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The Day the Dexcom Died.

It's weird, because even though I spent almost 21 years without the assistance of a continuous glucose monitor, I'm hooked on the thing now.  It's a second device, it's another site stuck to my body, and yet I'm happier with the extra hardware than I am without it.  

Because, to be honest, testing as frequently as I had been in the past is a little trickier with that baby bird rolling all over the house.  I'm back up to about nine times a day, but that's a far cry from the 15 times I was rocking out with during pregnancy.  (And for me, as a type 1 diabetic with blood sugars that go berserk due to the influence of emotions, not just food, testing is a saving grace for me.) 

So I feel much more prepared with the Dexcom filling in the gaps between actual finger pricks.

Which is why, when I saw this error message on Monday, I bugged out a little bit a lot:

Dexcom error message ... surrounded by BSparl's panda toys.

I was in the shower at the time, with BSparl in her little bouncy seat on the bathroom floor, and we were chatting about soap and bubbles and how Abby the Cat is far too fat to climb trees, when the Dexcom let out a little BEEEEEEEEEP from the bathroom counter. 

"Whoa, settle down there,"  I said to the receiver.

BEEEP!  (It was a shorter, sadder one this time.  I was concerned, because I'd never heard that noise from the Dex before.)

"You okay?"  I asked the inanimate object.

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!  

it was like that moment in Braveheart when William Wallace is being tortured at the very end, ripped open and crying out for "Freedom!!!!"  The Dexcom let out that last, extended wail and then threw out the error message. 

"Oh damnit, I think it's dead now," I said outloud.

"Mmmmm mmmmmm!"  said BSparl, waving her little arms excitedly.

And when I examined the receiver and saw the big, fat exclamation point o' death, I knew the receiver was toast.  So I sent a spastic email to my friends at Dexcom and they overnighted a new receiver.  And as soon as FedEx arrived, I slapped on a new sensor and felt better.

It's strange how I have a hard time imaging my diabetes management without things like Humalog (I was diagnosed in the era of cow and pork NPH and Regular), insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, and meters that don't take 120 seconds to give you a result.  This CGM is a far cry from the Clinitest tubes of my diagnosis. 

"Back in action, kiddo."  I said to BSparl, throwing the Dexcom egg into my purse as we prepared to go for a stroll.

"Yaaaaaaaaaa!!!!"  She laughed, and threw her hands in the air, and burped loudly. 

(You stay classy, BSparl.)

[Dexcom disclosure

Comments

Same exact thing happened to me last week, same sad, tortured exclamation point of death...But after calling Dexcom they got a replacement to me within 18 hours, which just blew my mind--They kinda rock. (Only kinda. To fully rock they'd have to make systems that don't die after a year...)

Just an FYI for everyone out there...I have drowned Dex not once, but TWICE in the washing machine. Two weeks in a bowl of rice and Dex is perfect...both times. :) Now if only Lily would wear it.

I just had to replace our dexcom when it died just out of warranty. pricey. (we're not covered by insurance since BC/BS IL picked age 25 and above as CGMS-worthy) The rep told me breakdowns are pretty common. What has your experience been? How long did you have this monitor?

Be prepared for possible further exasperation. Dexcom's software doesn't allow one person to have multiple devices. So you can't analyze your data for all time. I've got four (maybe 5) different Dexcom profiles but can't combine them into one. :-(

Kerri I totally know what you mean about not living without the sensor. It's another puncture wound, but I love that it warns me before I get high or low, and it has already made my control even better. 15 tests a day? WHOA! I only test 6 and I think I'm doing it all the time! So you basically test once an hour?

Yikes-haven't experienced one of those yet. My Dex is still going strong(even well out of warranty,which I'm sure won't last forever but revisiting the coverage nightmare is not something I want to do,anytime soon.Unless Animas comes out w/integration). For all those times it's been a literal pain the butt,it's also saved my butt,and for that, I am grateful.

This is just about the greatest post there ever was! Not because the Dex died, no that's sad. But the dual references to both Braveheart and Anchorman... Now, that simply rocks. Oh, it's pretty cool too that you got a new Dex egg so quickly. Hope all's well with the new one!

I would have had the same reaction. I haven't been without a sensor for 24 hours since I got my Dex in Feb.

Glad the replacement came quickly!

I cannot wait to get my Dex. I am glad they took care of you so quickly!

I've had the dexcom since July and I love it. I'm on my second one though. The first one died after about 2 months. Well, actually it didn't die, it just starting vibrating one day and wouldn't stop. I got my replacement pretty quickly too. :)

The same thing happened to me and they replaced it right away which was great.

I did recently find out though that the receivers normally only last about a year and are only under warranty for a year. So every year the cost of the receiver has to be put through my insurance again. My insurance covers all but $300 of it. My sensor is out of warranty right now and I'm praying it lasts until January when my FSA kicks in again. Point being - it's still $300 a year! Arg.

I can't live without my Dexcom! But I wish I had known about the one year warranty so I could have planned ahead. Probably my fault for being too excited to read the fine print. Double Arg.

My Dexom died a couple weeks ago. Normally it would be ok(ish) but I'm currently in France so it had to be sent to my home, then sent here. Needless to say I was checking about 20 times a day for about a week. It was not fun. I'm glad yours was replaced so quickly!! Keep on keepin' on!

OMG, I read your post, went and worked out, then my pump died. SUCKS because now I have to take shots at least your pump didn't die. My husband said to me, now you have to be a normal diabetic. I hope I don't forget my syringes and insulin tomorrow when I leave for work.
Also this is a great reminder that technology is great but its still not fool proof!

UFB! I got an arror message yesterday and thought the transmitter was toast too. Shortly after i got that message, the transmitter shut down with a final screech that turned heads. Dexcom told me I was out of warrenty and to order a new transmitter and receiver from Edgepark. I did and while they were checking with my insurance company, I tried to charge and reset the unit. Guess what? The battery had just run down to zip and all it needed was the charge. NOw Fed-X is going to deliver a new unit tomorrow moring before 10. I've gotten so used to having Dex around, I could bear to spend more than a day without him. I guess now I'll Dex and Dex Jr.

Mine died the beginning of October, one month after warranty, and 4 days after I started new insurance. Ugh! So now I am in the insurance waiting stage again. My rep at Dexcom says it could be "any day now," but that didn't comfort me any during my random low of 40-something yesterdy!

My DexCom pooped out at the end of my honeymoon as I was transitioning to new insurance. I was without my "buddy" for almost a month - test, test, test... Happy to say I've got my buddy back!

I was also told that DexComs generally last about a year. I realize they get a lot of wear and tear, but it's pretty crappy. What can we do about that? I'm trying to keep the rubber-ish cover on it. Maybe that will help.

Anyway, LOVE the DexCom and my OmniPod. Life is better as a bionic diabetic. :)

ditto on the NPH & Regular...and on living w/out CGMS. A day or so w/out my CGMS makes me CRAZY!
Kind of like living life before cell phones... we did it. Really.... :P

How long do your transmitters last?

My son's died last month. It just stopped making any noise, and I just thought I was missing alarms for the longest time but then figured out it just wasn't alarming. We got a new one - but we have used the rubber cover and a screen protector the whole time so I don't know how much that helped. I know my son feels the same way about having it though. He loves the freedom of being able to see what's going on instead of being surprised at times he doesn't want to have to deal with blood sugar corrections.

ARGGG!! My sons just died too!! Today I noticed a couple times it would almost turn off, then turn on and say "Initializing" then finally come back on and say "Self System Check Complete". Tonight (actually now...at 1 AM) I was going to bed and checking on it (and him) and it started "Initializing" multiple times in a row...Then I got the big ugly "!" with an error code. I feared what it meant. I called Tech Support (yes at 1 AM b/c we all love our Dex with a 3 yr old). I was told it needed a to be replaced and was asked "Has it been dropped or exposed to any water?" WHAT? REALLY? And unfortunately, she couldn't look up our info until the office opens to see if its still under warranty. I think she was sleeping...but I did ask if this was something that happens commonly, and shared its been about a year since weve had it. The response was "No. Its not common." Which kind of irritates me since everyone is saying the receivers only last about a year. I LOVE Dex. Love it. But that part is crap. A year warranty when its due to crash in a year?! Lame.

My 5 yr old son's dexcom had this exact same error code a month ago, but it was out of warranty. Finally we've gotten insurance approval for a new one and it recently arrived. My stress level went through the roof without that gadget. No sleep either.

Just died at 3:30 this morning! This will be my 2nd Dexcom in under a year. Got this one around Christmas Eve, so I should be thankful it happened today & not 3 weeks from now…

Interesting set of issues here, I too love my DexCom, it is a game changer. However, I am about to get very hostile with them (Dexcom). I have taken care of my receiver as though it is my baby. No water, never dropped, no user issues at all. But after 8 months it failed, so they(decom) quickly replaced it with another unit and I was so pleased again! Then after exactly 8 months, down it goes again, and this time no warranty and no way to get it covered. It is clear, they have a hardware problem and they are well aware of it. I need the security because I am no longer sensitive to lows, they do not care, so my next call will definitely wake them up (I am calling for legal help, they will call Dexcom instead). Product works great until it fails, then you are doomed if you are past warranty.

I love my Dexcom, until it quits. My first one died after 6 months, the dreaded (!) Err Code, and was replaced. After 6 more months, the second one died and guess what? It was out of warranty and they wouldn't even talk to me about replacing it under warranty. I decided that since it wasn't under warranty to take it apart and check it our, I am an electrical engineer. I unplugged the battery and after a few seconds plugged it back in and it re-booted and began working again just fine. A couple of months later it failed again and I discovered that if you hold the OK and C buttons down together for 15 seconds, it will re-boot. When it re-boots, all of your information is still there. This is a good time to download the data as you can't download it when the error code is present. This has worked for about 6 months, but now it goes into the error code after 30 minutes of operation. I guess it's time to give in and get a new one. I did get an extra 6 months out of it though and the best thing was that I was able to retrieve my data. Customer "No" Service won't tell you this.

Just got this error code! Seems I just should wait for a new one. Ah bummer a couple dex-free days. I'm like you, despite 10 years without it, am completely hooked.

I called for more sensors 2 weeks ago and told them I was going out of town but needed new ones by the 15th and still haven't gotten any. I called them and couldn;t find the order but were sending them on the 17th. Still waiting-doesn't sound good!

Customer "No" service is correct. Dexcom replace one after it broke dow after 6 months, but the second one was out of warranty when it broke down 2 months out of warranty. Are you kidding me! I refuse to pay for another unit and will be switching to a different manufacture. Would not recommend.

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