I found that I was getting erratic readings about 7 days into the restart. A good way to stockpile sensors though.
Yep, even if you just get 15 days, that’s a gain of a sensor a month. So in 3 months, 3 extra sensors. If you want a back up supply it’s best to do it now before the G7 as it looks like those might not be able to be restarted. That way you can get them and use out your G6’s to build a back up of the new G7’s.
I hate relying on everything going smoothly as it doesn’t often enough!
Another reason I just realized it’s nice to have a nice stockpile. I just put on a new sensor, in a spot that’s not good. I thought I had placed it enough towards the back of the arm, but instead it’s almost directly getting laid on when I sleep. The first night I got woken up once with a false hypo alert, the next night was fine but the third night twice. I turned off my phone then lol.
But I am putting on a new one today, another option when you have a stockpile!
Yeah, it looks like our ability to stockpile will be reduced with the advent of the G7. Like you, Marie, I benefit from restarting the G6 and prior versions so that I have a comfortable stockpile to deal with the vagaries of diabetes.
I’m thinking about what newer users could do to build up their safety stock of CGM supplies. I wonder if doctors could order you to change your CGM sensor a day or two before the sensor’s rated duration. I know that doctors will write a Rx to change infusion sites every two days instead of the nominal three-day. I’m thinking the payers would not like this idea but it might work.
Another way to build up your comfort stock will be to build in a regular day or two of your choosing to go off of the CGM. I know that seems radical once you rely on the CGM data-stream that we’ve grown accustomed to. But the days you take off will be your choice and not randomly imposed on you by suppliers.
I recently turned off my CGM when it insisted that I was much lower than I actually was and I didn’t want to stay awake for a few hours to give it the necessary calibration tactics to persuade it toward better correspondence with actual BG.
Instead, I relied on the settings in my pump to take me through the night. I got a full night’s sleep and woke up with a BG in the 80’s and no hypos. That reminded me that a well-tuned pump can deliver good BG performance. If you did that for three days per month you could build up an extra four sensors per year.
Every time that a sensor fails and qualifies for a replacement, you can add to your stockpile. If it fails after 6 days and Dexcom replaces it, you gain 6 days in your shelf stock. I know people are not shy to claim replacement sensors but an empty supply shelf provides extra motivation to request a replacement for absolutely every sensor that fails you early.
Finally, it might be worth the peace of mind to invest in a few boxes of extra sensors. That’s a luxury that not everyone can afford but if you can, it might prevent a good deal of stress.
I’d be interested to read about any other ways to build up a generous supply of CGM sensors.
I wonder how many of us are thinking “just yank one off at day 9!”. Oh no, look, it fell off. Of course, that only works when you’ve got other sensors on the shelf, like with the first of a new shipment. Or am I the only one whose scruples go right out the window when health and safety are on the line???
When I started using Dexcom sensors back in 2009, I was pleasantly surprised that the sensors could easily last longer than their published duration and the steps to do so were simply pressing a few buttons on the receiver. The second restarted session not only helped me with supplies but often produced more accurate data than the first session!
I remember thinking that Dexcom was a company that understood what we as diabetics are up against. I think it produced in me and many others a loyalty toward the brand because they weren’t just all about the bottom line and they really did treat their ultimate customers well.
But that company idealism just can’t last in an economic reality where producing “shareholder value” overrides giving their customers extra value.
Slowly but surely over the years Dexcom has whittled away at that customer good will as they developed into a much larger company. And maybe we shouldn’t expect Dexcom to single-handedly protect the interests of their customers when payers, regulators and other players took on no such responsibility.
Just-in-time medical supplies does not work the same as other goods. If we don’t have our medical supplies, our health, safety and sanity are sorely tested. I am not going to depend on other forces in this market to look after my health and safety needs.
I see the ethical and moral line is blurred here and really think the system (all players in this market) should share to protect us. But that idealism is not going to happen, so yes, I will do what I need to to look after my access to critical supplies like CGM sensors, within reason, of course.
It’s that “within reason” that matters to me. But it’s really difficult to write billing policies for that, so it’s up to the patients to ethically circumvent the policies.
Since I pay cash out of pocket for my G6 supplies, I’m happily willing to pay for 1 sensor per month. They puts me on par with what most other people are paying with insurance coverage. I think that’s fair, and I’m happy to pay that for the balance of life quality and supporting the company which makes that quality of life possible. Since I can usually get 30 days of wear out of a sensor, it works out pretty good. I limit my supply hoarding/ethic bending to an additional 2 sensors on the shelf beyond the one a month I buy, mostly to cover shipping delays. (Well, technically I buy 1 box of 3 sensors and a new transmitter every 3 months for a little more than $400US). If I have more than 2 surplus on the shelf, I don’t call in a failure. If I don’t have 2 surplus on the shelf, then I do, no matter what the circumstances were.
I do the same with insulin. My script is for ridiculously more than I need. I use 1.3 vials a month. The script was for 3 in a month, in case one broke. But then they went and allowed 90 day fills and started giving me 9 vials every 3 months, when I only need 4. I do not refill that like clockwork, or else I would drown in insulin vials. I refill the script when I’m down to 2 in the fridge, plus the one I just started.
We’re kinda doomsday preppers, which leads to my husband hoarding a lot of stuff in outbuildings or around the property that I really wish wasn’t there, and I think has outlived it’s usefulness. (Like a MOUNTAIN of old, pulled fencing wire that there is zero chance in heck either of us will ever untangle to make further use of… but he sees too much usefullness left to dispose of it.) My response to is to minimize hoarding in any other way I can responsibly do so, which shows on my diabetic supply shelf. I have 1 cubby for supplies. I refuse to outgrow it.