Believe it or not, this is the 30th day I’m still wearing my Dexcom sensor! I’ve never gone this long, and the amazing thing about this sensor is that it has been really on target for most of its wear. Now it’s almost like a game to see how long it will go!
OK, what’s your secret? The longest I’ve gotten out of a Dexcom 7 sensor is 11 days. I’ve been using the system sense Feb. 15th and really like it. Does wearing the sensor for a long time irritate your skin? I had a rash when I removed the one after 11 days and it is taking a long time to totally go away. My pump sites never bother me.
I’ve "only"made it to day 23 so far on my Dex Seven sensor, but we certainly are in record-breaking territory. Have they done something to the sensor? Just like you I also continue to get good readings.
(Secondary issue: When insurance companies and Medicare finally get around to paying for our sensors will we still try to prolong their rated life?)
Olaf, how did you make it to day 23?
My sensor started to fail today. I started it up once this afternoon then it needed to be started up again right before dinner so I took it out. 31 days in total, with really good readings. My secrets:
I wear it on my upper buttocks…below belt line but not at an area where you would sit on it. I think there is less movement there then on abdomen.
I cover it everytime I shower so I never really let it get wet. I use that Glad Press-n-Seal plastic wrap. About 6 days ago, the adhesive was coming off so I put on one of those shower patches and left it on all week. It seemed to hold it in place. I’ve never done this before but in the past I haven’t gotten more than about 3 weeks use.
No, it never irritates my skin. I put it on after a shower then just leave it there. I switch from right side to left side so it’s never in the same place twice in a row.
I think I would prolong sensor use even if insurance companies paid. To me, it seems like a waste to throw it out when it’s still good. But, I definitely hear you. This disease is so expensive with all the supplies then a CGMS that would really help a lot of people is essentially not covered for the most part so it’s extra money out of your pocket if you want it.
I hope some of the tips help!
Thanks, are you able to insert the sensor by yourself on your butt? I have enough trouble getting the insertor off when I put it on my stomach. I live alone, but I guess I could call my daughter to help. Have you ever tried it on your arm? I’ve heard of people having good luck there. I will try covering it when I shower. I’m really hoping that all insurances will start covering them soon.
The one consistent message I get from reading about sensor lifetime is: Tape it down! As I noted I use a large BandAid and 3M Medipore tape. BTW my sensor didn’t survive Day 24. I removed it early this a.m. because it was beginning to itch. (Actually, the sensor would probably have survived, it was my concern about the itch that ended its life.)
Yes, I insert the sensor myself, but you really have to twist around to do it. Maybe having your daughter help is a good idea. Just place it where you won’t sit on it and the band of any clothes won’t rub against it. I used to carry my wallet in my back pocket, but with the sensor there you really can’t do that.
I haven’t tried the arm. I started in the butt area last summer because of the pool and beach. I felt it would be hidden and more proteced because of water, sand and sun then I just kept it there.
Try covering it in the shower. I do think that’s one of the keys for longer wear time. Some water does get in at times, but just take your dry towel and pat down on the white adhesive. It will then look dry almost immediately.
I just got 23 days out of my last sensor.
Have you been able to improve on the 11 days? I am currently on Day 14 of the current sensor (restarted it last night) and expect it to last at least another week or so. How do you tape it down?
Up until two weeks ago, I would have written your report of the sensor lasting 30 days as comming from a kook. Three days ago I started my current sensor for the third time. No pain or discomfort; readings are better than I have come to expect; the original adhesive is fine, just like the day I installed it. However, I am getting paranoid thoughts of some impending doom that I didn’t expect coming from the “sensor genie” . (That’s a joke folks.) Seriously, when the sensors are performing well and there is no discomfort or obvious problem, I can’t see any reason to discard it for a new one.
I agree… my current sensor is going on day 18 I think and it’s been spot on accurate - I’ll be sad when I have to change this one. The longest I’d had one go prior was 19 days, at which point my receiver failed and had to be replaced. I still wonder how long that sensor would have gone for.
Usually I have trouble getting them to stay stuck for this long… even with taping over the whole thing, it starts to come undone. I’ve never had an actual sensor “fail”… I usually stop them because I can’t keep it on any more.
For what it is worth, I shower a few hours before I put a new sensor on. Then just before I place the sensor, I scrub the site vigorously with alcohol swabs TWICE and allow the site to dry inbetween. I do not use additional adhesive. I am very careful to place the sensor down without making creases or overlaps of the adhesive cloth. Also, when I shower, I do not scrub with soap around or over the sensor, but I do rinse the site with water. The standard adhesive as it comes from DexCom.
Here is a question from a newbie: We are trying the Dexcom Seven on my 8-year old son. The sensor is about to expire. How do I extend its life?
BTW, he wears the sensor on his upper arm since there is absolute no fat on his abdomen (I wish I was like that…). It has worked for the MM sensor as well.
The receiver will send you a message that your sensor session has ended. All you have to do then is go to the menus, select “start sensor” and you’ll be prompted to enter your 2 new start up blood sugars after a period of 2 hours. As long as the tape is still secure, you don’t need to do anything else. When the tape begins to peel, most users that I’ve seen here (myself included) apply either mastisol or skintac under the edge of the tape, holding it down until it dries enough to adhere well again. The mastisol which I have used tends to make the dressing portion of the sensor a bit rigid/crispy, but it allows it stick for up to 14 days and sometimes longer. Lots of folks seem to think that they see improvements in accuracy over a prolonged placement, but I have not found that as a rule-seems about the same to me. Good luck with your experimenting!
Dex is Amazing! Love it!
Bob, thank you so much for your helpful reply!
I’m counting on that, Midwest! ;o) I just decided today to go with DEXCOM rather than MiniMed CGMS. I’m hopeful I have much better results than I had with the MM Guardian system. And to wear a sensor longer than 3 days will be very exciting, indeed.
I got 30 days out of my last medtronic cgm sensor and it was accurate right up to the end. That’s the best I’ve been able to get out of a sensor.
The best I’ve gotten is 21 days on the Dex. But I used to use a Nav and my record was 75 days, perfectly accurate, no irritation at all, it might have gone longer but I didn’t pay attention to the extra tapes I added and it fell off in the shower, who knows how long it might have lasted.
I’m switching back to Nav as soon as it becomes available again in the US, for me Nav is way better in all areas except for it’s transmitter size and insertion is a little harder to do.