Having a G4 Day

I started my day using my “upstairs” Verio meter to calibrate my G4. Started with 138, 103, 124. (I don’t normally do more than 1 BG test to calibrate except when the meter number is substantially different than my Dex as it was this morning.) This is the same meter I complained about recently, so I should quit using it. I just got another Verio from my endo, so I will see how the new one goes. I like the meter for its quickness (all tagging turned off), appearance, color screen, and small sample size. My Ping meter gave me 118 and 108. So I calibrated with 114 and decided to have a G4 day.

And you may ask, what is a G4 Day? It is a day that I am just going to use my G4 and do no other testing. Is this safe? Well, maybe it’s as safe as using a meter that gives sequential readings of 138 and 103. My day is a fairly predictable day with food I’m used to eating. I’m also not micro-managing. My current Dex BG is 110 with a straight arrow. Maybe my meter would say 90 or 130, but probably not 60 or 200, so I’m not correcting. An hour after walking the dog this morning, my G4 said 73, so I had 2 small chocolate candies (yes, chocolate for a mild low). I’m having a really good day.

Do any of you just live off of your Dex? Maybe you should give it a try sometime, but don’t tell your doctor or Dexcom.

Yes I do just live off of the Dex especially if the sensor has "aged" properly and been on for at least 4-5 days. Then I get great readings that are no more than a few points off the glucometer so I don't see the point in doing both plus it is a lot easier on my fingers. So I do the required 2 calibration tests a day and leave it at that. I don't think my doctor would be all that surprised and Dexcom expects you to only do 2 blood glucose readings in a day so I doubt either one would have a problem with it.

Dexcom says that you are not supposed to make any insulin dose decisions without first doing a finger stick. I say, GET REAL! After you've been using the G4 for awhile, you may be able to judge whether its' reading is accurate or not by how you feel & what you've been doing that day for food & exercise. Sometimes you'll judge well and occasionally you'll screw up, but your fingers may get some rest and I'll bet that you won't suffer any long-term damage. I'm glad to hear that you are giving yourself a little breathing room. Happy G4 Day!

Clare and Bob–you’re absolutely right mentioning sore fingers. I live in Minnesota and have cold hands a lot of the time. My fingers aren’t sore from the lancet punctures. What’s happening is I keep getting cracks near my nails that keep opening up when I squeeze fingers to get enough blood. Thus my desire to use the Verio that needs a very small sample size compared to the Ping meter. Unfortunately it looks as though the Ping meter with the huge sample size is much more accurate…

Here's what my wife recommends using for those finger cracks: http://www.vermontbeebalm.com/
she believes that the 'original' bee balm is best.

I use a Freestyle lite meter and I was initially forced to use it against my will by the insurance company that no longer allowed One Touch strips. So as much as I resented being forced to use this meter, I have to say it uses a tiny amount of blood and from the 5 that they sent me I have chosen 1 which generally matches with how I feel and is very close to what they get in the lab so I am pretty happy with it. But I'd still prefer not to have to do it at all and the Dexcom almost allows that.

I’ll order some and thanks for the recommendation. I’ve had problem with finger cracks in recent years, but this year has been by far the worst.

I was thinking that I could eventually switch to Freestyle. Until now I’ve always pumped with Medtronic and used their Link meters. Since so far I don’t like the Ping remote, I can use any meter I want if I’m going to have to scroll in the result. But I have a lot of One Touch strips to use before I make a change. These meter makers just don’t understand the frustrations that we have with these crazy results. If I weren’t told to enter two readings for an initial Dex calibration, I would be missing some of these wildly different results. I find it particularly frustrating that the Verio meter claims to have increased accuracy and I am seeing much wider ranges with it than the older Link and Ping meters.

I was diagnosed many years before home BG testing, so I am thankful for this technology. But I am frustrated at how few improvements in accuracy that there have been in the last 20 years.

I had 3 freestyle lite meters that had been sent to me and one morning I got up and felt perfectly fine so I did my bg and the meter said 62 ? So I said, that is not right, so I checked with the next one and it said 80, so then I decided make it a trifecta and tried the third meter it said 76. That they can be that far apart and still be considered "accurate" as far as the FDA is concerned really pisses me off. I called Abbott and complained and a couple of days later I got 2 more meters and 100 free strips. So now I have 5 freestyle lite meters, 2 Insulinx meters (which use the same strips)and a prescription for 12 strips per day from my endo. I don't use them much anymore the Dexcom system has really changed my habits. I too was diagnosed many years before home BG testing, we had clinitest urine testing tablet kits, oh so much fun. But I agree the technology has not gotten significantly better in the last 20 years. Much as I hate to say this, sometimes I wish Bill Gates' kid had been diagnosed with T1 because by now we would have an I-Pod that not only played great music but also functioned as a CGM and pump. But I understand how awful a thing that is to say.

I hate to say I bolus from the G4 but if the readings aren't in extremes (50's or 200's) I'll go ahead. At least after day 3 I will. So far it's been damned spot on to every finger test. I did stop doing multiple stick tests to check it though. As someone said to me "a man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with 2 watches is never quite sure".

I only do multiple tests at start-up and when a BG test is significantly different from the Dex. If the Dex says 110 and my meter says 150, I will test a second time before calibrating the Dex.

Other than that, you’re absolutely right that multiple BG tests will drive you crazy. I am always skeptical when someone says their meter is spot-on because it matched their blood draw at the endo. Well, I could do one test on my meter that matched exactly. But maybe the next test on the meter might vary by 20 points. Does that make the meter any more or less accurate?

I had another minimal testing day today. One thing I don’t like about the Dex is that you can’t look back to when you started the sensor. I usually write it down, but I do think that I’m approaching two weeks on this sensor. I’m not so sure that I should count on it for too many more days.

You can look back to where you started the sensor, if you push the button and go to settings, and device info, it will tell you exactly when you last started the sensor and also the last time you calibrated as well. If you restart the sensor then it will tell you the last time you restarted it.

Wow, thanks Clare for that info. I never read the entire manual and had not discovered that.

It ended up being a moot point because I accidentally pulled out the sensor tonight when I was getting ready for bed. It was on my upper arm and had one side that was coming loose. I’m pretty good at inserting sensors on my arms, but not very good at taping them when they start coming loose. I use Opsite Flexifix and I think it’s too complicated to use without two hands. So maybe I’ll start using a different kind of tape there.

I've been on the Dex since early November and I'm on my 3rd sensor (well, 3rd that hasn't failed in the first day) which I just re-started yesterday. Reading are still strong and as long as I use some form of help keeping the sensor on and covering it in the shower I seem to have very few problems with it.

Usually the minute the sensor is on, I have Tegaderm over it. Once that starts wearing away I'll go with the Flexfix around the outside of it. As said, I'm going into day 9 right now and readings are still pretty dead on.

I cannot do what you are talking about. My sensor is extremely inaccurate about 20% of the time, and does not even go in the same direction as my glucose readings on my Ping meter. But if your sensor is more accurate, then you can try it. My Ping meter is always consistent. My doctor has said I need a new Dexcom.