I am getting the Guardian Real Time System probably sometime this week. I would like advice on how to get the sensors to last longer as I am paying out of pocket for this. Also looking for any advice on the CGMS period.
The sensors time out after 3 days but all you have to do it go to the Sensor menu and tell it to start a new sensor. I think the transmitter will run for 7 days before needing to be recharged, so you can run the sensor through more than 2 cycles before doing that. You will have to be careful when peeling the dressing off the site so that you don’t yank out the sensor or transmitter.
Once you see the sensor is working properly (giving consistent numbers, isn’t painful) you can keep restarting it for weeks. People have gone for a month using the same sensor. The longest I’ve used them has been 10 days. It definitely makes them a little more affordable if you can use one for 3 weeks rather than 3 days. Just don’t ever call Minimed about a sensor problem if it’s been in longer than 3 days. Do call them if there are problems during the first three days and see if you can get a replacement.
There’s a period where the sensor sits in your body and gets “wet”. I was told that after inserting a sensor to wait at least 20 minutes before attaching the transmitter (the Minimed literature says 5 minutes, I think). The longer it sits & gets “wet” before starting, the better. Once you attach the transmitter it will start gathering info for about 2 hours. You will not get any readings during that time. When it’s ready, the pump will alarm and you’ll have to enter your first BG from a meter to calibrate it. The sensor 3 day timer starts at that point.
Calibrate only 2-4 times a day when your BG is stable. Waking is a great time, before meals (as long as you haven’t bolused or eaten in the last few hours) and before bed. After the first calibration when you start a new sensor it will ask for another one 5 hours later, but you can do it sooner. Pay attention to the sensor timing because you don’t want it to alarm asking for a meter BG at 3:00am.
Sometimes the sensor takes awhile to get “wet”, longer than the 2 hour warmup period when you first attach the transmitter. Check the ISIG value (you’ll see that on the Sensor status screen when you start) and if it’s low you might have to turn off the sensor (not remove it, just turn off the function on the pump) and let it sit & stew for awhile longer. I had a sensor that gave me crazy numbers for 3 days and then worked great for a week before finally dying. My current sensor started giving reliable readings immediately. I never pull a sensor until I’ve given it a day or two to see if the readings fall into place. It’s frustrating not getting the proper data, but it’s worse to pull it and start over. You should call Minimed if you don’t get good readings during the first day, though.
It’s normal to bleed a little when you insert the sensor but if it bleeds a lot or doesn’t stop, call MM and they’ll most likely tell you to pull it. Try to get them to replace it for you.
Good luck getting started. I’ve only been using it for 6 weeks and love mine already.
I will have mine sometime this week. I am calling tomorrow to get my payment in and they said it will take 2 days to get it