Scared to insert my first new sensor

I got my CGMS on Wed. and am going on a business trip tomorrow so I want to changemy sensor tonight. My husband will do it for me, but we are both scared. That needle is way thicker than the pump infusion set. Any advice. I read someone say to spread the skin. What does that mean? Plus, I am overwhelmed by the amount of info now available to me on the carelink system (minimed’s online upload system) and am not sure how to adjust my basals using this info. Any advice (other than waiting for my CDE to log in herself and email me with suggestions).

Hi there,

I’ve inserted 3 of these so far- with the help of someone else pressing the button! I usually use the quickset and I can honestly say that it hurts much less than putting a quickset in. I don’t “spread the skin”- I just angle the inserter and press. I too was terrified- but now I’m finding these site changes no big deal at all!

I have to say I disagree. I got the Guardian almost two years ago and then switched to the Paradigm pump with sensor and putting in the sensor can hurt. I have been on a pump since 1999 and rarely experience pain from the quick set or other infusion sets but the sensors can hurt. I am also 110 lbs (not super skinngy but a small person) and the needle is big so that may be why.

I also found that I couldn’t get it to stay on when I put in on my stomach. I am active and work out several days a week so not sure if that is why.

My favorite place to put the sensors was my lower back area.

I switched to the DexCom becuase I hated the sensors so much. The Dex Com is a lot easier to insert and I can’t even feel it. The sensors also have tape built in (like an infusion set) instead of the minimeds where you really need to apply extra tape. I am much happier with the Dex Com sensors.

Good luck.

Oh, I have also never heard of spread the skin but it is a good idea to be in the most flexible position you skin is going to be when you apply the extra tape so it stays better.

If you are overwhelmed with the carelink software I would say to start slow. start with just using the features on the pump and when you are comfortable than use the carelink software.

I just had my training today for CGMS. That needle is huge and long. That being said it actually did not hurt and I pushed the button. I was told that about 60 degrees is optimum for putting the sensor in. I can see why people are freaked out. I can say that I am not looking forward to putting in the next one!!!


different people say different things about the angle becuase after I had a bunch of problems getting it in someone told me closer to 90 degree so maybe like 75 or 80 degrees was going to work better for me.

The DexCom does all the angling itself. Thank god.

hi Jacki,

does DexCom works for minimed pumps…? just curious coz im planning to send back my CGMS, never used it since i started pumping last month…im scared with the needle too, its way too big…

did your insurance pay for the DexCom…?


well you can use it with the minimed pump. I use it right now but you will have two different devices and they will probably never be compatible. The only real difference is that I have like I said two monitors but honestly I think it is well worth it for me. not a huge deal.

I have not tried to get insurance re-imbursement from my insurance and just pay right now. I have heard that my PPO plan, United Heathcare will cover it but I am in the process of getting a new pump and I have a $5000 durable medical supply limit and the new pump and supplies take care of that.

If you insurance would pay of the minimed CGMS than you should try to see if they will reimburse you for the DexCom. They have 30 day money back guarentee if you don’t like it. but honestly the needle with the Dex Com you a. don’t even see and b. is smaller.

So, you just started using a pump. How do you like it? I have had one since 1999.

Feel free to email me if you have any more questions.


I thought the needle was way to big but now I have done it 3 times and I can say that it looks worse than its bite. I just get it all set up and push the button while looking somewhere else. A quick little sting that is no worse than putting an infusion set in. You should really give it a try you will like all the data that you get and the fact that you only have one device. Of course this is just my opinion–for what it is worth.


thanks David,

I am really confused coz i havent touched my CGMS since i got the pump, they were shipped to me together and its over 30 days now, so i dont know if they will still accept this or not…but anyways, one reason too why i havent used it yet coz the pump trainer whos supposed to train me for the CGM is kinda hard to set a schedule with, well, its kinda disappointing for me coz when the rep called me, he promised me that someone will train me, and he said that the trainer will even go to my house if she needed to, oh well, just one of them marketing strategies, full of promises, but when i tried to set up a schedule with the trainer she said she cant, and I was like, really…? so what i did was I went home early from work just to make an appointment with her, which turns out, to be like all was done in a hurry…she didnt even explain where and how did she get all those numbers she programmed in my pump… im starting to get pissed off by her, and one time she called me coz she wants to start the training on the CGM, i told her, maybe next time…and she keeps on calling me and i never did answer any of her call…just my way of getting back at her, though i know its not a good thing to do, but thats the least i can do for her… have i known that this is the way these minimed reps and staff deal with their patients, i could have choosen the omnipod, i guess…but i dont have any regrets with paradigm, i like it, just the these people who dont understand our situation…

sorry for pouring all of these in here…

im just really disappointed

That is to bad. My trainer came to my house once and then she came to my work this last time. I email or call when I have questions and she even looks at my data when I ask her for recommendations on changing my settings. Hang in there.


Hi Jacki,

I love my pump, i now have better control on my BG, unlike before… i used to be in a shot and my BGs are not lookin good…

i think im gonna try with the minimed CGM, and see if it really is for me…

thanks though, ill sure email you for some questions… hope its ok…

thanks Shannon…yeah i was also tempted to insert and start using it without her help but im so scared for some reason. i have thought bout calling minimed and asked for another pump trainer in my area, but havent done it…i dunno, maybe just like you, i might start using it without her help…

wasnt it scary for you at first…? any advice for a first timer will surely be appreciated…

i just talked to the rep that handled my pump from its aprroval from my insurance, i told her everything, i was so livid that she was just there listening to me til i finished talkin…so she gave me another number to call, i think shes the in-charge with the pump trainings and stuff, i hope this will work…

You rep for Medtronic is either very busy or just plain stinks. I started on the Medtronic cgms about a month ago, ordered the unit and about a week after I got it I had the training and was up and running with it. Once you get past the size of the needle it is really an awesome tool. My insurance does not cover it but after using it for only three weeks I am convinced that I will find a way to pay for the sensors. Good luck with the Medtronic rep, you might try and call Medtronic direct and voice your concern over service or lack there of.

thanks Aubrey, well, nobody called me yet, they said somebody’s gonna call me, if nothing happens till next week, im gonna call my doctor bout this, see if he can do something…for the moment. i really dont have problems with my CGM, so im fine…

does your sensor gave you accurate results…? some people dont really trust the CGM, i cant blame them, sometimes i get falsely elevated or low, so as much as possible i tried to calibrate it by fingerstick reading… i dunno… i need to ask them if im doin the right thing…

I find the CGMS to be much more accurate on the second day of use. The first day is a warm up. I have had several occurrences over the last week where the CGMS might read 104 and my meter will say 105. Like Shannon said it is good for adjusting basals and looking at trends. I found that at 10 pm my BG always goes up. Which means I need to change my sensitivity and or bolus more for dinner.