The one thing I miss about my Dexcom system was the ability to extend my sensors to 14-21 days. I was told by some others (Okay, mostly everyone I talk with) that they extend their MM sensors to about 6 or 9 days. My question is HOW?? I have been trying but have been very unsucessful. My sensors barely last 3, and you can hang it up after 4. I've tried charging in between, I've tried various tape techniques, etc. but I do not get very accurate readings after day 3. I mean, not EVEN in the "ballpark", and most of the time the readings are like a ping-pong ball back and forth. Any tips would be appreciated.
For me the key is charging in between and getting a sensor in a really good spot. And also where it can't be knocked out, I knocked out a sensor yesterday at my desk.
The sensors are hit and miss. Often ther readings after three days are more accurate than the ones during the first three days. Stay with it for a while and see how it works for you. Sometimes a whole box of sensors will be off the mark and the next box may be better. If you are plagued with bad readings, your pump will tell you that you have a calibration error and that you have a bad sensor. Then you have to change the sensor.
When the MM Sensor says "Sensor End" after 3 days, just pretend you put in a new one with "New Sensor" it should take about 20 minutes for it to ask for your BG. I have tried to use it after 6 days, but the numbers get very screwy. Sometimes the numbers get messed up on the 6th day. (I also think that more than 6 days is not good for my skin.)
If you are trying for more than 6 days, I think you need to charge it again. I put tape over the sensor and charged the transmitter when I did that.
I do the same thing!!! I just started using a sensor! its amazing as long as everything is working correctly!!! Its great to see others go through the same things that i'm dealin with!!
Like KimK, I can usually get Eric's to go six days, simply by re-starting it as if it were a new sensor immediately after the Sensor End alert sounds. Sometimes it waits the obligatory 2 hours before asking for a BG reading, other times it will request a BG within 15 minutes. I don't know why it does that, but I'm happy when it does! However, going beyond 6 days is usually asking for an infected site, at least with him — but then, he does spend a lot of time rolling around in dirt, so maybe you would have better luck.
It does help to make sure the transmitter is fully charged before you start a 6-day run though.
I found that using my tricep area behind my arm works best for sensors. It is more difficult to install but totally worth it.
I also use skintac on the site before I install it. It will make the transmitter stick to your skin and will not move. I then cover the whole thing with an IV3000.
For whatever reason tape will not work to keep it in place for me.
I think the key is keeping it from moving. If it is snug and tight, You can get 6 days easily. When I have tried to remove it and recharge it, It always seems to pull out. I am happy with 6 days and I take it out weather it is still working or not. I do not like keeping anything in longer.
I don't know how the DEX people do it. I had a DEX 3 back when they first came out and I could not keep it in for more than a week and it would just fall out or stick to my shirt or come off in the shower.
MM just started to offer larger IV3000 tapes. The standard one always come loose for me on my second "cycle", 4th or 5th day...
My numbers can be off by as much as 100. I think that has to do with the location more than the cycle.
I just found out this too! You can extend the used of the sensors, but only up to 6 days. The way you do this, is by tricking the pump to think you put a new sensor. So once the first 3 days are up and it tells you that the sensor ended go to the sensor screen, and add a new sensor it wont take the 2 hours it usually takes for it to ask for the bg. It would be more like 15 min. After that comes up, you just go about it like if it was a new sensor. I was told to Calibrate it at least 3 times a day no more than. Because that is why we get numbers that are all over, and if you have your meter linked to your pump specially if is a 722 or 522 unliked them! because I was told that that will update the calibration and it will give you all those errors. I also, found out that the sensors needles are only good for like 3 mos or so. So check the exp. date on yours before using the next one! This was an inside tip :-)
I too found out the hard way that the sensors expire quickly. At $35 a pop, you don't want to throw away many. I order less more often.
I recently had issues with the readings being all over the place, sometimes sending a low alert, when my bg was about 180! Readings were off by over #100.
Anyway, I called medtronics and they told me to calibrate only after two hours since my last insulin/ meal or excercise then you won't get the stupid thing confused. If you get it confsed, it will be off for the remainder of it's term, even if it was a new one.(
didn't know that) Once I started doing that, restated sensors give as good a result as new, so I plan to keep using them 6 days.
to restart, just start it as if it were a new one, entering bg and calibrations as indicated.... piece of cake.
Hope this helps.
I was told by a rep and educator that you should only calibrate the sensor 3 times and no more. The first would be the 2 hour, then 6 then 12. If you inserted a sensor just before a meal you must wait the 2 full hours. You can not do a calibration after workingout and if one of the calibrations happens to be inthe middle of the night you can calibrate just before you go to bed. I was doing it all wrong too and after i went for the retraining and started to follow the tips they gave me my bg and the sensor are not that much off. maybe like 20%
I've learned these are manufactured by hand, so there is lots of variability from one lot to the next, I've found.
I've also been told (but can't really verify) that the sensor works based on some sort of substance on the wire that is eaten away by subcutaneous glucose -- it's how the thing works in the first place. But, the higher the overall glucose levels are, the quicker this stuff gets consumed, and once it's gone, the sensor is useless. Again, can't confirm this, but it does seem that more erratic BG's tend to eat up my sensors more quickly (they're also harder to track on a CGM, so it may just be my frustration talking).
Insertion is key -- the wire needs to be perfectly straight, which is why they don't advocate using anything but the "approved Senserter" (aka makes-Autolet-look-tame). I've actually found, contrary to intuition, that the deeper/more vertical angles work best and hurt less. I'd have thought the shallower insertions would've hurt less, but not so.
Sometimes a bad calibration can throw the sensor off for a long time. I'm not sure how how it uses current versus earlier calibrations, but I know it doesn't disregard the earlier ones once a new one is set. Oftentimes I'll do a "start new sensor" 1-2 days after the initial start if I was forced to calibrate at a "bad time".