Arthritis and Dexcom G6

I have used the Dexcom G6 for 3 months, and I am going to quit! I have arthritis in my hands. That is making it very difficult for me to apply the transmitter to the sensor properly. It is even more difficult for me to remove the transmitter from the sensor. I have had a few sensors fail because I had not properly had the transmitter connected to the sensor.
I find it easier to use the G5. It is also much easier to restart the G5 sensor for a second week. I have many old G5 sensors that friends have sent to me when they were changing from G5 to G6. The old sensors seem to work very well.
I know the new G5 sensors will not be available in the near future. Maybe even now. I think I may have enough old G5 sensors to keep me going for 6 months. At that time I think I will have to stop using a Dexcom CGM.
I know there are other CGMs…the Eversense, the Libre…
Any recommendations?

I have not used eversense however I think it might be a good choice for you. The transmitter sticks to your skin with sticky tape, but you don’t deal wit snapping it into a sensor because the sensor is under your skin.
If tandem would pair with it, I think I would go for it.

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I’m sorry to read this, @Richard157. I wonder if there might be some help learning some physical techniques that may be able to help you. I know that patients discharged from the hospital with new-to-them disabilities often use an occupational therapist to help them adjust to activities of daily living. You might talk to your doctor for a referral.

I’ve never used a Libre, but the insertion looks similar to a G6 with a one-button delivery. The Libre doesn’t use a separate piggy-back transmitter like the G6.

If I were you, I wouldn’t let these physical challenges make the decision for you without consultation with someone who is practiced with creating work-around custom solutions. I suspect that an occupational therapist would surprise you with some ideas you haven’t thought about.

I’m glad to read that you have a buffer supply of G5 sensors to give you time to consider your situation.

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A friend posted the following link about the Glucomenday CGM. I have never heard of it. Must be very new.

Thats strange, Richard. I, too, wanted to pull the G6 this week. I wanted to pull for communication difficulties.

If I have G4’s laying around, are those useful to you? They might not be because they are the super old G4’s without share. I think those are different.

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This doesn’t appear to be available to the U.S. yet and maybe not available at all. However even if it is available I think it is too similar to the Dexcom to be any better for you to deal with.

Does your wife have arthritis? If not maybe she could insert the Dexcom for you and remove the transmitter from used sensors. Or do you have a younger friend who could come over and help out? Also have you considered a home health care aide or nurse? Your insurance may pay for someone to help with these sorts of tasks.

I also agree with @Terry4 that an occupational therapist may be able to help you cope with handling the Dexcom.

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@Firenza, my wife also has arthritis. She cannot help me. My son and grandkids live in Georgia. That is too far to commute every 10 days to change my sensors. lol
I like your idea of getting help from a health care aide, but I am trying to stay isolated as much as possible.
I am going to continue with the G5. I have so many G5 sensors and friends are sending more. I have transmitter, too.

@mohe0001, I have a pile of G5 sensors and all the other parts of that system I need. I am going to use the G5 for a long time.

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I’ve been very interested in the Eversense ever since it was announced… But it still scares me a bit. I think the biggest problem with it is the lack of training on the doctor’s part. It’s a very simple in-office procedure to insert the sensor. The problem comes with the removal. It seems to be a traumatic hunting expedition to remove the thing after 90 days. Some people have reported just having to leave the sensor in because the doctor couldn’t find it or because they didn’t want to go through the extraction process. But at 4 sensors per year, those spare floating bits under your skin are going to add up quick! I think I would only try the Eversense if I were seeing a very popular Endo, in a high population region, who is very tech forward… Thus, likely having lots of experience on the extraction process.

Sounds like your best option is a system without a separate transmitter. I haven’t personally tried a Libre sensor, but they seem well-loved. I don’t think there accuracy quite compares to the G6, but may be on par with the G5. Of course, unless you one of the third party Bluetooth scanners (and I have no idea how they apply or how hard they are on the hands), you’ll have to give up real time alerts and any linked pump automation.

Dexcom’s next generation the G7 will a built in transmitter. I’m not sure when that’s expected on the market, but maybe you can hold out with the G5 I until then.

It’s astoun6 the rate at which technology is evolving these days. Who knows what might be on the market before you run out of G5 supplies!

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If you can keep using the G5 for now, the G7 will have the sensor/transmitter all as one thing, so will no longer be an issue.

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Thanks @Robyn_H, I like your suggestions. More friends are sending me G5 sensors. I will be ok with G5 for a long time, while waiting for G7.

You might want to try Libre. You might need help peeling off the foil cover but the rest of the system is a twist from top and then you line up the section and can press with your palm. You apply it to your arm the same way, by pressing with your palm.

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I’ve used Eversense and warn you about one aspect of it: the transmitter has to be recharged daily. Does not take long (10-15 minutes) BUT the plastic recharging cradle that comes with it might be tough to use if you are having finger trouble. Be sure to take a look at how the transmitter clicks/unclicks into the plastic charging cradle, might be a problem. I felt like I had to force the transmitter into place as I used it to recharge.

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It’s the G5 transmitter that will be your problem. Dexcom will not be making them after December. You will still be able to purchase a transmitter from the people that replace the batteries in them. I’m unsure how many times the transmitter can be refurbished. Good luck

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This was a good point and made be remember that I’ve seen projects the 3d printed battery covers for the G5. You should be able to replace indefinitely.

The 3d printer files are free here:

Unfortunately, with arthritis, the work would be difficult to do yourself, but maybe you could solicit help. 3d printers are getting really easy to find access to nowadays, such as at a local “makers’ space” or even maybe your library.

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@Dave15, I have mailed old G5 transmitters to a friend many times. The battery is replaced, and is good for 3 months. This can go on indefinitely. I have at least 7 old G5 transmitters. It costs only $60 to have a battery replaced.

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Until dexcom or distributers no longer have G4/G5 sensors.

  • June of 2020, Dexcom will stop selling G4 PLATINUM and G5 Mobile CGM transmitters and the share 2 app will stop working.
  • By the end of 2020 , Dexcom will stop selling G4 PLATINUM and G5 Mobile CGM sensors.
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Expired G5 sensors have worked well for me…This year I used up a batch of 2018 G5 sensors and had no problems. Expired sensors got me through until I switched over to G6 (which has worked great by the way). A large stockpile of G5 sensors, used with refurbished transmitters, could hopefully be used way past their expiration dates.

As a side note, I tried some expired Libre sensors and they were worthless. They were also from 2018.

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@MM1, I did not word my message very well.
I meant to say that I can have old G5 transmitter batteries replaced indefinitely. The transmitters are then good for 3 months. I can keep that up until I no longer have G5 sensors. I have enough of the sensors to last almost a full year. It is easy to renew each sensor and get a two week average from each sensor. Arthritis does not interfere when I do that.

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Great, glad you have a good supply!
I also got 2-3 weeks using G4/G5, and now getting 15-20 days with G6.

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