Fair warning, I’m long-winded and have LOTS of questions. Proceed at your own risk.
So, I’ve lived 28.5 of my 30 T1 diabetic years without insurance. That means I’ve always paid out of pocket for the bare minimums like Humulin R and N vials and rarely tested glucose because strips are expensive… And of course, had the hA1c to show for it. I’ve been trying really hard to reign in my control, though. Up until a year ago, I never imagined I could have an insulin pump, but I do now and that alone has helped immensely… and finally, the stars have aligned and I got approval for a Dexcom! Yayyy!
Unfortunately, I’ve very pointedly ignored as much CGM chatter as I could for all these years, because it was like rubbing salt in the wound, since they were unobtainable. Now that I want to play catch-up, there is an OVERWHELMING amount of information out there. I’m sure other newbies have the same problem. I’m looking for people to help consolidate what they’ve learned thus far, and all the tips and tricks that a first-timer needs to know.
I don’t actually have the Dexcom yet, only just found out that my insurance approved it, so haven’t had any training and haven’t read the manual yet.
I do have a T:slim X2, so I know I will be going with the G6. And yes, I know most people aren’t loving the G6 as much as the G5, but I want all the T:slim integration perks, both current and those to come. That’s about all I know! I also have android phones (Google Pixel and Axon 7) to work into integrations.
What can one do to get the most out the G6 experience?
What percentage of current users are actually happy with the duration and accuracy of the G6? I know people tend to be more vocal about what they DONT like than about what they DO like, and it can skew the picture. If you’ve never used a CGM before, would you even notice it’s faults? For instance, I have ZERO complaints about the T:slim’s cartridge change and fill process, even though many others do, because I have no other experience to compare it to.
I know that you don’t NEED to calibrate the G6, but you can. I know that if you do calibrate, you should only ever do it when your trend is flat. Are there any other tips to the best way to calibrate, or just not calibrate, the G6 for optimum accuracy?
Has this happened in the past with Dexcom, where users weren’t quite satisfied with the initial product and they tweaked the design a bit (and I don’t mean upgrading to a new model), and suddenly the masses were pleased? Could one honestly expect the product to improve in the next few months? In my previous career, I dealt with the FDA as the science officer for a photonics company that made medical and cosmetic devices. I know from difficult experience that “tweaking” isn’t very well received by the governing pencil pushers once a device is approved for market!
Does the adhesive as-is work for ANYONE? Is it worth even trying the first sensor out without a helper? I can barely get my autosoft:90 infusion sets off after 4 days, apparently the glue just loves me. Are they similar adhesives? Since most people do use over-tape, or tegaderm, or something else, will this be an option my supplier will give me and seek a Dr. script for, or do most people just pay out of pocket for all the extras?
I’ve seen such mixed reports about whether or not you can actually restart the G6. Does it depend on something other than the CGM components, like do integrations play a key role in this success or failure? Or lot/serial number? Something else? Is it worth buying a faraday bag? If I do, are the cheap ones fine, or is there a minimum requirement for success?
Speaking of integrations… All these third party apps! Which ones work best on Android? Which ones support older phones better? (I usually just take my husband’s high quality hand-me-downs since my mobile needs are much less than his, so mine are usually 2-4 years old.) How much do they improve the experience, and are they even necessary? Specifically, will they do me any good since I’ll be integrated into the T:slim, which will be using the raw data, not any calibrating conversions. I don’t have a smartwatch, but I am getting a Fitbit Alta HR for Christmas, so I don’t care about watch displays unless something can integrate with that model Fitbit.
What else am I missing? Is there some keen tidbit you’ve discovered in your experience that you wish you had known when you started?
While I’ve asked questions about the G6 and Android for my own needs, I’m also open to receiving the same info specific to the G5 and/or Apple devices, so this one topic can help lots of people in a similar boat as myself. I know there are still G4 users and fans, but I think those ones will be going obsolete soon. And frankly, i’m just not interested in anything to do with Medtronic.
Thank you in advance for what I hope are lots of user experiences and replies!