Tips? Tricks? Advice for a newbie

Hey there Dexers (or Comers… or Dexcomers… what do you we call ourselves?)
I’ve got my Dex in the mail… it’ll be here on tuesday!
Any tips and tricks for a Newbie?

After watching the tutorial online about a million times, insertion seems to be a bit tricky… I’ve only ever used the OmniPod, so I’ve never inserted my own infusion sites before. I’m super excited, looking forward to (hopefully) making my bloodsugar look less like the rocky mountains and more like hills!


A couple of questions:
1- Can I wear the Dex in the hot tub?
2- How does the adhesive compare to the OmniPod's? Will I need any more help keeping it on through rain/shine/swims/hikes than some SkinTac?
3-Do you ever knock them off?
4-Are the trends (generally) accurate, even if the exact BG reading might not be right on?

And last but not least...

5-What has worked for you, in terms of insertion, sites, keeping it stuck, and extending the life of the sensors?

Thanks in advance!


Maia Jane

I’m not sure we have an official name, but I’ve heard “Dexters” before and I’m partial to that. Welcome to the club! I’m also an Omnipod user and I have to say I much prefer the automatic insertion but I do believe the info from the Dex has been more helpful for me in the long run than even the Omnipod ease of use.

  1. The Dex is waterproof for up to 30 minutes at up to 8 feet (or something like that). As long as the tape stays stuck you’re fine. I have done the hot tub thing without a problem (hardest part was keeping in range of the receiver without it getting wet!)

  2. I find the Dex adhesive is about comparable to the Omnipod’s. The biggest problem is that the Dex adhesive needs to last 7 days (or longer). I find that my adhesive is usually fine until day 9 or 10 and then I need some extra tape to help it stick longer.

  3. I’ve never knocked a sensor off… especially if you’re used to the size of the Pod’s, the Dex will seem tiny and you’ll barely notice it most of the time.

  4. My trends have been very accurate (heck, most of the time I rely on the numbers but that took me 3 or 4 months of learning to calibrate properly). I have heard that this varies greatly based on your own body chemistry though so I wish you luck!

  5. I find the only way I get up the courage to do the insertion is to pinch up / hold the inserter down with one hand and then literally bang it in with the other hand. The fast the better in my case because it’s certainly not pain free and once I feel the pain I have trouble continuing. (with that said it’s much less painful than the other sensor I tried!). I do end up taping it down and have tried everything from over the counter medical tape from CVS to the IV 3000 that my medical device company includes with my order. I’ve found cutting the IV 3000 in a U shape, covering the top of the sensor adhesive and not the bottom seems to work best for me. I keep restarting the sensors until they fall off usually between day 12 and 18.

Good luck and let us know where you run into issues as chances are someone’s already dealt with it and found a way (or a bunch of ways) to solve it!

You will love it, just be wary of info overload.

A couple of questions:
1- 30 minutes at 3ft you will need help with the tape and put the receiver in something waterproof.
2- Since you are keeping it on longer you will need some help. Flexifix is great. http://www.americandiabeteswholesale.com/-strse-2124/Smith-and-Nephew-Opsite/Detail.bok use the tudiabetes discount
for other things to do with felxifix look here - https://forum.tudiabetes.org/topics/what-else-can-you-do-with
3-Nope they are very small
4-For the most part the trends are right. I find more accurate BGs with non aproved sites (arms, Back)

And last but not least…

5-I had a few beers in me when I did my first insertion, my wife had to do the next few (I chickened out) It isn’t a big deal, I can now do the backs of my arms. It does help to have someone assist with those hard to reach spots. Flexifix is my friend, I put it on from the start and add more if ned be. Restart your sensor till you get bad readings, I’ve gone three weeks with mine.

https://forum.tudiabetes.org/topics/what-else-can-you-do-with

Thanks so much for your amazing reply!
WOW, you are getting me excited, especially because fo the amazing things the OmniPod has done for my control, that the Dex has been even more helpful is encouraging!
And YAY for hot tubs…I’m excited about that! I was hoping I wouldn’t have to dangle TWO body parts out of the tub (I’ve got a gorgeous hot tub overlooking a lake and a mountain)

One thing… what do you mean “calibrate properly” is there anything special I need to know about calibration that might not be obvious at first??

Thanks again!

How exactly do you restart the sensor once it’s already inserted? Do you just do the same thing as when you start up a new one?
I’ve got an amazing boyfriend who helps me with OmniPod acrobatics, and he is more than willing to help with the Dex too… so perhaps I’ll follow in your footsteps and (in the sprit of Blood Sugar) start out with a stiff Blood Mary before my first insertion…I might just have to, I’m a WIMP when it comes to the “first time” (hehe!)
Seriously, though, I’ll let my first sensor reside on my belly and then see how adventerous I feel like getting…

Thanks for all the tips, tricks, links and support, you’ve stuck with me since I first got the idea!

Yeah, when you want to retart the same sensor, you just Stop Sensor, then Start Sensor without changing it out. Pretty simple.

I’d say easy as pie…but recently there was a disaster involving some blackberries in my kitchen…
Perhaps as easy as using a bolus wizard? Perhaps…perhaps…
Thanks for the tip!

All questions were basically already answered and I don’t want to repeat but I LOVE FLEXIFIX! I didn’t use anything to help with the adhesive for a while and my sensors would pop off after a few days! I recently started using SkinTac first and then I cut small strips of the Flexifix and use it to cover all of the Dex adhesive. This helps with not getting the adhesive wet and therefore helping to keep it on longer…it also helps during exercise and general sweatiness. I know the Flexifix looks expensive but it is the most amazing tape I have EVER used. And you only use small strips every time you change your sensor so it will last for a while.

I have only used the sensor in my tummy…my husband isn’t quite ready to help me with insertions in other spots yet-but I’m hoping to do the back of my arm soon.

Good luck!

When calibrating it’s best if you can do it when your sugars are not extreme (not below 80 / above 250) and are not moving quickly. The Dex handles calibrations in these two circumstances better than most systems do but it’s easiest to just be careful when you input values. Also, I’ve found that if my meter reading is really off from my Dex it’s best to do a second meter reading before inputing the sugar value, over half the time I screwed up the meter and the Dex has been right. You’ll learn what works for you as you go.

The only “useful” advice I can offer, after all these great responses, Is when taking a shower, I dont invest in the expensive “shower covers” that Dex sells seperately, I just make the minimal investment in Glad “Press & Seal” wrap, its just plastic wrap designed to stick to anything, which (although not their intent, I’m sure) includes human beings. One roll can last me a few months, I just take a piece of it and stick it to myself over the sensor, then remove it when shower is over. That may be despicable or heresy, but it works for me! (just a little tip there)

Thanks for the heads up, Andrea! I’m an OmniPodder and have heard a lot about this mythical adhesive… I’ll order some RIGHT NOW!

Don’t get Mad, get Glad!
I’ll keep that in mind. Question: if I need to should perhaps cover it for showers to extend the life of the adhesive…what about swimming/watersports? Will FlexiFix be enough?

I’ve never even bothered to cover my Dex while showering. The adhesive takes a bit of a beating but it has never failed to last at least 7 days under those conditions. I don’t bother to use flexifit until well into the second week.

Your not s’posed to do that…FHS!..tsk tsk ! I know, just shut up, everyone does it their own way…true for everything especially with regard to the big D!

Hah, cheap and lazy, remember?

=P

Boys! Sheesh… always bickering with eachother you two!
THanks for the tips… I’m cheap and lazy too (Hey! Not in THAT way!)
Its a good day when I remember to put SkinTac on before I pop and OmniPod on!
I haven’t had much trouble with the OmniPod adhesive, so I think it’ll work out fine with the Dex, however careful I wind up being…

Ohhh, yeah! I remember! Cheap and Lazy! And, Maia, we only fight like two brothers!

or perhaps an old married couple?

I kid… I kid…

Well, old anyway.