I got a Dexcom!

After going through the process of applying for insurance coverage and being denied, I finally but the bullet and paid out of pocket. I first have to say that the company was a joy to work with. They did everything they could to get it covered but such is life. Having the Dexcom is great, though I’m still learning the intricacies of sensor placement and calibration. The first day was… interesting. I put the sensor on my abdomen and followed all the instructions. I also tried to do the initial calibration while my BG was relatively stable, thought the documentation states you don’t really have to. Throughout the day I found that when my levels were relatively low, the sensor read noticeably lower than I was, and the reverse was true when I was at the top of my range. The most drastic issue was when I went for a run that first day: after three miles the receiver was yelling at me and claiming a 228, but when I stopped and did a finger stick I was actually 87. I’m going to classify that as “really quite far off”. Fortunately after the first day it settled in and was within just a few points most of the time.

One thing I need to be careful of, and I knew this going in, is I tend to be a bit obsessive. There were plenty of times where I would see the trend going in one direction or another and be tempted to get into an endless loop of test and correct. I think this has been exacerbated by my lack of mileage over the past week which has had a reasonably dramatic effect on my insulin sensitivity and overall BG stability. All things considered, I think this is going to be a valuable tool for long runs and races. I’ll still always carry a meter and strips with me, but I feel like I’ll be able to be more proactive in my running nutrition.

Speaking of running, I really need to get back on the wagon. While technically the only thing I’m training for at the moment is to be ready for my marathon build which doesn’t kick off until mid July, I have been a bit too lax this past week. Part of it I blame on some footwear concerns: as I wrote here, I have started running in a more minimal trainer, and while I do like it I find that as my milage builds it beats me up just a bit too much. I am trying a slightly more built up shoe ( the Saucony Mirage) which has the same 4mm heel drop, I think my real problem is that while I’m building my strength and base up I am trying to go at a slower pace. What I am noticing, though, is that when I go slower my stride changes to more of a heel strike, so when I get tired the low drop causes more impact on the mid foot. When I speed up, my legs feel better. The quandary I’m in is this: do I go back to a higher heel drop for my longer runs and continue at a slower pace or do I continue with what I have for all my runs and speed them up?

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4 Responses to Dexcom

  1. Brian Whitlock says:

    I have had a similar experience with my sensors and the first few days being more wonky and then it settles down.
    You may also find that you can restart a sensor after a week, lots of people report being able to go 2 or more weeks. You can tell the sensor needs to be changed when the numbers are really crazy or you get the dreaded ??? for several hours.
    Don’t worry too much about getting the ??? for the first few hours, it does resolve itself.
    You may find that keeping the sensor on your body is a challenge as the adhesive loosens up if you keep it wet and/or sweat a lot. I use Opsite Flexifix film with hole cut out for the transmitter/sensor plastic piece. It lets the whole thing dry out and keeps it on. The film is over the white adhesive pad. I use an old sensor as a template and a sharpie to draw the outline before cutting.

    • Thanks Brian,

      The adhesive gave up completely after a week, so I put in a new one and after several ??? And two “sensor failed” I got frustrated and took it off. I’ll definitely look into the flexfilm!

  2. How comfortable is the dexcom? The only CGM I’ve tried was the Medtronic one which is insanely big as well as the needle itself.. I would always rip it off by accident, so I opted not to get it.

    Let us know how your future runs are affected by it! Glad you could get one!

    • I found it to be very comfortable, in fact most of the time I wasn’t even aware of it. I actually know several people with Medtronic pumps that opted for the Dexcom due to comfort and accuracy concerns.

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