Trial run

So, anyone who read my most recent blog knows that I am on the verge of getting a Dexcom with my own money because the government nor my work benefits cover it (and I am part of a union so can't easily appeal because the coverage is based on what the union bargains...ugh).

Anyway, due to the issues I have with being allergic to practically everything, I'm going to take a test run before forking over almost $2,000. The local Animas rep will lend me a transmitter and receiver if I purchase a sensor. Regardless of whether I get to keep the transmitter/receiver for two weeks (ideal), I plan to keep the sensor in for two weeks because this is what my endocrinologist suggested since I'll be paying myself.

I'm allergic to Comfort infusion sets (and other ones with plastic last I checked, though I haven't tried any recently) and also to the metal in the Contact-Detach sets I use. My endocrinologist has basically prescribed me to chnage sets every 24 hours, though I can go longer maybe 50% of the time, though sets are always itchy and irritated to some degree by the time I remove them (I can put up with itching as long as they don't start to die early). I also get irritation from the adhesive, and Tegaderm, and Skin Tac... My concern isn't irritation - that I can live with - but rather that, just as irritation under the skin leads to my infusion sets dying, irritaiton under the skin might lead to the sensors dying early. Which would be VERY expensive!

I'm also unnerved because I joined a Dexcom group on Facebook and am seeing a LOT of posts about sensors causing irritaiton and allergies.

I want to give this trial my best shot. If the sensor lasts more than a week with little or no signs of irritaiton, I'll go for it. If it dies early or gets incredibly irritated, I'll really rethink whether I want to chance buying it and having it not work for me.

Any tips/tricks for wearing the sensors with as little irritation as possible (not including Skin Tac or Tegaderm or whatever adhesive is used for infusion sets)? And any other things I should try or do while I have this trial unit?

Wash the site well with soap and warm water. Use a wash cloth to brush up the area a little bit. Use a blow dryer to insure all the water is gone. Think about how you will sleep; try to avoid placing the transmitter right on the place you like to compress against the mattress. This sensor compression distorts the data line.

Do you have any supplemental tape that works for you? That would help to extend to the second week.

While people swim with the Dex sensor, I bet they use some extra adhesive somewhere. Less swimming might prolong your sensor session.

You're doing the best thing, trying it out. If it's not for you then you'll adjust.

I wish you luck!

Have you ever used IV prep? I haven't but wonder if it might help you.

Thanks for the tips! Not swimming much at the moment so I won't swim with the sensor in (I'll shower, though). Not sure what I'd do with the receiver, anyway. I was thinking of getting the Vibe for swimming, but figured out it would cost me just as much AND the signal apparently can't even transmit through water. So what's the point?!

I don't have any supplemental tape at the moment, but I plan on getting some when I call Animas. I can also order stuff off Amazon. I've seen a lot of people mention this Flexifix stuff and some other cream I can't recall the name of at the moment.

I am really, really, really hoping this works out!!! I wore a Medtronic CGM for a week in 2009 and it worked fine, but that was before my allergies got this crazy.

Cavilon, that's the name of the cream. I think I might try using that first (it's a barrier, apparently), then Skin Tac (supposedly a barrier, too, but I react to it, but it sticks VERY well) and then the infusion set or sensor (though part of my problem is that I react to the bit under my skin, which cream doesn't help with). I also heard from someone that using an asthma inhaler or steroid spray on the site stops allergic reactions from happening. I have plenty of these but am weary of using steroids on my skin unless I have to (like for eczema). Also, if I do end up getting the Dexcom I will probably buy some additional tape or Tegaderm to go over it - I might see if I can find a piece or two lying around to use just for my trial, to keep it on for two weeks.

I think that's almost identical to Skin Prep. When I first got my Cozmo it came with some samples of one of those, but I can't remember which one it was. It was sort of like an alcohol swab combined with sticky stuff.