New to CGM

Hi everyone! I appealed my insurance and just received my Minimed CGM the other day and was thrilled! Unfortunately I can’t get beyond getting the site in. I have tried several times. I can get the site in and I do have it at over a 45 degree angle. But it fills with blood. Part of it is a body build problem. I just had to change my regular infusion set to one with a shorter needle because I end up getting blood in the site and the tubing in my body kinks whenever I exercise (which is almost everyday). I, unfortunately, have had to avoid my abdomen entirely. My build is a mesomorph/ectomorph (a bit more meso then ecto) and my body fat is a little less than 22%. Due to build I don’t collect fat anywhere… well… useful! Any suggestions? Do they make a shorter sensor yet for the CGM? I am going to see my Educator in the next few weeks (she is on vacation now) and I am hoping she can help. I appreciate any responses. Thanks!

Alice does sensor error or bad sensor alarm come up? For me anyway it is not that uncommon to get blood after I insert the sensor. Unless I get a sensor error/bad sensor alarm I keep it in(even though minimed says to take them out if there is alot of blood). Usually they work fine. Sometimes even when I do get a bad sensor or sensor error alarm I go to “start a new sensor” and it will work fine from then on. If I get two bad sensor /sensor error alarms I will take the sensor out. I am the kind of morph that could lose 10 or 15 lbs without missing it.I don’t think they have a shorter version of the sensors yet. They really need to make them for you thin people. I remember early on in my experience with the sensors I tried to put one on without removing the clear adhesive tab on the sensor so I had to take it out,then I inserted another sensor and it bled all over so I took it out. 70 bucks later with nothing to show for it but a bloody mess lol. What a pain in the ■■■ (literally). Frustrating. Nowdays I give the bloody sensors a chance to work. The one I am wearing right now bled alot , didn’t trigger alarms and works fine. I hope this helps.

Hi Alice,

I don’t MiniMed myself, but know that there are many posts about how to use a MM on a yahoo group at:

I think you can read the archive without subscribing… It is a high volume group so you may not want to subscribe.

Alice, I bleed a lot too when I put mine in.

I called the 24 hour help line for Minimed because I kept getting sensor errors and bad sensors. They first gave me the schpiel about 60 degrees and all that, but I found that switching sites was best. I started to put it on my love handles, or upper butt, and that worked great. I havent had any problems since. If you are doing your stomach, try moving around to your side or your love handles just to see what happens.

If there is still problems, you may want to talk to your endo because they might be able to suggest better practices.

Thanks for the reply John. I didn’t receive an error signal on my first attempt, but did on my second. I probably should have left the first one in. I was stuck on the mind set of the pump, which is that blood in the site is a bad thing and there was a lot of blood. I just need to remember that this is a sensor, it is not delivering medication. It will take some mental adjusting. Thank you so much for the response :).

Thanks Bill :). I’ll book mark the site as I am sure to come across many other situations. It helps to be able to reference what others have been through and are going through.

Hi Adam, I haven’t tried my stomach yet. I went straight for the fattiest part, upper butt, and I was having trouble with that. Not enough fat it seems. That made/makes me nervous. However, John pointed out that blood may be ok so long as there are no, or not multiple, sensor errors. I meet with my Diabetes Educator tomorrow afternoon so I am hoping I’ll have everything pretty much settled by the time she leaves. It is bothering me just having the CMG sitting around while my blood sugar does “cute” little cartwheels. 170s to the 30s, Blah. Thank you for the response. I will give my endo a call if I can’t get everything working with my Educator’s help.

try your rear hip or arm


Hi Alice,

I have very little body fat so when I use my Minimed or Dexcom I usually don’t insert in my abdomen but many times use an area some call love handles. I sometimes bleed due to hitting muscle if I insert at too great an angle. What I do is pinch up my skin slightly at the insurtion site and keep the angle closer to a 45% angle. I have read that some people leave the needle in for a bit before removing it but I want to get it out as quckley as I can so I have not tried this. I also wait an hour or two before starting it up and this helps with the initial calibration being more accurate. I also put a piece of IV3000 over the sensor to keep it in place. There is a great yahoo group (CGMS) that you can go to and get great advice. Good luck and stick with it it is a great tool and will give you a lot of piece of mind.

Remenber that CGMS systems are a great tool but not as acurate as blood teating. I look at the trends more than the actual numbers.


Thanks Staci for your suggestion. The arms won’t work, but I am going to try again in the rear hip.

Thanks Steve! Is it awkward to pinch up the skin and insert? Despite being diabetic for 20+ years I have never fully gotten over my slight trepidation with forcing sharp pointed objects into my skin. That makes starting a new device difficult because I end up shaking and trying to press the darn inserter button. I think not shaking would probably help. I am writing this while waiting for my Diabetes Educator so I am very excited and nervous at the same time. I hope this goes well. Thank you so much for your response. With me the more I know the more confidence I am so everyone’s answers have been very helpful.


It was awkward the frst few tmes but I don’t exactly pinch the skin just kinda push it fron the sides to raise it a bit. similar to when I used to inject to make sure I didn’t hit muscle. I share your needle phobia (not good if you are diabetic!).

The good thing is that once you hit the button on the senserter there is no going back! not like the Dexcom system where you have to manualy push the plundger. Sometmes I still bleed a bit, but like some of the other people that have responded it has not compromised the sensor. As you practice it does get better to manage the insertion.

good luck it will get easier!


The 1st couple times using the inserter was stressful; mainly knowing which adhesive to pull off and not pull off for me.
Now it is fine. I have been using it for 2 months and love knowing … but the true trick is having a good calibration. That is the base. I have the minimed CGMS. Also the sanserter works like a charm.


Thanks Stacie! I have managed to get my site in and going now. It losses signal after doing a few miles on the elliptical, but I managed to adjust everything so that the signal picks back up. It takes a bit to adjust to the sanserter. It still makes me nervous pressing that button. Oh, well… the more I do it the easier it will get I guess.
Thanks Again!

Hey Alice,
I had a really similar experience at first and found it helps with the bleeding if you leave the introducer needle in for a couple minutes. Also, have you tried inserting in your arms? I was sure it wouldn’t work for me but I actually get great readings there. For what it’s worth I seem to have the best luck if I don’t pinch the skin up first and go in at exactly 45 degrees.

You are right it’s all in the angle. In my belly I might leave the needle in for a minute but it seems invasive and I want the sensor to set up as quickly as possible. I did have one bleed last week (1st time) in 3 months; meaning like a cut bleeding and the sensor was never right. Only one so far. I still might try my arm…


Hi there,
I’m pretty slim too- and I always get a bit of blood. Are you talking about a bit of blood or a gusher? If it is just a bit, I find the sensor remains accurate (despite me being a bit icked out;)). I primarily use my hips and upper arms- I haven’t tried my abs yet.

Hope you figure it out- it’s so great once you get going!

Now that I have been using the minimed since December I feel like I have alot of knowledge and what I feel are still needed improvements, I still love the knowing of the trends but still get upset when there is a 20% gap. It is not,for me,as diligent on the lows as the highs.


I will be honest. I had this problem too and have had sensors thru Minimed for almost two years and rarely used it because of this. I hate the minimed sensors.

I just switched to DexCom. The sensors are a lot easier to inset and I haven’t had any problems.

Also the Navagator that just got approved has a shorter (half the length) insertion needle. That might work better for you as well.

But isn’t the MM sensor has an automatic inserter to use?