I started my second sensor last week. I managed to put it on without too much trouble and was on my way in a matter of minutes. There was a strange feeling of success when I had finished – like being able to ride your bike on your own for the first time. Who knew I could feel like a kid again, at 25, and thank Diabetes for it. As the title indicates, I’m still adjusting to living with the Dexcom at my side.
I’m still surprised at how non-invasive the sensor is on my body. I know it’s there. And I probably touch it (as a subconscious check to see if it’s still there) a bit too much, but it does not affect my regular range of motion. I’m sure my perspective on this would be dramatically different if I were part of the Pumpers Clan. Having something to compare this experience to would certainly adjust expectations to something in the realm of reasonable. Having no idea what to expect, the whole sensor insertion process kinda freaked me out a bit. Thankfully I’ve gotten over that mental barrier.
Now while I’m no expert on how all of this is supposed to go, and I still have a lot to learn about how to properly utilize this Continuous Glucose Monitor, I can offer two quick tips for anyone considering joining the revolution.
1. Skin-Tac, Liquid Adhesive. Sensors typically last 7 days but based on what I have read and already experienced with my first sensor, stretching another day (or 6) isn’t too unrealistic. For at least the first part of a sensor’s life, this stuff will do the trick. I haven’t had enough experience to figure out what to do/use when the sensor is still ticking but the adhesive is practically worthless. Suggestions are welcome for that part.
And B. UniSolve Adhesive Remover. While the Skin-Tac is great, the residue-y black ring of awesome it leaves after you finally remove the sensor is not as awesome. In case you are reading this during lunch, I’ve opted not to show you a picture to better explain what I’m talking about. Not that it’s totally inappropriate, but I’d rather not risk it. Bottom line: the Skin-Tac lingers well past an expired sensor. A dab of this UniSolve will help break up the remaining adhesive and speed up the process to starting a new sensor. And, it beats scrubbing your stomach for 10 minutes straight.
For the moment, these two products assist me living with Hal Jordan. I’m sure CGM veterans have differing methods for extending the life of their sensors. I’d love to hear what you do to stretch the life out of your sensors. Who knows, someone else might learn from your expertise.