This has been a eventful few months, I am now settling in with my Accu-Chek Combo Insulin Pump its time to start tweaking my daily basal rate.
The Dexcom 7 Plus CGM
Awhile ago I purchased a second hand Dexcom 7 Plus off eBay from the US. While the unit is second hand the sensors are sealed so in theory clean and safe to use.
The unit comes in 3 parts:
- CGM Receiver - kinda like a big pager
- Transmitter - sends the data from the Sensor to the Receiver
- Sensor - has a small wire that sits under the skin
While I do not agree with purchasing second hand medical equipment off the Internet, the cost of the new Dexcom G4 is £1000+ and with everyone in the US eBaying their old 7+ bargains are to be had, and I like a bargain.
Not a great start
Standing in the living room, with secondhand medical equipment and about to insert a device that looks like its from a horror film into me was not the most enjoyable experiences. Unlike the Accu-Chek Pump that fires the infusion set needle into you you have to insert the Dexcom Sensor needle yourself - the sensation of hitting your skin and pushing in was not enjoyable.
After this is a 2 hour calibration period until your blood sugars are displayed. Unfortunately I then had an episode of very high blood sugars over night that I'm sure confused the unit as the dreaded ??? was displayed. Determined not to waste my Sensor I kept checking my blood sugars manually and updating the device - it uses these readings to help calibrate itself.
8 hours later still no readings. While over breakfast with my mother I glanced at the screen and to my amazement I had a reading! Now, I cannot express how cool this is, for 19 years I have had to guess my blood sugar pattern and stab myself for a reading - now in front of me I had almost* real time information on my blood sugars. THIS IS AMAZING!
Now I can manage my insulin dose by counting Carbs with DAFNE, manage my insulin basal profile and boluses with my Pump and see my blood sugar trend with the CGM - I now have all the tools to manage my condition!
Fasting to track my basal rate had a new level as I could monitor almost in real time my body's insulin need. Amazing, and this is not even new technology!
But, there is always a but...
Unfortunately, I still have Diabetes and with all things that start great, limitations are found...
- The device is unbelievably addictive, I am checking it constantly
- *Results are not real time, it is estimated that the CGM is 20min behind your true blood sugar level - useful none the less
- As my device is from the US it displays readings in mg/dl and not mmol/L as we are use to in the UK. With an app on my phone to do the conversion and a little creative labelling as you can see in the image I can live with this
- While it has been said by users that the Sensor can last over its 7 days life, by day 7 it was hanging on to me by the wire - off it had to come
- Sensors are £63 a pop - thats not cheap
After a lot of hunting I found someone selling their unneeded Sensors in the US, will grab them on my next trip out there.
The contents of this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your Diabetes support team or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition.
Sorry, have to say something like this!