I was hoping to get some opinions from current Dexcom users. My son is 6 years old and was diagnosed in April and started Omnipod in June. The last few months have been full of learning and change. As his mom I am trying to make living with Diabetes as easy as I can....although that is often hard to do. I am considering getting a Dexcom monitor for him..as I think it might reduce the amount of times a day he checks his blood glucose....and give him better control. We are often out of our range. But I worry about him having another monitor to carry and another insertion site. I'm hoping to get some opinions on whether or not the benefits out-weigh the negative.
I understand your concern. Let me start out by saying that for me, the Dexcom is even more important then a pump. I say this because it alerts you to his highs and lows. A HUGE peace of mind. It can alarm and vibrate when he's awake or sleeping and he gets too low or too high. Getting it because of less testing is a minor concern for me. I still test close to the same because you need to test before a bolus. Whats' most important is this. 24/7 it's always on your mind and you worry and stress over his health and well being..that's not healthy for you either...so say he's involved in some activity at home, or school or sports and you notice something and wonder if he's too low, and then stress over getting him to test right away...maybe you argue with him about it...eventually he tests and he's ok, so now your going to second guess yourself in the future. If he had the dexcom and the same thing happened, you could signal him by tapping your waist on the side where his dexcom is...he looks at the reading and gives you an ok sign....it's over that quick. Instant peace of mind...if it's too low he gives you a thumbs down..he then pops some glucose into his mouth or you bring it to him....that's what they call "nipping it in the bud". It makes the life of a diabetic and parent so much easier, and it will educate him on what makes him high and low because his reading is right on his hip. One thing to note is. While the finger test reads the glucose level of your blood, the Dexcom sensor reads it from the serous fluid in your body (it's like a lubricant for your body parts) there's about a 15-20 minute lag time between the reading of your blood and serous fluid...so don't expect them to match exactly all the time. Anyway, obviously I'm a big fan of the Dexcom. fyi even though the FDA has yet to approve the Dexcom for kids, I've heard that some insurance companies will still pay for it. Even if yours doesn't, give it a 3 month try and evaluate later if the cost is worth your peace of mind.
I would definitely recommend the Dexcom. I started using mine two years ago and I basically rely on it now. I still do a lot of finger sticks throughout the day, especially when it comes to taking insulin or mealtimes, but it really is a big help. You will be able to see certain trends-perhaps going high or low at certain points in the day, and how different foods affect the blood sugar. For me, it helps me prevent a lot of extreme lows and highs because I can see if my blood sugar is going up or down and quickly take care of the problem. Unlike the pump, the Dexcom can be worn for a week, so although another site change is definitely annoying, it is a little less often. Also, carrying the receiver around can be a pain, but it is well worth it! I'd definitely give it a try.. I know many people who have it and love it, including myself. Good luck with everything!
My son has been wearing the Dexcom since he was 18 months old and he is now 3. While the first few days with the Dexcom are overwhelming - THAT'S what his blood sugar was doing?!? I thought we were doing pretty well - we wouldn't live without it now. It does reduce the fingersticks - on normal days, I only stick him 3 times! - and you catch almost all the lows. The improving control is a no brainer, and I feel more comfortable giving him the bigger boluses, but it has improved our quality of life. It also allows him to be monitored better by his school and neighbors and babysitters - people feel a lot more comfortable looking after him with the Dexcom. The only thing is that the Dexcom is constant just like diabetes, and I get really testy when it's waking me up every hour in the middle of the night. But then again, he needs help and I am ultimately glad it's telling me. Jack doesn't mind having the monitor on his pants all the time, and people ask me if it's his cell phone (on a two year old?!?). Also Jack doesn't seem to mind the CGM insertion as much as the Omnipod insertion - I think the POP and the poke scare him more. We had no issue getting insurance to approve - it can be used "off label" and obviously an 18 month old is hypo unaware because they can't talk. I know lots of people say that they would rather have a CGM than a pump!
Good luck with the first year of diabetes - it's the hardest - it does get easier - and you're a great Mom, even if you get wacky blood sugars or less than ideal A1Cs. Diabetes is tough - for everyone.
Even if you don't have continous readings becasue of distance limitations, you would have a lot more readings than finger sticks.
I use a sturdy cell phone belt pouch and no one notices. It might be cool for a 6 year old to have a cell phone carrier on his belt. Don't count on that. I am 50 six and probably have not concept of six cool.
The second insertion site is an issue. I use a Ping pump that has an insertion device the cocks and then fires when you squeeze the inserstion device. Sometimes in can be a sharp pain. It varies. The DexC uses a plunger device that is relatively less painful.
I swim a lot and do get looks. I don't wear my pump when I swim but have a small inset. If your son is wearing an OmniPod and is OK with it, I can't imagine the DexC inset and transmitter would be more of an issue without a shirt.
Using the various reports have helped my fine tune programs on the Ping pump. It has really helped my control. I average right around 105 on a week to week basis. And rarely have very big lows and highs. My asleep comtrol is much better because I can look at what happens overnight and track trends and program my pump accordingly.
The case for huge control improvements and the long term benefits for your son's health would make a case for a SGM.