Hi Everyone,

New guy question here.  I'm on my first ever sensor, and I keep hearing about everyone restarting after the 7 days and keeping the same sensor to save supplies and get better/more accurate readings.  Could someone please run down a little checklist of how to restart with the best results and not lose data?  Do I need to stop the session early, or leave it run until the end?  Do I actually take the transmitter out and then put it back in?  Etc.

Thanks so much for your help.  I'm so super pumped that I'm finally getting to see the CGMS data!

Cheers,

Brett

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Replies to This Discussion

Hey Brett!

Glad to see you here on TuDiabetes. I'm sure folks do things their own special way, but here is what works well for me. I wait until I get a warning that the sensor needs to be changed soon. (This will be on the 7th day) Then, I press Stop The Sensor on my Dexcom receiver when I know that I can give the receiver two blood sugar readings in 2 hours (like not in the middle of the night or when I have a meeting in 2 hours). Then, I press Start Sensor on the receiver. There is a 2 hour waiting period with no blood sugar readings. I haven't figured out a way to get around this without having two Dexcom systems. I know one person on TuDiabetes who does this, but I can't afford a second system so I just wait out the 2 hours.

After two hours, the receiver will ask for 2 blood sugar readings and I'm ready to go for another 7 days. Once the readings start getting "off" when compared to my finger stick blood sugar readings (usually around day 12 or 13 for me), then I know the sensor needs to be replaced.

Hope that helps! You'll love the Dex.
Thanks Bryan!
Hi Brett.
I have been using my CGM for about 3-4 months now and love it.
For my first few sensors I replaced them at day 7, as I became more comfortable with the idea of extending their life, I have begun to do so.
I have seen posts with methods of not loosing data, I find it easier to forgo this 2 hours of readings.
Here is what I do, this works for me, your results may vary:
Day 7 as the sensor counts down, it will stop reading and say "change sensor now"
I do NOT remove my sensor, but rather simply "start sensor".
In 2 hours, enter your two BG readings and you are back on track.
it is only 2 hours out of the entire week,
I have mine "scheduled" to expire on Sunday late mornings.
Usually on day 7, I apply medical tape to the edges of where the sensor adhesive meets my skin. I find this helps it stick longer.
I have yet to go longer than 14 days, but may try to do so at some point.
Good luck and enjoy the obsessive viewing of the graphs!
I know what you mean about the obsessive viewing! I'm on information overload, but it's so cool to see actual trends instead of just points!
Brett, Like Scott I also wait until it says "change sensor now". It will start warning you that the sensor is about to expire hours before hand (I think 6 hours). You can, of course, stop and restart the sensor at any time that is convenient for you but I've found that waiting until it says "change sensor now" keeps me at basically the same time every time I start a new sensor, if I started it as soon as I got the expiration warning then it'd be 6 hours earlier every time and would definitely interfere with my life and/or sleep. So pretty much you can wait until it says "change sensor now" (at which point it automatically stops the sensor) or you can stop the sensor and restart it whenever it is convenient for you. Either way you will lose the 2 hours of data for the sensor to "warm up" but then you'll be back to reading just fine.
Thanks Rebecca! I appreciate the help.
I use the routine described by the other members. I am currently using a sensor for the 17'th day. I had been changing on the 14'th day. Like some have said in other discussions, the agreement between Dex and meter is better the second week. So far, the third week is just as good as the second week. I read somewhere a Dexcom user used a sensor successfully for 24 days. The reason I had not gone this long previously is that I am concerned about developing scar tissue. I have a lot of scar tissue in my upper abdomen from more than 60 years of injections. I cannot use my pump or a sensor there. I want to avoid scar tissue on other body parts. There is very little agreement with my meter when my sensor is in scar tissue. I tried a sensor in scar tissue to experiment. i won't do that again.
Great advice about the scar tissue, your posts are always super-informative!

IIRC, the Record for highest number of Dexcom days, before accuracy declined, is 32 (or maybe 33) "good" days.
Rick, I am not going to ever break t record. I don't even want to. I am not conviced that leaving a sensor in my skin for so many days will not cause scar tissue. I am already unable to use my upper abdomen because of 60+ years of injections, most of which were in that part of my body. I cannot afford to lose more real estate because of scar tissue. My numbers are not so good today, the 18'th day for this sensor. I am starting a new one tomorrow.
That's a good reason. I've taken to quitting at the end of the second week for several additional reasons, which I'll list here:

First, it avoids the risk of failing to recognize "not so good numbers" as the Sensor begins to fail. (Which could occur at night, and could also happen away from home.) Second, it's unlikely that I'll have the replacement Sensor just "lying around" away from my home environment. I might not have a skin-prep pad either, and I definitely won't have a portable hairdryer keep the drying skin-prep from flowing downwards as it dries. (That leads to an inconsistent layer of skin-prep, thinner at the top of the area. The top edge is the place where Dexcom Sensor pads usually fail.) And I definitely won't have the big bottle of Povidone-Iodine which I use to disinfect.

Finally, of course, messing around with the 2-hour startup for only 2-4 days of additional readings isn't worth the hassle, and it's likely to occur at a time when you really wanted to be getting good readings.

Switching from one week to two cuts my co-pay costs in half, but switching from 14 to 17 days (typical) provides only 18% more savings-- which isn't worth the risk and hassles for me. People with worse insurance, and/or less income, might want to push their Sensors to the very end; but for me, it isn't worth it.
Thanks for the info guys. I've only been on the dexcom for a week, but it's amazing. I'm really hoping to get my A1C down and cut down on nighttime hypos.
Thanks for the instructions Bryan, I am 4 weeks into the dex and restarted my sensor yesterday for an extension for the first time. So far right on target. Happy to be with Dex ....mid nite wakes are annoying but comforting when the digits start to drop.

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