Low Transmitter Battery

The battery on my Dexcom’s transmitter went from low battery to no battery in what felt like record time this weekend. Now I’m flying blind for the next few days while I wait for a new one to arrive on my doorstep. Thankfully, my experience with customer service lasted all of three emails. To briefly summarize the exchange: “Help”. “Okay”. “Thank you”.

Aside from the usual comfort of knowing there’s a safety net underneath my diabetes management, as mentioned above, the Dexcom CGM has been invaluable in my understanding of how to properly operate this insulin pump. While CGM data isn’t FDA approved for insulin dosing, it’s Christopher-approved for insulin-comprehending.

Without this device, my first weeks on the pump would have included many more sleepless nights worrying about my blood glucose levels than I ended up experiencing. Without the CGM, I wouldn’t have a data-driven validation for the changes I ultimately made to my basal rates and correction factors – on my own.

I can’t help but wonder how others in the diabetes community approached their insulin pump starts. I feel quite fortunate to have the benefit of this technology, and the experiences of my peers as the foundation of my insulin pumping experience. Obviously it’s possible to successfully pump insulin without a continuous glucose monitor, but after just a couple of days I have to ask – how?

3 thoughts on “Low Transmitter Battery

  1. I was on an insulin pump so quickly after being diagnosed so that the entire “figuring diabetes out” phase was happening at the same time as the “figuring my insulin pump out.” There was no switch from going to injections to pumping, so there was nothing to compare it too besides my blissful, diabetes-free life. CGMs weren’t big or perhaps not even available yet so that just wasn’t an option.

    You’re lucky you were able to get a replacement transmitter so quickly! My insurance company requires me to go through a medical supply company rather than Dexcom directly, so it just always seems to take a little longer for these things. I’ve been flying blind without my CGM for about four weeks now since my transmitter died and it’s making me appreciate having it all the more. I can’t believe I walked around for years like this!

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    • Everyone has a unique experience with getting their supplies. I get to deal with Dexcom directly, but have to go through a third party for my pump supplies. Test strips and other meds come through my mail order service provided by insurance, so that’s essentially a direct contact. It’s all quite confusing.

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  2. It all depends on where you’re coming from. I saw the pump and no-CGM as a step forward from no-pump and no-CGM. My doctor told me my starting rates and ratios, and occasionally tweaked them as we went along based on the sparse blood sugar readings I provided (basically: “I’m running high every morning – like in the 300s – after breakfast”. “OK, let’s bump up your AM rates”).

    But like with MDI, they didn’t get tweaked much, because although I had the flexibility to now go to a tenth of a unit, I still didn’t know HOW or WHY. (I even ate meals in 15-carb increments so my boluses were in round-unit doses, out of habit).

    Without a CGM, it can be done – crudely. Just like MDI is, in a sense, crude. But it still works, and life-after-pump still gave me better control than life-before-pump, even without CGM.

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