Dexcom Life

Is it Doing Anything
I’ve been wearing this Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) for more than a week now. Mostly, I’m loving it. There are times when it is definitely 20% different from my meter, but then there are times when it is dead on accurate. Mostly, it helps me to know when I’m heading beyond whatever level I set – at the moment, more a problem for me than heading too low – so that I can use a correction does of insulin to keep things sane. Between the Tresiba at night, the new dosing schedule for Humalog, and the ability to see my glucose levels without 15 or more finger pricks per day, I definitely have my glucose under better control – and we’re just getting started.

Here are answers to your Dexcom questions

What Is a CGM
This CGM is a tri-part gadget. It has a sensor, a transmitter, and a receiver. The sensor has a very slender needle-like piece that goes into your skin and stays there because of the tape holding the sensor in place. Once the sensor is in place, a transmitter slips into place atop it. Once it clicks, it’s good to go. The receiver is the device that shows the readings from the sensor via the transmitter. When these three parts are in sync, they give you your glucose reading on a steady basis. This image shows a watch because it is possible to see your readings on a watch, rather than the receiver or phone. However, you must have the phone with you and the watch if you are to use them in lieu of a receiver. (You can’t just use the watch alone.)


How Often Does it Read
Readings are taken every 5 minutes. The beauty part (as my great-grandmother would have said) is that the readings are taken without any active involvement on my part. The sensor does its thing. The transmitter sends the info to the receiver. I see what it has to say.

Is it Accurate
The accuracy factor is +/- 20% because the sensor is reading from fluids in your body and the meter strips read from your blood. It’s only been an issue when I’m close to my low range and want to verify it, or hitting my upper range and want to be sure how much insulin to take.

How Do You Insert It
I gotta tell you. When I opened the box and saw the applicator, I felt a bit nauseated. When I actually used it to insert the sensor, it didn’t hurt one bit, but it still freaked me out a bit. Then I had trouble attaching the transmitter to the sensor – I sort of panicked that I’d be wearing half the thing and what would I do. Then reason and sanity took over. I remembered the video I’d watched and what she’d said, and finished up the process without incident.

Why Wear It
I’m happy to wear it because it works while I sleep. This has not been a very big issue with me until now when I’m taking more and stronger types of insulin. The possibility that I will go low is higher and this helps me to know in time to take steps to mitigate the effect of a low. It’s also making it possible for me to exercise with confidence as my glucose comes into better control through the use of long-acting insulin and medication that can cause a low.

Is it Covered by Insurance
Depends. The way I went about it was to fax the forms my doctor supplied, directly to Dexcom. They then contacted me to determine my eligibility. Then the insurance company contacted the doctor. Then I got the set up in the mail.

Is it Worth It
If your glucose can fluctuate by a couple of hundred points a day, it’s definitely worth it. Especially if that’s occurring because of medication you must take. The other result is to ride it out, do as much as you can with what you eat and how much you exercise, and test compulsively during the day and several times during the night. I guess I’m saying, if it sounds good to wear something attached to your body and carry a receiver or phone around everywhere you go so you can see how things are going, you’re most likely someone who will be thrilled to have a Dexcom!

~ Mia

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