I have no idea why I am so nervous

I have my dexcom 7…and I am so nervous to try to use it by myself. The educator is not available until after the first of the year at the earliest…Is this something that I can do by myself? I currently use an Omnipod without any problems…What is your advice?

Thanks so much!


Amy, if you have read the manual, you have read the helpful messages posted by this group, and you understand how to use and program your omnipod, then you should be able to start your Dexcom by yourself. If you decide to do that, be sure to ask questions here before and after you get started. If you are in no hurry, then you might as well wait until you have a trainer.
I plan to start mine as soon as it arrives. Mine may arrive during the week after Christmas.

Hi Amy,

I started using my Dex as soon as it arrived, even though I had an appointment with a trainer within a few days. I was just excited to start using it. I didn’t have any major problems, but there is quite a learning curve with getting used to the Dexcom. There are some things that you’ll need to get used to which are not intuitive and aren’t explained in the manual (and sometimes aren’t even explained by the trainers). Like, for example, over-calibrating. I think a lot of new users (including myself a couple years ago) tend to calibrate far too often when the Dexcom isn’t exactly on. This problem I think is not as bad with the Seven Plus as it was with the original Seven system, but it still happens.

The only problem I can think of that new users often have which is actually dangerous is in how you respond to the data. Please always keep in mind that even “fast-acting” insulin takes (what I consider to be) quite some time to start working and even longer to “peak” and start showing results in your blood sugar. It’s easy to see that your blood sugar is rising and over-bolus when you’ve already taken some insulin, but it hasn’t had time to kick in yet.

Also, try not to get frustrated. Like I said, there are some things that just take time to learn or get used to.

With those things in mind, I think it’s really up to you whether you want to get started on your own or wait for the trainer.

Good luck!

I think t

I started using my DexCom without training (are you sensing a theme with me or what?). It was super easy (far easier than Minimed), and I haven’t had any problems (it’s been 4+ months). Here are the steps I recommend for getting started:

  1. Make sure your Dex receiver is fully charged.

  2. Pick your site. I’m currently using my upper buttocks, but I also like using my arms and thighs. However, if you’re flying solo (i.e., you don’t have anyone to help you), I’d recommend using your abdomen the first time. I still can’t do my arm or butt sites without my husband’s help.

  3. Wash the site with soap and water (I try to change sites after a shower). Let dry completely.

  4. Apply Skin Tac or IV Prep to the area AROUND where the sensor will go. Do not directly to the area where the needle will insert.

  5. Open the sensor bag, remove the protector clip by pulling it away from the inserter device, remove the adhesive backing (I straighten the adhesive pads first since they’re always pointing down).

  6. Stick the sensor on, ensuring that all sides are down and there are no wrinkles. I then dab the Skin Tac wipe around the edges to help them stick longer - this step is totally optional.

  7. Holding the applicator NOT by the lip at the bottom, press the plunger (I do it fast) to insert the needle.

  8. Pull up on the lip to remove the needle.

  9. Pinching the sides of the sensor, remove the applicator by sliding it back.

  10. Insert the transmitter by placing the smaller side in first. Then, using the little clip thingy on the back, press the wider part into place until you hear TWO clicks.

  11. Twist the clip thingy to remove.

  12. On the Dex receiver, press the OK button until you see Start Sensor button.

  13. After two hours, you’ll be asked to enter TWO BG reading. Don’t just enter the same reading twice. I highly recommend testing twice (I always use two different fingers).

That’s it. I know it sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. One thing that might help is to search YouTube for DexCom. You’ll find some step-by-step videos of how to insert a sensor.

Don’t be nervous - it’s a piece of cake!

Thanks for the great advice! It doesn’t seem as difficult as I had envisioned. I will keep everyone updated!

Have a Wonderful Christmas!


Do it Amy…I just started a new Dexcom 7 ten days ago with no training. I am now on day 10 of the original sensor and it is getting more accurate each day. I’m loving it. The folks on this site are very helpful.

Go for it Amy! I too was nervous cause I didn’t want to waste a sensor but I was too impatient (and excited) to wait for a trainer. Follow the advice of the posts and you’ll do fine. In the beginning, trust your meter, not your Dexcom until you have some experience with its readings. Don’t dose based on what the Dexcom says. After a few sensor changes you’ll be a pro. good luck.

I just want to say that ya’ll are awesome! What a wonderful group of people!

Shannon- Loved your post about the Omnipod! You blogs are so fun to read!

Amy :0)

When choosing a spot to insert sensor… make sure that you DON’T use a muscle area (I used my butt for the first time a week ago and got tons of ??? and readings that were no where near my glucometer and called Dexcom to find out that I should avoid muscle areas). Dexcom will replace sensors if they are inserted in their FDA approved areas such as the abdomen.

It is hard to not overcalibrate (I got test happy the first day of having Dexcom) so I understand if you do overcalibrate and overtest on your fingers. I think it takes time to look more at your Dex for up and down trends going on with your blood sugar levels.

Good luck getting sleep the first week of being on Dex! My first week, it woke me up 3 times a night as I didn’t know I was having that many low’s! Dex has been a lifesaver for me. I would start by setting your low alarm at 80 or 70 until you get the feel of how close Dex is to your glucometer.

Another thing about Dex… He doesn’t like to beep while vibrating at the first site of an alarm going off for a low or high, it’s not until you let Dex “snooze” (not touching his buttons) that he’ll beep/vibrate… His first warning of a low or high is a vibrate (a pulse felt three times I believe?).

Also forgot… make sure you set the alarm if you are not in range of Dex as the carrying case Dexcom gives is HORRIBLE and falls off. The first week of having Dex, I lost him 2 times. The worst part is that I forgot that everytime I went in vicinity of Dex, his alarm wouldn’t go off… so finally I took the transmitter out of sensor to hunt for him in my SUV. Hubby would hear Dex yodel but couldn’t find him and then when I’d go to SUV, he wouldn’t alert… after taking transmitter out, we found him on the seatbelt mountain climbing. A lot of us Dexcom users have gotten different carrying cases for Dex. Just something to keep in mind.

Good luck with insertion of sensor and enjoy Dex!

I was chuckling at your post about muscle areas and DexCom placement. I’ve got mine on my upper buttocks right now. I’m on day 10 of this sensor and still getting amazingly accurate readings.

So, I guess that just confirms that I’ve got a fat ■■■ :slight_smile:

Glad you liked it. I’m having a great time with my blog - it’s just as much fun to write.

And I LOVE my Omnipod. There may be more poetry dedicated to it in the future!

I am interested in knowing your ideas for different carrying cases for the Dexcom. I’m always afraid I’m going to lose mine.


Verizon has a perfect one for $2.97, including shipping. Go to


Yep! This is the one I use. They’re probably wondering why this case is suddenly so poplular :wink:

Somehow I doubt this Shannon-but thanks for the chuckle, I keep telling my skinny minny daughter that all my jiggle is finally helping a bit, I have no site issues with my pump or Dex, LOL!

take one of those return mail stickers the ADA and other charities send you and stick it to the back of your Dexcom. Write your phone # on it. Mine came back in the mail once when it fell out of my pocket, and another time i got a call (from the label) before i even realized i had lost it. Also make sure your home owners insurance covers it. If not you can pay for a separate rider on your policy.

I never thought of this. What a terrific idea…especially since this is out of pocket for me!! :frowning:
But…good news…my dex has been on the $$ with my true #'s. It is great. It really holds me much more accountable!!!

Hi Amy
How’s it all going now? Mine has been going for 5 days now and I love it, except today when I’ve had ??? for 7 hours!!!

Dee…I am loving it so far. It seems when I eat high carb meals and my bg is rising rapidly, It just cannot read accurately…this am it said my bg was 330…it was 157. I attribute it to the wonderful Sister Schubert rolls I ate for bkfst. This afternoon it is much more accurate. I find myself trying to be a bit more accountable to myself when I am watching my #'s go up!!! All in all, I think I am really going to benefit from the Dexcom.
How is your system doing?

Amy: I’m so happy it’s working out for you. I had a sensor failure this weekend and didn’t have a back up sensor and felt lost. I had a spare at work and inserted it first thing this morning.

If I go much above 220, Dex becomes inaccurate. I use my meter in these cases to dose, but Dex has never failed to warn me I was rising rapidly. Be carefull about stacking insulin doses based on a signal that your BG is rising. give your pre-meal bolus a chance to work or you could end up going low. Dex has really helped me adjust the timing of my doses so I don’t see these high #s very often. When i do, it’s cause I ate something I shouldn’t have. There are some meals (rice and pasta) that I just can’t take enough insulin for to prevent a high BG spike.