I started using my first Dexcom sensor on Saturday, 7/1. I choose to insert it on my arm after the first 24 hours my readings seemed to be pretty accurate. Yesterday, I was wearing a backback and accidentally hit the sensor while taking the backpack off. The sensor pod detached slightly from the tape and my readings are now way off. I’m wondering if anyone else has had any issues with hitting the sensor or sensor pod and subsequently getting inaccurate readings. I didn’t hit it that hard so I’m surprised the readings are way off and not sure there is any point to even using a CGM if I have to be so careful about not hitting it. I know kids use CGM’s and I would assume they run around and play while wearing them so I thought the sensors/pods would be made to take a little bit of a beating every now and then. Has anyone else ever experienced this?
You have to find the right placement area for you and then get used to working around the CGM a bit, which is actually easier than you might think. I can’t put the sensor on my arm since I knock it around too much there. I used my stomach for a long time, but finally settled on my inner thigh. I quickly became used to working around that area when putting on my pants.
Sensors are quite sensitive to being displaced. Did you tape it down? There are posts on here about using Flexfix tape and Skin Tac which makes it harder to displace. Also, although some users insert in their arms, Dexcom do not recommend this and say you should insert in your abdomen.
Yes, that’s happened to me but more often than not, when life bumps, scrapes, or otherwise tries to pry off my sensor and bandage, my subsequent sensor readings remain unaffected. It’s actually a sturdier situation than I at first expected. I do use Skin-Tac to help the sensor bandage sticker better and most people end up adding some adhesion help, even right from the start.
You can call Dexcom to report this failure but you’ll need to tell them that the sensor was placed on your abdomen as that’s the only FDA-approved site. They understand that sometimes sensors fail through no fault of the user and they are good about replacing them. If you nick a blood vessel and foul a sensor, they will replace in that situation, too.
I’m not trying to tell you not to use your arm. Many people exclusively use their arms successfully. I would consider beefing up your sensor bandage. Here’s the latest Dexcom user guide and its advice for taping over a site.
It’s bad luck that this happened on the first sensor. Don’t give up! The CGM is one of the best tools we have.
I am what they call clumsy. My very first sensor I placed on my abdomen and then within the first couple of days I bumped into a door frame and whammo it went bonkers. I called Dexcom and discussed it with them. They advised me that since I was a clumsy dolt that I should use tape. And most kindly, they shipped me off a free replacement sensor although in my mind the failure was really likely due to operator error. I use skintac on the area where I place my sensor and then use opsite flex tape. The sensor stays on for like three weeks and it is on there good.
I used skin tac but the tape was not the problem. I hit the sensor pod which then became slightly displaced from the tape but the tape inself was firmly in place. I used my other arm the second time and a few hours later saw the question marks meaning the sensor wasn’t obtaining any readings. I had not hit the sensor or anything, so not sure what the problem was. I know the sensor isn’t approved for arm use but from what I’ve read, many people seem to be able to use the sensor in their arms with no problems. I’ve inserted yet again, for the third time in 4 days, using my arm but used a different sensor (Dexcom sent me 2). Hopefully it will go well this time.
To start, yes a CGM can be a wonderfully helpful tool for D management.
Be patient. Also, getting a good insertion is key. It’s not that difficult, but if you’re not attentive to the details it can increase the odds of bad data and early failure. If the sensor (meaning the bit that gets inserted subcutaneously) gets jostled afterward you can expect problems. The more it gets yanked out of place, the more the problems and likelihood that you’ll need to start a new sensor.
Other than that, search the forum here for lots and lots of good advice on insertion, re-starting a good sensor that’s lasted more than 7 days and all the details of adhesives, wraps and everything else people do to keep the cgm securely in place whether you’re hiking, swimming, biking or just sitting around in summer humidity.
Also, don’t feel obliged to limit your cgm placement to arms, abdomen or whatever until you have some experience. People here do well with lots of different approaches, so in time you’ll work it out I’m sure.
Most important is the great, continuous data sream that a cgm provides. You’ll grow to love that (well, I’m guessing you will based on your earlier comments), and you’ll figure out how to calibrate things at various stages of a cgm lifespan.
Good luck and let us know how it’s going!
What I would add to that is this: Often just the reminder of where your sensor is will be reminder enough. After a while, you will just know where it is subconsciously, but it will take a while to get there. It just takes a little time.
Make sure if the transmitter got displaced that both sides are back in the correct position, i.e., the tabs on each side are clicked in.
I’ve started using Hypafix to cover the entire pod. I first cover the pod with plastic wrap (to keep water from showers entering), then place the Hypafix completely over the pod. The plastic wrap keeps the Hypafix from sticking to the pod, too, so your transmitter remains non-sticky and clean. I’m only on my second sensor using Hypafix, but so far, so good. It protects the pod so it is much less likely to displace it even if you do accidentally bump it. Also, for me, the significant improvement is that showers no longer effect the readings. I used to get sky high readings due to showers, and so far, my readings have been normal during showers.
Sometimes they go crazy for no reason. And acetaminophen will send them wild.
I wear my sensor really low on my stomach, never gets knocked there.
I had the same problem as Trish87: I bumped into a car door and the next day the sensor pod was coming off the adhesive. The adhesive was still firmly on the skin, just the plastic piece that the transmitter is attached to was loose.
Dear god forgive me, but I’ve just tried using Krazy Glue to reattach it! I bought the Krazy Glue with a brush applicator, brushed the adhesive onto the tape, and then held the sensor pod down onto it for thirty some seconds, as per the instructions. That was about six hours ago and SO FAR SO GOOD: the Dexcom is working fine, and the sensor pod has stayed attached to the bandage.
My last sensor stayed on my belly for four weeks, and I only had about five days on this one, so I really wanted a good fix. We’ll see if the transmitter comes off the carrier when I take this off! I think it should be fine (famous last words…)