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Dexcom trial – done!

January 9, 2012 | 9:43 pm

Well the two weeks are up.

(For those of you just joining us here for the first time, we have been trialing a Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor for my Son Samuel)

The trial started on the 19th December and was supposed to last two weeks. Advance Therapeutics (the distributor in the UK) supplied us with two sensors to cover this period. Each one is supposed to last at least 7 days but can last longer.

The first one Samuel used lasted 19 days! Not bad for a first go, and longer than the trial should have been on two sensors.

The reason it failed in the end wasn’t because the sensor stopped working or became too inaccurate (either of which I suspected might be the reason to change), but because the adhesive on the site lost it’s sticky-ness!

We had been applying layers of extra tape around the site since about day 6 of the trial, and by about day 14 it looked a bit of a mess to be honest! But it continued to work, and stayed as accurate as it was in the beginning. (Which is not to say totally accurate, but about 80-90% accurate, compared to finger prick tests).

Then came his first swimming lesson after the Christmas break and 20 minutes in the pool was enough to ruin it! We need to work on getting that sorted and have a plan (of sorts) using Opsite dressings. We shall see. It’s only day 3 of his second sensor and that is already coming a bit loose at the edges.

We have decided that we will be keeping the Dexcom – no surprises there!

The main reasons are the information about his blood levels we get at any given time – so much more than we did before just on the odd finger prick test. An obvious point, but really reassuring. We also see when he is going high or low, before it actually happens. The direction of his Bg levels is just as important as the acutal level, expecially for predicting hypo’s!

The best way to illustrate this is when we have been walking the dogs over the Christmas break as a family. Since starting with the Dexcom whilst out walking, we have always managed to predict when his Bg’s were falling and give him glucose to counteract this. Amazing to think, really. I think we went for probably four or five four mile walks over the fields with the children over the period of the Christmas holidays, and not one hypo! In the past, he would always have gone low, but we wouldn’t have known it until he felt bad, then we’d be standing in the middle of a field doing a finger prick test!

It is also good to be able to ask Samuel what his Bg level is without feeling guilty. We think about it all the time, but in the past we would have always had to hold back on asking him to test his blood, thinking that we do it too often! Now, I can just ask him to tell me his Dexcom reading guilt-free, and he can go back to playing bloody video games (excuse my French!).

Hopefully, we will continue to beat the 7 day average for the sensors. The next step is to see how much it can help us bring (or keep) his HbA1c levels down. I’d like to think that with all the extra info we have, we’ll be able to fine tune his basal rates and the bolus levels we give for food, to be even more accurate.

On that front though, only time will tell….

Posted by Gareth

2 Responses to Dexcom trial – done!

  1. avatar avatarMelissa Ruta says:

    Thanks for posting this! I am a Type 1 Diabetic, 32 years old and have been using a CGM for about 5 years. My CGM was the main reason I had an awesome pregnancy (A1c lowest it has ever been…5.7%)! Now proud mommy of my 4 year old Lily.. That being said, my Medtronic version is just feeling so out of date when I read about the new Dexcom product your son is using. I have been searching the internet tonight trying to find some reviews and personal stories about using their product. Unfortunately, Dexcom is not an In-Network provider with my insurance and I was wondering how you were able to work out the “trial” for your son. Any advice as to how to navigate the insurance games let me know!

    Melissa Ruta
    Educational Interpreter for the Deaf/HH
    Kenosha, WI

    • avatar avatarGareth says:

      Hi Melissa

      Thanks for reading! The trial was arranged with the UK distributor for Dexcom – Advanced Therapeutics.

      I’m not sure if Dexcom offer the same service in other territories – have you spoken to the person from Dexcom responsible for where you live?

      Cheers, Gareth

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