Hanging on by a Thread.
I will do just about anything to keep a Dexcom sensor stuck for more than seven days. Wearing the sensor on my thigh has been very effective because my that location allowed for a little less friction in the summer months, thanks to skirts and summer dresses.
With a little maintenance (read: using bandaids to help stick down the sides that threaten to peel), I've been able to go from barely seven days with a sensor to an 11 or 12 day streak. This is a huge milestone for me because a few months ago, that thing would have been melting off my body after four days, at best.
But they look like garbage once I'm ready to pull them off. (And you can see the outline of the bandaid I had slapped on there for a few days in efforts to keep the sides from peeling back. Not ghetto at all.)
These sensors are expensive. And I treat them with appropriate respect. (Also, they sting a bit to put in, so once they're in, I want to keep them there for as long as humanly possible.) Which is why when they fail, I'm frustrated.
I had my first ever "Sensor Failed" on Saturday. Once the sensor in the photo above peeled beyond my ability to save it, I pulled it off and reapplied a new one. No pain, no worries, fired up that sensor and waited for the two hour calibration period to pass.
Only the thing kept throwing "???" in the box instead of that shuffling gray line.
"What the hell?"
After a full hour of triple question marks, I hit "Stop Sensor" on the receiver and restarted it again. Almost instantly, the triple question marks came back. Then, about twenty minutes later, the receiver BEEEEEEEP!ed loudly and I saw this screen for the first time:
Oh come on.
Because I'm both stubborn AND cheap, I restarted that same sensor again. And again. I spent about six hours starting and restarting that same sensor, in effort to keep from having to pull it on its first day of work. I even consulted the online product information to see if there was something I was doing wrong. By the time I left my friend's house and headed home, the sensor had died three separate times. I knew the thing was kicked, so I went home to reinstall a new one.
Two hours later, the second sensor of the day was up, running, and giving me results that were within 10 mg/dl of my meter. Like it has been for the last three months. Like it should, in my opinion. And today I'll send a quick email to Dexcom and let them know that the sensor wasn't as snuggly as usual.
The Dexcom, in my opinion, helped me improve my A1C. It helped me stay on top of my blood sugar numbers instead of spending a few hours at a clip ignoring them entirely, and when it BEEEEEEP!s in the middle of the night and alerts me to a low my body hasn't acknowledged with symptoms yet, I'm grateful.
It's not a perfect technology. But it's worth the effort.