Staying Stuck: The Dexcom Sensor Condundrum.
I've been using the Dexcom on and off for a year now, and most often, I don't experience accuracy problems. I also don't have lot of issues wearing the sensor (especially now, in the winter, when most of my body is under some kind of clothing). Overall, it works well for my diabetes management.
There's that sticky issue.
Or, better said: the unsticky issue.
The sensors are FDA approved to last for seven days. (Hence, Dexcom SEVEN.) But I'll be damned if I can get it to stay stuck for more than five days. Between my morning shower before work, my excursions to the gym five days a week and the subsequent shower at night, and the regular wearing clothes/sleeping/moving around bit, that sensor comes loose before its time is technically up.
I've tried several ways of keeping the sensor stuck, and after a ton of trial-and-error, there seem to be a few methods to my madness. Here they are, alphabetically arranged by their last letter:
SkinTac. This stuff is the shit. Seriously. SkinTac is made by a Rhode Island company (yay Rhode Island!) and it helps keep the sticky adhesive stickier. I run the SkinTac pad around the inside of the sensor, staying away from the wire itself, and then I put the gauze against my skin. Chris (who almost always helps me apply a new sensor) then uses the SkinTac to really soak the outside of the gauze pad to ensure it's secure. A little blast of heat (more on that in a second) and the sensor is stuck solidly.
Hair dryer. Most often, I'm wearing my sensors on my arm because it's the most out of the way place and one that has unused space to spare. After I cover the sensor gauze with SkinTac, Chris points the hair dryer at the sensor and dries it on a very low heat until it's completely dry and adhered to my skin. A little blast of heat keeps the tape dry and also keeps it from peeling back when I put my arm through a sleeve.
Long Sleeve Shirts. Once the sensor is in place, it helps me to keep a sleeve over it. During the work day, this is usually the case, but for the gym, I often wear tank tops. However, it's not the daytime activities that wear and tear my sensor most. I've found that wearing a thin, longsleeve shirt to bed to protect the sensor from being jostled while I sleep. It's like extra insurance that the edges won't peel back. This works for a sensor on the arm, obviously. Otherwise, you're sporting sleeves purely for fashion reasons. ;)
Playing Memory. Sometimes I just need to plain remember where the hell I stuck the sensor in the first place. With pump sites and CGM sensors scooting to new homes on my body every few days, I need to keep in mind where the sensor is so I don't accidentally rip it off. Wearing it on my arm can cause some problems when putting on a sports bra or even a regular bra, so I need to be careful and make sure the bra strap completely clears the sensor when I'm getting dressed or undressed. This isn't so much a "tip" as a knock on my apparently limited memory.
Maybe this information will STICK with you? Or are we all becoming a bit UNGLUED? Whoops, looks like my caps lock is STICKING. Maybe I should quit with these puns while I'm still ADHERED to my desk. (Not. Funny. If you have a better pun, STICK it in the comments section.)