Brand new CGM

Hi everyone! I’ve had diabetes for 16 years or so, and am a college junior. I haven’t been doing very good at controlling things for the past 3 years, and I finally gave in to my NP and ordered the new Dexcom G5. I just got it yesterday! Are there any tips you may have for me as I start using my first CGM?


Unfortunately there’s nothing about college that is conducive to managing Type 1! Erratic schedules, stressful tests, working crazy hours, eating cheap food on the run, financial stress, trying to squeeze in a little fun with friends when you can…it’s a wonder we survive college at all. But I did, and you will too. I’m on the Enlite CGM so I can’t speak to the Dexcom, and it isn’t working great for me because of the 90-degree angle but I keep trying. I keep hitting muscle or the muscle kinks the filament when I move around, so I’m hoping there are some alternatives down the road.

I do know that regardless of brand, it’s very important to follow the calibration timeframes and guidelines strictly to get the best results, avoid putting pressure on the area such as sleeping or tight clothing, and reach out to their customer support for help if you are having issues. You may be able to salvage a sensor that is not working right. I’ve heard great things about the Dexcom, so I hope you will find it valuable!

I also use the Enlite so I can’t speak about Dexcom from experience, only from what I’ve read. But the feedback on the Dexcom is typically quite positive. If you have problems you should definitely try giving Dexcom’s support line a call. I have gotten the impression that they will replace a sensor for you if is not working for just about any reason.

The other thing that is possible to do with Dexcom sensors is extend them. They are supposed to last at least 7 days (if it doesn’t CALL). After that it technically “ends” but you can restart it. The details, if you need them, are “out there” to find if you look for them.

Dexcom can only recommend spots on and around your abdomen for insertion. This is a consequence of how their clinical trials were conducted. They can’t suggestion/recommend something that wasn’t part of that test. However, if you look around you’ll find many people insert in other areas of their body and get good, and sometimes better, results. But everyone is different. You have to feel your way as you go.

One final thought about CGM in general. Before I started using CGM, my impression was that it would be something like a BG meter only on steroids. My thoughts were I’ll use it for a bit now & then to “fine tune”. But for me it turned out to so much more, a game changer. It becomes very natural to just check your BG via the CGM to plan ahead. There are treatment techniques such as prebolusing which suddenly are a lot more workable when you have the CGM.

I wish you well. Hopefully you won’t have problems, but if you do, remember to reach out because I’m sure you’ll find lots of folks eager to help.


I have a feeling your really going to like having a Dexcom meter once you get use to it! I have the Dexcom G4 meter and love it! I was not accepting to it at first because I never had something that was attached to me 24/7. After the first 2 weeks I had it I started to like it and appreciate it. It’s extremely helpful now since I am in nursing school!
My tips for you would be before applying make sure you watch the video when there putting it on a few times. This helps make you feel comfortable and confident putting it on. Do not take Tylenol when wearing it. This can effect the accuracy of the meter. In addition to this, I strongly suggest getting skin tape for it. I order mine from the company that I get the sensors from. I had trouble with mine staying on at first and this helped a lot. The tape is also nicer that drug store tape. It’s not as painful to take off.
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I use the Dexcom and really like it. With the new one it seems better because I always have my phone so you don’t have to carry the monitor around.
I am a sweater and i have found 2 things to be extremely helpful:

  1. I won’t attach the CGM except for right after a shower when I dry off. I think there is something in the oils on my skin that just causes it to come off much sooner than I would like.
  2. I use a product like SkinTac to wipe on before I put on the CGM. They come in little packets like a small alcohol cloth. It is a little sticky at first but makes a huge difference in keeping the CGM on your body. I am pretty active and I very rarely don’t wear an insertion piece for less than 2 weeks. You may also want to get some alcohol pads and wipe around your insertion site when you are done. Ido don’t the skin tax will catch some lint and stic and I’ll have a little circle of “crud” when I take the transmitter off 2 weeks later.
    All things said I think you will find the good feeling of in range blood sugars beats the uncomfortable wearing of a device always on you. Good luck.