Being brave is being afraid
. . . but doing it anyway.

. Katherine Marple

Published Articles

Where Do You Dexcom?

Posted on December 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Katherine Marple | Dec 23, 2014

 

Originally Published on http://www.diabeteshealth.com/

 

 

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The Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGM) is one of the most incredible advancements in diabetes care.

 

I wore the Dexcom Seven Plus in 2010 but found the inaccuracies and false alarms to be cumbersome. After four months, I gave up on it, finding it too stressful. I tried again once Dexcom updated its software to G4 and have found it to be incredibly accurate. Now, six months after befriending the Dexcom, I have found I rely upon it to get me through the nights nearly worry-free.

 

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I was told by the CGM trainers the Dexcom is only FDA approved for use in the upper abdomen. He didn’t state it couldn’t be used elsewhere, but they were only allowed to recommend usage in the ab flesh.

 

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I tried inserting in that area for a few weeks, but found that after each exercise regimen, the sensor would slide off my stomach and I’d have to apply a new one. This was due to the sweat that would work up during my vigorous routine, loosening the adhesive. I tried applying medical tape surrounding the sensor for extra support, but that was only a temporary solution lasting just one or two days longer than before.

 

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Sensors are supposed to last for seven days. That’s what insurance companies will allow as well. I do vigorous exercise three to four times a week, with light workouts in between. Using the abdomen area for insertion, I would begrudgingly go through three or four sensors per week. I wasn’t willing to give up my exercise, so I started trying new areas to wear the Dexcom.

 

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Using my upper thigh seemed like a good idea, but I found that it was uncomfortable and would sometimes get caught on my pants. I considered using the back of my arms, but they are fairly muscular and the idea of inserting there seems too painful.

 

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For three months, I comfortably used the upper flesh of my buttock. It was below the waistband of most of my pants and didn’t seem bothered when I stretched to sit or stand. It also withstood my workouts in that position, not being an area that sweats particularly much. But it started getting caught on my clothing a few weeks ago and I went through six sensors within two weeks.

 

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Dexcom Technical Support was incredibly gracious in sending me replacement sensors a few days ago. Again, they could only recommend wearing the Dexcom in the abdomen, so I was left to find a better solution.

 

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I had my husband help me apply a sensor in my back, in the muscle that lays over the lower ribcage. It’s lower than my bra line, and is comfortable. I did my first workout wearing the sensor today and it didn’t budge. The glucose trends are still extremely accurate, so I may have found my new sensor spot.

 

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I’m wondering, though, where do you Dexcom?

 

 

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Katherine Marple was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14 in 1998. She is the mother of two small children, has battled insulin resistance, Pre Eclampsia, and pump failures, leading to insulin therapy via MDI using Levemir, Apidra & Symlin, Metformin & CGM. She is the author of two diabetes related novels: "Wretched (this is my sorry)" and "Deathly Sweet." She can be found at: www.KatherineMarple.com and www.facebook.com/KatherineMarple

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