While I know there are ways to extend the sensor, my skin was getting itchy and sort of painful, so I decided it was best not to try my luck and go ahead and switch things out. After I got up and showered, I went ahead and placed the new sensor in my upper thigh, which, once again, gave me no trouble using the Sen-serter. (Shhh! I actually like the device! No gearing up to do a manual insertion â€“ it does it for me!) I made a make-shift Band-Aid to cover it using IV3000 and cutting a square to cover the sensor out of the paper and making a sensor sandwich to cover it (sensor, paper, then IV3000) but make it easy to remove and not pull the sensor out when I was ready to do the switch.
So, at around 1pm, I started to do the process of switching everything out. I was so used to Dexcomâ€™s way of going into the menu to stop the old sensor and then start the new one when you were ready, that I went completely confused when I didnâ€™t see a similar setup in the Guardianâ€™s layout. I went back and referred to the manual and the online tutorial, but those ( I thought ) only applied to inserting your first sensorâ€¦ not how to do a replacement â€œnewâ€ sensor. So what did I do? Yep â€“ I called Minimed Customer Support and asked them to walk me through the process. I have to give them an A+++++ on this because the rep I spoke with was very understanding, patient, and very eager to help me and even double-checked with me to be sure I understood the process completely. He went above my expectations. He not only walked me through, but he made sure I understood the process well enough for the next change out as well. Thatâ€™s what I call great customer service!
I knew that the area had been itching that night before and that morning, but I figured it was just about that time that I get rashes from glue adhesives and it would be fine as soon as I changed everything out. Well, when I took everything out and off, this is what I was left with:
Not only did I have a rash from the glue, but somehow, my skin had been cut between where the clam-shell transmitter and the butt-end of the sensor meet. Iâ€™m hoping this wonâ€™t be a recurring thing with the sites and it was just that I had placed this one on my side. Granted, the user guide does state not to put the sensor in an area where your body moves a lot, so putting it on my side was not the best idea. But with being as pregnant as I am, we werenâ€™t sure where to put the sensor during training since my stomach wouldnâ€™t be safe right now, and I didnâ€™t really want to strip down to put it in my leg either. So just a word of caution.. do what the book saysâ€¦ no insertion in â€œbendingâ€ areas!
BUT! On to the sensor itself. Setup went just as the first insertion. I recharged the transmitter, clipped it into the sensor that had been on my leg waiting for 5 hours by this time (I wanted to be sure to get it plenty â€œwetâ€ and see if it helped with readings right off the bat), and tapped it down with IV3000. In the monitor, instead of having a menu option of â€œstop sensorâ€ to stop the old one, you just go and tell the Guardian monitor to â€œstart new sensorâ€ and it begins the 2 hour warm-up period.
After the two hours, I calibrated and stayed pretty well on-track with no problems. I will say this though. Not only is it important to calibrate when your bg is steady and all that good stuff that they tell you, always clean your fingers. I know this should be a given, but I am very guilty of not making sure my hands are clean when testing. And how often do we fuss and complain about variability in CGMs verses meters when weâ€™re probably testing with not-so-clean fingers? I know some of you out there are not as slack in that area as I used to be, but I have now made it a point to try to make sure I clean my fingers before testing, especially if that number is going to be used for calibrationâ€¦. because whatâ€™s the point of calibrating if youâ€™re going to give it a bad number anyway?
Iâ€™m scheduled for my second change out today. Debating on trying to extend it or change it. Iâ€™ll let you know on that one later.
And, just in case you wanted to see them, hereâ€™s some more pictures of what the sensor looks like (granted, this one is used, so please ignore the dried blood in placesâ€¦ I tried to clean it but some got left behind):
If you look really closely at the sensor wire, youâ€™ll see that itâ€™s coatedâ€¦ Iâ€™m assuming thatâ€™s the difference between why you can take acetaminophen with their sensor and not with the Dexcom? Hmm.