About to give up! HELP!

On my Dexcom! I am so frustrated. I started on Dex last Wednesday. I was prompted to enter my 2 BGs after 2 hours, then it did a few readings, then went to ???. In the middle of the night, that first night, it said I was high, but I was fine. The next am, I entered a BG and it was fine. Over the course of the next 5 days, I had several episodes of ???, after entering a BG lower than what DEX thought it should be. I called Dex and they sent a new sensor and told me to replace it. This was Monday. The new sensor did the same thing. I enered my BGs after 2 hours and it did a few readings then went to ???. Then my receiver died. Dex replaced that sensor and receiver. So, today I get the new receiver. I inserted a new sensor, placed the transmitter, and started the new sensor on the receiver. Before the 2 hour “warm up” period, it read ???. UGHHHHHH!

I am so frustrated! I tried entering BG 2 different times, like the directions said. No luck. I guess i’ll let it be tonight and see what happens. If no luck, I’ll tr to stop it and restart it.

What the heck could I be doing wrong? I was with my CDE when I inserted the first sensor, and she did not indicate that I did anything wrong. Any thoughts or advice?

I am about to give up on the whole thing! 3 sensors, one week, and NO luck. I don’t even know what the benefit of having the Dex is at this point!

Can you hang in there ?? Stay calm . I am a MM CGMS user , so unable to give you the nitty gritty about the Dexcom useage ; I had to learn , how to use the gadgets. And it took some time . I have the hang of it now , no pain , no blood at the insertion , numbers pretty well in line with my finger pokes .
I am sure some Dex users can put you at ease.

It might take a little time to get used to the nuances. I’ve used a Dex for 3 years - try these little tips:

When you enter the initial calibration (after 2 hrs) it’s easier to get it to “settle out” if your BG isn’t on a dramatic swing. The ??? is supposed to mean your BG levels are moving too fast for the system. The truth is, it also can mean the sensor may be failing. don’t try to calibrate if you’re overly high or low.

Insertions can and will go wrong - even after doing it dozens of times. Pick a nice fatty spot on your stomach if you have one. Trying more unconventional spots (arms, thighs) may not be best right now. You can twist and stretch a little too much and get a sensor to move and dislodge - even one that appears thoroughly stuck in. Get used to how it feels as it goes in - after time, you’ll know when an insertion is questionable.

Make sure you’re not on any Tylenol products.

Be patient. You can learn to love a CGM. But remember they are a pain in the neck. I got used to all the little idiosyncrasies, and now I’m sure I can’t live without it!

Don’t give up. I started only two days ago and had problems as you know, but now I love it already!

When you keep getting ??? and blood sugar does not show up on Receiver after a few hours, we just do a “Stop Sensor, Restart” from the Receiver, don’t remove the sensor. Sometimes “Stop” does not appear on the Receiver menu, in which case we just do a Restart alone. We don’t remove after sensor errors 1 or 2, either. Restart, restart, restart. Will even try it more than once. The only time we remove a sensor right off the bat is when we have a Sensor Failure error. Restart works most of the time. Once we have a Sensor Failure, we have not been able to revive Dex.

Are you using any kind of adhesive prep (IV Prep, Skin Tac, etc.)? If so, be sure not to use it on the area where the sensor wire inserts. Also, do you take Tylenol? I’ve heard that acetaminophen can interfere with the DexCom’s performance.

My CDE told me not to use skin prep at all. I cut a little hole in IV 3000 and put it over the existing adhesive yesterday because it was starting to come up!

I also have not taken any Tylenol products. Unfortunately it’s the only thing I can take for pain relief; after my lung transplant, they won’t let me take ibuprofen either! My CDE told me I could take it, but Dex would just come up wtih really high readings.

It is working pretty well so far. I am a little frustrated that it has been very accurate, but has failed to catch 2 lows!! I am going to restart/trick the receiver today because it’s time to change the sensor, but it’s working great.

I will let you all know how it goes!

Try leaving it in over night before taking the initial blood glucose reading. Works for me though I’m on a MiniMed CGMS…Steve

CBG monitors are far from perfect. You have to learn to relax and accomodate the obvious flaws while gleening the information availabe to you. I have had mixed results with my DexCom Seven Plus system. I started around the beginning of OCT 2009. When the sensors work I have been happy with the results, but close to 50% of my sensors have failed or behaved similarly to yours. The DexCom people tell me that some users experience similar rates of sensor failure while others rarely experience any failures at all. DexCom recognizes the problem and is working at top speed to determine the issues. In the meantime DexCom customer support has been liberal in replacing all questionable sensors. They are able to connect to the your receiver over the internet using a computer, a USB connection and their software. I like to joke that the system is inaccurate, unreliable and THOROUGHLY USEFUL. I used to be inordinatly afraid of low BG events as these are scary for me. The DexCom allows me to stay in the 80 range and provides warnings as the BG drops so I can correct for the problem before it gets serious. I still rely on my finger stick meter for intake of food or medicine, but the DexCom clues me in as to when I should take finger stick readings etc. I have also gotten a better feel for how food intake, insulin and excercise affect BG trends. It takes a while to get over initial high expectations of accuracy and reliability before you can gauge the true benefits of the system. I am a believer and will continue to use mine despite the issues. Hopefully Dexcom will resolve these issues shortly. Regards, AaronM

I wanted to add to my earlier comments. If the sensor works, fine I use it. If the sensor fails as indicated on the receiver, I call tech service for a replacement. If the sensor acts flaky and seems off, I call Tech service and ask them to evaluate the sensor over the internet. They have been very liberal in replacing all that fall into this category. I don’t agonize about the performance.

I had a local representative that I visited for my initial lessons. She was very helpful. Perhaps you need to try different sites on your body or even go back to check that the insertion of the sensor is correct. This is a useful device. Like all new technology it takes getting used to the quirks. Regards, Aaron

I use the MM CGM and have been on it for about 6 months now. The first week was terrible and I lost a lot of sleep b/c the alarms were going off all the time. Even now I find the CGM can be so hit and miss in accuracy; I still finger test about ten times per day. I try to insert a new sensor in the middle of the night so that I can calibrate in morning after night fast. It is hard to calibrate the CGM several times a day b/c I eat throughout the day. I try to wait at least 2 hours after last bolusing and eating to do a calibration (and assuming the BG levels are changing rapidly still). I have also found setting the alarm hi and low limits really tight helps somewhat b/c the way the sensor seems to lag so much. I was thinking of switching to DexCom b/c a lot of people wrote that the accuracy is pretty good…maybe it is just as inaccurate as minimed’s.

I have now been on the Dex for a month, and just inserted my 4th sensor.

It has been a real up and down month to be honest. After inserting a sensor I get all kinds of spurious results and ??? for at least 12 hours, it usually takes overnight for it to settle down. Then i spend the next week hoping the sensor will last 7 days at least, and the fabric won’t peel off. And after that I get intermittent ???, which seem to coincide with any kind of movement.

It is very frustrating, I totally understand how you feel, but when it does work, it is good. My last sensor actually lasted 10 days (just about - there were a few??? times after 7 days) but the first two really struggled to get to 7 days.

How are you getting on now Heidi?

I do not use any additional adhesive or perp. I do scrub vigorously two times with alcohol swabs over the area where the sensor will be placed. So far the standard adhesive has lasted longer than the sensor. It’s usually work to peel the sensor off. Regards, AaronM