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I put a new sensor in last Friday. Every time I checked my blood sugar both Friday and Saturday, my meter readings and Dexcom readings were within a few points of each other – what I would call the perfect sensor. On Sunday, my readings started to stray here and there, but nothing to be worried about.
Monday was a different day. My readings were straying way off all day. Unfortunately, my Dex wasn’t the only thing I was not trusting. I had opened a new box of test strips and I was even questioning if those were right. My meter would show that I was in the 70s or 80s and I felt like I was lower than that. I even broke out another box of test strips & stuck them in my backup meter. Those were close to my regular meter but I was still thinking “garbage in, garbage out” as far as my Dexcom readings went.
The first thing I do every morning when I wake up is reach for my Dexcom to see what my blood sugar is and yesterday was no different. The second thing I do is grab for my meter and check my blood sugar on my meter. My BS was within a few points between my Dex and meter, so that was a very good sign!
Around 10, I was doing some stuff in the kitchen and felt very weird. I took my Dexcom out of my Spibelt and looked – I was in the 120s with a straight across arrow. I went into the living room to check with my meter and I was 46 on my meter. I felt really bad and could barely see so I was thinking I have to be a lot lower than 46. My eyes sometimes get a little blurry when I am low, but they were so blurry I could barely see the meter. I am sure I over treated! To make matters worse, when I was checking my BS, my dog decided to pick that time that he needed to go outside. He was doing his little “I need to go out” dance and was whining. I knew what he wanted but I also knew I needed to treat my low first.
As soon as I downed some Smarties, I decided I better take the dog out – I could tell he really needed out. I am sure if my neighbors saw me, they thought I was nuts. I have a coat closet in the living room but I have it full of Christmas stuff so there is no place to hang my jacket downstairs. I use my walker as a coat rack. Since it has been so cold, I have been putting a coat on Alex and also keep his coat on there also. His coat is usually wet from the snow so that also makes a good drying rack. I wasn’t sure I could get my jacket on let alone the dogs so I went outside with both still hanging over the walker. It was in the teens and snowing.
As soon as I came in, I sat down on the couch. I could not tell what time it was because my eyes were too blurry to see the clock. I usually like to try and watch the time so I can check again in 15 or 20 minutes. By then, the Dex was also beeping at me – I ignored it because I knew I was low. I also did not think I would be able to read the screen if I looked at it.
I started feeling a little better so when the Dex started making noises again, I decided to pull it out. I think at first I had a little heart attack, but reminded myself it could not be right because I was feeling better. Since I knew I had been touching something sweet that could throw my BS off, I first went and washed my hands before checking my BS. My Dexcom is usually a little slow coming back up after a low (which I don’t mind because it is not normally slow catching the low) but it levels off and just stays where it bottomed out. I decided this one was picture worthy!

I do want to put a little note here for you non-Dexcom users that this not typical Dexcom behavior. However, it is a good reason why you should always double-check with your meter before making treatment decisions.

Views: 48

Tags: Dexcom

Comment by SF Pete on January 12, 2011 at 5:19pm
I hate to say this, but I'm finding that Dexcom isn't catching my lows. I woke up at 4 one morning and felt low but Dex hadn't buzzed. I was 37. Today I was watching my Dex because I had front loaded some insulin and then upped my basal rate. When it said 74 with a trend down, out of caution I decided to check. I felt fine, was still all there and wasn't a drooling mess. My BG was 36. I'm noticing that when I'm low, my Dex is usually some 30-40 points off. I only wear my sensors for the 7 days and this one doesn't come to the end of it's life until Saturday. Missy has also had a number of low instances that the Dexcom wasn't catching. Whatever peace of mind I had with a CGM is gone. I only wear the sensors on my abdomen and I avoid Tylenol products. I'm about to call Dexcom and see if this is happening to a lot of people.
Comment by Kelly WPA on January 12, 2011 at 6:06pm
Now I am really wondering if this is also happening to you & Missy. I thought it was just a fluke. I hit 23 last night but I stopped the Dex for awhile yesterday because it was so far off. I don't use Tylenol stuff either and also use my stomach.
Comment by Amy on January 12, 2011 at 9:09pm
I always check my sugar levels when it beeps low. I also check it 2 hours after meals and will cross check with the dex so I can figure out how many units to give to bring a high down. If I am in a deep sleep though I am not aware I am low unless my boyfriend is with me as he hears it vibrating and everything. Other than that, I sleep through it no matter how close it is to me.
Comment by SF Pete on January 12, 2011 at 9:10pm
I wonder what's up. A bad set of sensors, not as sensitive to lower glucose levels? It is very troubling. I got really creeped out when I saw the 36 this afternoon. I felt absolutely fine. I probably would have dropped. Most of the time the Dex is close enough for government work. But it seems to just get insensitive when I drop. This is more than a little inconvenient.
Comment by SF Pete on January 12, 2011 at 9:34pm
Amy -- I'm catching the lows because I still test rather compulsively. I don't sleep through everything. I sleep with the receiver under my pillow so it wakes me. I don't rely exclusively on the Dexcom, but I expect it to not get unresponsive when my blood glucose drops. The difference between 72 and 36 is significant. Apparently, my hypo unawareness has returned. It won't alarm until it is 70. That would make my actual glucose 34. I know that I stop laying down memory somewhere around 25. That was another instance where Dexcom said I was 86 and just as I said "it can be 20% off either way" I went black. My conscious thought was I need to check in a split second it appears that I decided that I would rather eat rocks. I was not complying with requests to test my sugar. I was not at my best behavior it seems. I'm really uncomfortable with the trend of being dangerously low and Dex being more than 40 pts off. I woke up with a 37 on my own. The Dex NEVER made a sound. I'm heartsick. I love this CGMS and it's been the best thing that ever happened to me. My OCD loves this little gadget. :) Realtime data? Boo-yah! My purpose is to avoid my lows. This mission is not accomplished.
Comment by Kelly WPA on January 13, 2011 at 11:42am
Pete, I had a bunch of bad sensors back in the summer. They replaced 5 out of 2 boxes I had. I was to the point I wasn’t even downloading the information anymore because it was worthless. I know a couple years ago they had some problems with sensors – I can’t remember exactly what happened but I remember reading about it. I guess we have to pay attention if anyone else starts having problems.

Amy, I still check my BS a lot like Pete does – I haven’t cut back any. I have days that the Dex is spot on but I still don’t trust it 100%!
Comment by SF Pete on January 13, 2011 at 5:20pm
Was this kind of thing what clued you in that you had a bad bunch of sensors? It happened to me twice today. Dex said I was in the 70s and I knew I wasn't. Sure enough both times I was 43 and 44, respectively. It really irks me when I discover I'm low, I grab my glucose tabs and then the damn thing buzzes that it's 70. It's just insult to the injury.
Comment by Kelly WPA on January 13, 2011 at 5:32pm
They were missing lows & they were also way off. The one Dexcom tech kind of ticked me off because she said it was doing good trending. I said I did not buy it for trending, I got it because I am hypounaware and if it can't catch lows, there is no point in using it! I agree that is adding insult to injury! That is what happened to me the other morning. I was in the 40s and already treated when it finally decided to go below 70!
Comment by SANTI on January 14, 2011 at 10:27am
Hi Kelly & others,

My 3 yr old son has the DEX & the POD. We were gettings Dex readings way off the meter's, but when we tried another sensor on a different site with more fatty tissue, it worked much better.

We have also incorporated other TUsuggestions in our routine (posted on the Dexcom group) such as starting a new sensor after leaving it over night, and not placing insuling at least 3in next to the sensor.

Our endo also recommended to use any of the tapes in the market to prevent sensor from being moved while sleeping or knocked during the day, so we tape over it with the thinniest tape on the market--johnson's paper tape (used for scars). please keep us posted on any other tips, thanks for posting!
Comment by Kelly WPA on January 14, 2011 at 2:49pm
Thanks Santi! I have been using my lower abs since last summer after a friend's daughter started using hers there & had good luck. For the most part, my readings are really good other than a bunch of bad sensors last summer & this current one. I am putting a new one on tonight. I use the Flexifix tape - it sticks really well.


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