
Is it because it's not administering anything, like a pump site?
It seems to me that just having even that tiny probe set in one spot for potentially weeks, would
your body start to heal around it? Creating hard spots, scarring? Which would make that site not
good for near future use?
Why doesn't it scar/harden? or does it?
I'm not sure about the scarring issue but I can use a sensor for between 8 and 14 days. Toward the end there is a lot of irritation due to the adhesive. But the sign that I get that it is time to change a sensor is when I consistently see a 30-40 point difference between sensor readings and normal BG meter results. But it seems to be fine to just re-start a sensor when it says change it. Just beware of calibration losses. Sometimes a sensor won't last a week and you can almost NEVER trust it on the first day!
wow- first day it was off by 60. Since then better and better, I'm learning when/how much to trust at diff times of day.
I've been using the Dexcom for 2-1/2 yrs and on average I get between 14-28 days. My own personal record is 33 days. I like to start out by inserting my sensor at night and then calibrate it in the morning so it has plenty of time to get "wet". My favorite place to wear it is upper thigh.
Do you wear it on the inside or outside of the thigh? Pointing down or up?
I wear mine on the abdomen, about 2" below my waist, near the belly button. I usually can get 2 weeks out of them before I start the dreaded ??? but I would like to try another spot.