Dexcom G4: Second Impressions.
It's been three and a half weeks since my transition to the Dexcom G4 system, and I've finally burned through the first box of sensors. (Because I live in fear of the frigging rash, so I immediately pull a sensor once I hit the seven day mark, and I also had to pull one early because I scraped it off while traveling. Going forward, I expect a box of sensors will last me 28 days.) With the first month behind me, I have a few updates to my initial impressions.
The Receiver. The receiver is still badass. I really do love the smaller size, especially for things like going to the gym. It fits neatly into my meter bag, and it's not this gigantic, intrusive device that I have to whip out at meal times. It's discreet and looks like any other modern device of the 21st century (dagnabit).
The Transmitter. The f&*k? This thing is big. It's weird how it's "just a little bit bigger" than the old transmitter, but I notice the difference often, even after a month. I ran into this same problem when I switched from the Minimed to the Animas pump. When you're wearing a device every, single day, you become used to every aspect of it, from the curve of the corners to the way the pump clips sticks up ever so slightly ... you know the shape and the experience of it by heart. Which is why the new transmitter is mucking with my head, because it's a whole new set of angles and curves to adjust to. Even though I know the G4 is progress in the right direction, for this CGM, I do not like the new transmitter for it's size.
The Alarms. I do really, really like the alarms. They're louder. The low and the high one sound completely different from one another. The receiver-in-the-glass trick still works fine. I remain a fan of the G4 alarms.
Accuracy. Being 100% honest, the accuracy for me on the G4 isn't great in the first 24 hours. I rely on my glucose meter and fingersticks for that first day (the four I've experienced, so far, anyway), and I see numbers on the Dex that are sometimes as much as 80 points off from where I'm actually clocking in. However, I hope that changes as I move forward, and maybe the first few sensors had some issues in my body. I'm willing to let the first 24 hours fly because the accuracy going forward is scary. Spot-on. I see my meter and the Dex as almost mirror-images of one another, often only off by a handful of points. I see matchy-matchy numbers several times throughout the week. After the first day, I trust the G4 implicitly. And that's a really useful thing, especially as I add more miles to my workouts and have very unpredictable sleeping schedules. (Note: The photo below is from day one, Hour 8 of a new sensor. Maybe things are changing for the better in those first 24 hours?)
Randoms. The carry case provided by Dexcom looks more like something fit for Man vs. Wild (Bear Grylls is a fox, which makes this too many animals in one sentence aside.) than for life. I am looking forward to the silicone cases that I'm sure are coming for this receiver. Hopefully they arrive before I drop this thing onto the bathroom floor and it shatters into a thousand expensive pieces. Also, I still think the battery life is excellent, and I've charged it only three times in the last four weeks. (That's big, since I LOVE to click the button and look at the graph.) I've yet to download anything to the software (because I have a Mac) or to Diasend (yes you can ... more on that in a bit), so I don't know how that shakes out yet, but I'm curious to have fifteen minutes to myself to find out. (See also: Birdy starts "school" this week, wherein I plan to reclaim my inbox.) (And this is the end of my parenthesis excursion.) (Or is it?! Dun dun duuuuuun!)
First impressions are behind me. Second impressions are logged. Hopefully third impressions include "Hey, the accuracy improved in the first 25 hours!" and "Wow, what a lovely case for the Dexcom that keeps it safe from Sparling-inspired destruction!"