Canadian :( Should I just buy Dexcom in the UK?

Here's the low down. I was only just diagnosed with type 1 eight weeks ago just a month short of my 17th birthday. I was really against even getting an insulin pump when they first suggested it. Since then I have done a complete 180 and I am really pushing my Endo to let me get one. Up until two weeks ago I hadn't given much thought to CGM either because to be honest I didn't feel like I needed it and I wasn't thrilled about the idea of a second site. Anyway same story. I did a little more research, got sucked into the benefits of it and now I completely obsessed with it.

Now for the dilemma. Dexcom is not at all available in Canada. The only CGM on the Canadian market is the integrated one on the Medtronic pumps (and I am almost definitely getting the Animas Ping because I'm a lifeguard/ swim instructor and that means I need it to be waterproof). I was considering just going and buying one in the states but then I realized that I wouldn't be able to change the settings to mmol/l. So I turned my attention to the UK version because they use the same units over there. Is it worth it for me to try and get one? Also my insurance company pays over and above for all my diabetes supplies currently but does insurance ever cover out-of-country purchases? And if I did get it could I order sensors and stuff out of the states and would they work with a UK model? Just curious if you guys know anything or have experiences doing this?


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Hi Hanna,

I was diagnosed last year, and I feel like my Dexcom is literally a life saver. If I had to buy it out of pocket, it would be worth every penny.

I love it for several reasons:

* It has taught me a lot about how I metabolize different foods. I then use that information to help me play around with my boluses.

*I am very physically active, and although it gives delayed data it has kept me from severe lows. I went kayaking last fall and set my alarm high (at 100) so I knew when I needed to eat.

* It wakes me up during the night when I'm low (I live alone)

* It guides my decisions: If it is going up, I do something physically active. If I am dropping, I stay quiet and do something low key like reading. I attribute this feature to having an A1C of 6.5 the past 3 times (down from 14.9!) while still being able to eat yummy, carb-filled food.

* It gives me a tremendous peace of mind, like my little babysitter :-)

I know this isn't all that you are asking, but I think every person with Type 1 who wants to live as close of a normal life should have one!

Hugs to you from the U.S., especially with this new change in your life.


Thank you so much Anne! I got that kind of "babysitter" vibe out of it too. And I mean if I can't have a Diabetic Alert dog then I guess Dexcom is my next best option! I would just love the extra control and to be able to know what is going on in my body. Just wondering, what do you reckon a Dexcom is worth without insurance? And how much are sensors and transmitters etc?

p.s congrats on your A1C. That's really awesome!

If you spend so much time in the water, why aren't you considering the Omnipod? I would recommend the Omnipod WITH the Dexcom for you. I spend a half hour a night in the hot tub with both on and have never had a problem with either. Do watch out for the type of insulin you use in the heat. Humalog seems to do well in the sun and in the hot tub. Other insulins I have tried quickly lose their potency in a short time laying in the sun or being exposed to 104 deg water in a hot tub.

I did look at the Omnipod but I actually don't mind pump tubing at all. I really like the fact that you can disconnect for an hour or so and all your left with is an infusion site. Also the Omnipod says it's only tested waterproof for 60 minutes. I'm often in the water for up to four hours. Plus with a tubed pump I can disconnect if I plan to go in the hot tub and then I wouldn't have to worry at all about my insulin spoiling. Lastly, I wear a lot of tight clothing and I'm not particularly fond of the idea of having a bulge showing through them. Tubed pumps can easily be placed anywhere that's convenient and works with what you're wearing on any given day.