My daughter's CGM was approved today by our insurance company. We should be receiving it in the mail over the next few days. One of my big questions revolves around site prep and whether or not to apply a tape. I am very interested in hearing what is working best for the community. Of course, I am also interested in any other tips for a newbie. Thanks for any input you can provide.
Congrats on the new Dex! You're going to love it!
I am a huge fan of using Skin Prep wipes before sticking it on and it seems to make all the difference. I only get 4 days without skin prep and when I use it I can get 10. It seems to help keep my skin from getting as much irritation. The only time I use tape if the adhesive on the Dex is starting to peel before the 7 days are up, or if I want to extend its life past the 7 days.
Good luck and may the force be with you!
Lots of people do different things - but we don't use tape until it's peeling off. We do use Skin-Tac when we first put it on, but I don't know how much good it does. It's just part of my routine now. When we do put tape on, we cut a piece of Opsite Flexifix and cut a hole in the middle so the transmitter isn't covered by tape.
I think with regards to taping and site prep, it's a very individual thing that you'll probably just figure out through trial and error. Each person's body chemistry is a little different, so each person will react to the tape differently. The sensor comes with a tape/sticky baking on it already that works really well for me just on it's own. I can usually get 10-14 days out of it before it becomes too un-sticky to keep on. Some people will use some sort of tape over the top of the sensor's sticky backing, but just make sure that if you do that you're not taping over the sensor/transmitter itself-just around it. If you tape over the transmitter/sensor itself, then it won't work or transmit accurately to the receiver. I know a lot of people also use IV prep or alcohol, before they place the sensor on, but I don't personally use those. I place mine after I shower, so my skin is clean, but free of any chemical or alcohol. I found over the years that if I use IV prep or alcohol, I get an itchy rash under my pump sites and also my dexcom sensor sites, but that's just me. I hope that helps!
My other piece of Dexcom advice:The dex can take a little time to get used to, so you might have to be patient. Don't expect it to be 100% accurate right away. Every new sensor takes about 1 day to sort of settle before it becomes more accurate, so in the first day or so, you might see some weird readings. Also, remember that the dex reads blood sugar via interstitial fluid, which has about a 10-15 minute lag time behind a finger-stick blood sugar reading. I think a lot of new dexcom users get frustrated and disappointed because they expect it to be as accurate as a real-time fingerstick, but it's not, and it's not currently designed to do that. But, if you know what you're getting into, it can still be a very useful tool. I have found that the dexcom has been VERY helpful in seeing trends in blood sugar, and alerting me to lows in the middle of the night that I might not wake up for right away. It has definitely helped me lower my A1C. I hope you find it useful for you and your daughter!
I don't use anything but alcohol to prep for sensor insertion. There's an enzyme on it, and even skin prep can interfere. I usually get a good 5 days or so before it starts to lift, then I use opsite flexifix - the stuff is great. I've never had it peel off even on sensors that lasted 3 weeks.
Here's a great video on inserting a dexcom on 1 Happy Diabetic's site. This page lists all his vids on CGM.
I LOVE my dexcom, sure you will too!!
Ice first, alcohol wipe second, make sure totally dry third. Insert. Skin Tac after insertion, just use skin tac pad and "wipe" / "soak" the Dex tape (don't get it on the piece the transmitter unit attaches to!). I hit the tape with skin tac before I snap the transmitter in place, blow dry low to set the skin tac, snap transmitter, more skin tac and blow dryer and off I go. I do tape a gauze pad over mine because I am just so gifted (LOL) on hanging up on clothing, counter edges, something outside and yanking it out. If the tape begins to peel (like hot, sweaty, summer days), Mastisol then is painted on the edges (q-tip to apply).
Congrats on the approval! I remember the day I got the call that it was shipping :)
As everyone has said, keeping the sensor on is a personal preference. I tried the skin tac and hated how it felt (it made the adhesive patch hard and unpliable). So I only use an alcohol wipe. Then I put on the sensor. Then I cut out two pieces of opsite flexifix tape (name brand, the cheap stuff doesn't work!) to sit around the sensor (not covering the sensor). That keeps it on me for 10 + days.
Thanks to one and all for your comments. They are greatly appreciated. Is this opsite flexifit tape sold in local pharmacies or is it a mail-order item?
I couldn't find it in any local stores near me (but I live in a smaller-ish town). I got it from American Diabetes Wholesale (plus you can also use the TuD discount code (TUDIAB7)!). I think it's cheaper there than from Amazon.
Larry it looks expensive, but lasts probably a good year - at least my way LOL
Thanks - I just put in an order for the basic supplies. I do appreciate the input
The package arrived yesterday and we just got the first sensor initiated. Of course, there was a little bit of apprehension since it was a new process but it went very smoothly, The best part was my daughter reporting that it was pain free - ( something not always true of the Omnipod insertion). She is so glad to be off and running.
Whoopee! Enjoy. Remember that there will be glitches, and to never bolus/correct based on the dexcom.