So I stated earlier that I don't get over 10 days per sensor site since starting on the G4. My current sensor was inserted a week ago Thurs, and today is doing quite well...BUT there was a period of time starting at about day 6 where the readings were highly inaccurate. On Day 7, I started getting ???'s for hours at a time, and I was sure the sensor life was over. After a PM with someone who indicated he works to keep the water from his transmitter while showering, I decided to try to take the transmitter off without removing the sensor wire, to dry it...I struggled with it for a couple of minutes but wasn't able to get it off, and the sensor moved around quite a bit. I decided to give it one more hour, and during that hour the sensor started coming back with readings that were completely accurate!
This made me remember that there was one insertion early on where I got 13 days...Interestingly, with that sensor it had pulled out slightly when I was trying to replace adhesive (probably at around 6 days.) I was worried I might have pulled it out too far, but it was still giving accurate readings so I just taped it up well. The readings were completely accurate until the adhesive tape failed and the sensor fell off on day 13.
So maybe all that's needed is a slight change of position of the wire? Does anyone else who's having issues with getting their sites to last want to try this experiment, and pull their sensor out slightly when it starts giving you issues?
I'm probably going to have surgery Tues (a vitrectomy) so I'm wondering if I'll be able to maintain the accuracy that long...I'd love to have a site during surgery with readings as accurate as my 2 week readings used to be on the 7+...
I don't understand how you can get the sensor off without removing the wire. Are you actually talking about the transmitter? I'm thinking you COULD do that. The way I would do it would be to use my fingernails to pull out the clear plastic arms that hold it on. And put it back on the same way.
I'm sorry, that's what I meant, I tried taking out the transmitter, not the sensor. But I repositioned the sensor wire, just by pulling it out slightly, and was able to get more time from it.
I'm on my 4th week on my current sensor. I've noticed in the past couple I've worn over this amount of time, that during the 3rd week I will get ???'s and a few inaccurate readings, but if I stick through them the sensor starts to work well again after a couple days or so. This time it may be drying out, as you described somewhat though you did the drying manually. I'm not sure if mine gets wet in the way you describe, but it does make sense a little bit.
I actually didn't get to dry off the transmitter, I tried prying apart the arms but couldn't get it off. It seems to just be jiggling the sensor around that makes a difference (although maybe it's just that I stuck with the sensor even after it seemed like it was failing? It seemed to come back within a few minutes of the jiggling, though, after not having given me readings for 2-3 hours.)
Have you considered the possibility that your transmitter may not be clicked in /locked in properly?
It should not really wiggle around in the socket. If it's loose it will allow moisture to get on the contacts, as well as cause intermittent transmission.
I'm at day 26 on my current sensor and it is in the scary good range. Am expecting it fall of a cliff in the next few days. I don't get the ??? When it finally dies, it just drops to 40. It will get erratic if the tape gets loose and it starts to lift an edge. Once I tape it back down it behaves better.
I mentioned previously in another thread on this same subject that a Dexcom representative told me on the phone a few months ago that they themselves tried some long-lasting tests and a fellow up at UCSB in Santa Barbara, CA got 85+ days out of one of his. That's the longest they have achieved. Of course, they cannot promote this as yet (no FDA approval, yada yada), but it's good to know they are working on it. That's the same conversation I had where we talked about the fact they've been working on making the sensors less liable to go off track if you take any sort of acetaminophen (I used to have terrible times with it on my 7+, but my G4 is flawless).
Elizabeth! How are you?!!
I have taken Caleb's sensor out a number of times without an issue. I have done it to clean it with alcohol (after an intensely sweaty baseball game), or sometimes to dry it off. You just pull those springy tabs a bit. Or am I being dumb and this is obvious but easy for me because I am able to do it with two hands and that may not be the case if you are doing this to yourself??
That's insanely long. Would you not be worried about scar tissue and other issues like that at that point?
I know for me, even if the sensor keeps working past two weeks or so (which is pretty rare), it starts to get itchy and uncomfortable and freaks me out. I know I for one don't want a cannula in my skin continuously for that long!!
I agree with you. Dexcom were just doing longevity testing. Not intended for real world consumption (at least, not yet...).
Hey Lorraine!! <3 I didn't push it because I didn't want to pull out the sensor all the way, I felt like I needed an extra hand to hold things down while I fiddled with it...I'm going to get Jer to hold it down for me with the next sensor, to see if I can get it out.
Lorraine - When you said that you have taken Caleb's sensor out, did you mean his transmitter? Also, are you aware that there's a transmitter removal tool built into every sensor kit? It's the plastic piece that you need to remove in order to push the big plunger and insert a new sensor wire. That piece can push the two plastic springy tabs apart while only using one hand.
I've only done this once or twice and found that I have to push fairly hard against the site to get the springy arms to separate. I guess that might have the added benefit of moving the sensor in the tissue a little bit and maybe allow for improved readings at a troubled site.
YES! I meant transmitter. Shame on me! lol
And YES! I know about the tool, but I have never used it. I haven't needed to. Taking the TRANSMITTER out has never been a problem.
I noticed that this morning when I got a couple ???s, I just wiggled the transmitter around a bit inside the sensor clip and it started working right away. It does seem the connection can get flakey at times due to many reasons.
I've got 70+ days out of one before. Replaced it due to the site becoming painful, not a lot but noticeable so I changed it just to be safe. It was still working when I replaced it.
Yes, you have the luxury of using two hands!
Yes, I'm sure that makes a big difference. I should start using it just to get Caleb used to it.