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Dexcom Seven: The Warrior Returns.

I made the mistake of saying the following to Chris the other morning:

"You know, I haven't had a low in like two weeks!"

The next morning, the alarm went off and my eyes slowly opened, as though there were weights attached to each lash.  Brushing my hand against my forehead to wipe off the sweat, I reached for my meter and loaded in a strip.  For some reason, the lancet wasn't pricking my finger.  Shunk.  Shunk.  Shunk.  Chris stirred beside me. 

"It won't bleed."  Said as though the blood wasn't mine, the finger someone else's.

Finally, a ruby red spot leapt up from my fingertip.  Five seconds later, 48 mg/dl winked at me from the meter.  I drained the small bottle of juice on my bedside table and snuggled back underneath the comforter, waiting for my body to catch up.

I had two more lows that day, one that left me shaking at my desk at work and another that had me stumbling on the treadmill at the gym.  The next day, I hit a sticky high of 409 mg/dl after a site change, the sweaters knitting up in my mouth and lethargy wrapped around every movement.

The DexSignal

So when the Dexcom Seven arrived at my office, courtesy of the reps out in California, I didn't think twice about suiting up for another round as the Dexcom Warrior.  I installed my first Seven sensor on Sunday night.

I know what you're thinking:  "You had a rough experience with the MiniLink - why are you doing this again?"  

Why?  Because I found the Dexcom to be a superior CGM product.  Minimed makes my pump and therefore has my appreciation, but their CGM unit is sub-par.  Aside from the flopping sensors and the painful insertions, the darn thing just wasn't right.  I know CGMs aren't supposed to be a substitution for manual blood glucose testing, but I had little confidence in even the trends offered by the MiniLink - and I was very frustrated by the errors that were cropping up.

The Dexcom, however, had a more reliable trending ratio and the actual results correlated tighter with my meter.  I'm not thrilled about using a second device (the receiver being its own entire hub device), but if I'm going to make use of a CGM on occasion, I want things to be as "right" as possible.  Like right now:  Dex says I'm 146 mg/dl.  Meter says I'm 137 mg/dl.  It also says I'm on the rise, which is true - I was 92 mg/dl an hour ago.  

So I'm spending this week with the Dexcom Seven, making it part of my work day, my workouts, and my wedding stress.  With wedding planning coming to a wild and all-consuming crescendo, I'm hoping Dex can help me stay more tightly controlled.  Because, between you and I (and the entire internet), I'm having trouble keeping my numbers steady these days.  Diabetes is rearing its head and I, for one, am not feeling very armed for battle.  Hopefully I can sharpen my Dexcom skills and have it as my secret weapon. 

Comments

Good luck - I'm hoping this will work well for you. And hang in there with the wedding stress - I thing wedding planning is much like Diabetes. We feel we need everything to be perfect. But much is out of our control - and it's likely that SOMETHING will go wrong. Hopefully it will be something small (mine was a bit of rain that changed our outdoor ceremony to an indoor one). You just have to hang on, do your best, and take help where you can get it. Both with the Big D and the Big W. :)

Kerri

If this works for you, maybe you can suggest a wedding program.

Dexcom will send you a Seven and enough supplies to get you through the last 4-6 weeks leading up to the wedding. They'll package it up in a nice box. Of course because it's related to a wedding they can also charge an additional 50% or so for it!

Too bad we can't register for CGMs and supplies ;-)

I use the Minimed Paradigm system and have actually found it to be pretty spot on with my meter (I test up to 10 times per day). I'm also able to get some serious mileage out of one sensor (I'm on day 16 of my current sensor). I have observed (through lots of research) that those who have a leaner body mass do much better with Dex, while those with a little extra padding (like me) are better suited for the Minilink.

FWIW, in the weeks leading up to my wedding (last October) my BG was a constant yo-yo of inexplicable highs and over-compensating lows. The funny thing is that for the actual wedding, I was even-steven all day.

Oh, thanks for the info on the Eat Smart nutrition scale. Mine arrived last week and I LOVE it! My days of eyeballing portions are over.

I'm testing out the Dex next week and am super excited to see what the upcoming wedding is doing to my bg. Maybe we can go into marketing for Dexcom--target t1 brides that are about to lose their minds! Hope the planning is going well.

Hey, at least you don't have to worry about shower patches anymore. (I hope that's the one you have...)

Reading that that the minimied cgms was not up to par makes me think that maybe I made a huge mistake in getting the minimed cgms. On the other hand I have not started using it yet but my diabetes nurse keeps telling me that Im going to love it once I start.

Karen - I'm hoping to focus more on the W than the D that day - I have high, high hopes that Dex can help me get to that point.

Bernard - LOL! I know! I just whisper "wedding" and vendors crank up their pricing.

Shannon - That's interesting, what you said about BMI and different CGMs. I know I didn't have a good experience with the MiniLink, but the Dex has been very smooth so far.

Allison - Let me know how it goes for you!

Hannah - Yeah, no shower patches with this one. Thank goodness. Those patches left my skin raw and red. I really disliked them.

Joanna - I think, like everything else with diabetes, your mileage may vary with each CGM. I did not have a good experience with Medtronic's CGM, but I know plenty of people who are doing well with it. It's all trial and error, person-by-person. That's the thing that makes me craziest about this disease - there's no set path to follow!

My wife was diagnosed Type I three years ago. She now has the Medtronic pump. Are these continuous glucose monitors superior, in your opinion, and is the cost usually covered?

Good luck with the Dex, Kerri - hope it's more of a help than a hindrance!

For what it's worth, I found that my cgms really grew on me after a few months of continuous use. Once I became familiar with its quirks and patterns i could make more sense of its data and I wasn't tempted to flush my transmitter as often.

I have the Minilink but also tried the Dex 7 for a few weeks - I didn't see much difference in the accuracy between the 2 systems, but I do prefer the Minilink because it allows the user to control a lot more stuff - i.e. alarms.

Hey Kerri. I read your blog on a regular basis but I have never posted before. I just started on the Dexcom7 yesterday and I am really liking it. It woke me up with a high alarm last night but I'm a hard sleeper and just turned it off and rolled back over. Hopefully I learn to wake up fully to the alarm soon. I'm off to run right now so we'll see if it will catch an impending low. So far so good though, good luck with yours!

I hate to be discouraging, but I just completed 4 weeks of testing the new Seven+ system, and am ready to return it. I have had 5 out of 7 sensor failures during this time period, with only two of them lasting the full 7 days. The last one failed this morning when the receiver gave me a "Hight" rate of change alarm with a BG of 280. My meter reading was 65. That is the third time in 4 weeks I have had readings differences of greater than 100.
Hope your experience is better than mine.

Dan

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