Dexcom Training?

Hello Everyone. I received my Dexcom G6 today. My doctor’s office said they would provide training if I wanted it. I was kind of excited to try it and was wondering if people recommended seeing someone for training or if I could use the videos on Dexcom’s website to start it earlier. I will probably still see them to get a little more acquainted with it, but I would have to wait a little longer to get there. I don’t know what I want to do yet, was just looking for some opinions and stories if people are willing to share.

hi @fieldiez , I didn’t get training but I am no stranger to CGM. The Dexcom videos are great, they kind of don’t explain the “when do you click the clicker” part. in the quick start or the bigger manual, but the video helps. you need to decide, in advance, how you want to monitor it (phone, dex reader, Tslim) so you need that, and then read the starter and then watch the videos.

I used my phone as the main monitor - so entering the transmitter and sensor was easy you can use the QR codes on the packaging and you phone’s camera… or you type in the manual way.

The first 24 hours on my first sensor, the thing read low (actual blood sugar OK, dex reading 60’s mg/dl) so I turned off bluetooth (so I could sleep) and then checked it in the morning. my very first sensor I had to “calibrate” which is a trick in itself, I only calibrate if I have a good 2-3 hours of no blood sugar change and then it’s a menu item on the Dexcom. next 9 days I was very happy with the results, for me, the CGM changes slow than my blood sugar…for example - I get a low soon alert, I check with fingerstick and I am lower then it says. I correct and feel better - the CGM goes LOWER and then, well after I am fine, the CGM starts to rise. If I was using it as my only reading to correct a dangerous low, I would overshoot by a MILE, so I tend to use my finger stick a few times a day.

second sensor read “LOW” for the first 4 hours, alarms, alerts “YOU ARE GOING TO DIE” alarms… while I was fine, then, about 3 hours later, it reads pretty darn perfect now without calibration.

if you are scared or unsure at all, just wait. if you go for it… good luck!

here it is right now - aaahem! - forgive the big spike I had jelly beans with my son

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Exciting news @fieldiez!
I’ve been using Dexcom so long I don’t recall whether I did any online training, but generally I might watch online as a first step. When it comes to medical devices I do like to train with someone - ideally in person but I’ll do video of necessary. The video training shows me to get a general feel for the device and helps me form questions to ask when we meet, and they can give me feedback on my technique and perhaps share some tips.

Thanks for your advice Joe and for sharing your experience. I am probably just being impatient and don’t have an appointment till may 10th. I guess I just didn’t want to wait that long. I am sure it won’t hurt me any. I have been finger sticking for 3+ years. I am sure I can wait a little longer, just didn’t know if it was necessary. Thanks for sharing your reading. Nothing to Forgive you are aloud to have spikes just like the rest of us.

Thanks for sharing Dorie. I can definitely see where It would be beneficial to sit down with someone. I guess I am just being a little impatient. My doctor said to just call the office when I get it if I want training, so it may end up being virtual anyway. I am not sure yet. I do have an appointment already on may 10th and with finals (ahem, should be studying, but am taking a break right now) coming up, I would not really want to go down there right away. I guess I just hate to have it sitting around waiting to get training done. Thanks for your input!!

My sister got out on Dexcom a couple of months ago. We didn’t require any training or talk to a professional. But if that’s something you are interested in go for it! :slight_smile: All we really did was watch the instructional videos on dexcom. Dexcom also comes with a manual with introductions, tips, info and how to put on the dexcom. I highly recommend you read the manual so you can better understand dexcom and how it works better. Dexcom also has helplines aka phone numbers where you can also talk to agents that can guide you through the process and answer any questions.

I’d say it’s pretty easy to put the dexcom on. It can be scary the first time you do it but it gets easier. I highly recommend that when you put your Dexcom in you look into using products such as patches or something that helps stick the dexcom stick better onto your skin. For example Skintac which you can find on Amazon. Dexcom also gives free over patches on their website. If you don’t use anything to help the sensor stick on, it’s more likely to peel off and start falling. (We learned the hard way) hahaha. If you want you could also look into getting liquids or wipes that help remove the Dexcom so that it doesn’t hurt as bad when it’s time to take of the sensor. My sister uses those products. I’d be happy to give you the links on Amazon for those products and the dexcom over patches if you want to look into getting them.

I’m sure you are going to do great. If you have any more questions feel free to ask. :slight_smile: Good luck!!!

Personally, I did want training, but it wasn’t offered. The videos did walk me through everything once I found the right ones, but I’d been using a different CGM for nearly two years, so for me it was a matter of learning what was different with this one (and unlearning some things about the old one).

Like Joe, I had trouble with my first sensor on the first day. It read low when my actual BG was fine. I called tech support and they said to just leave it overnight and it would set itself straight. They were right, and everything has been on track since then.

Watch the videos. Set up your Dexcom account (using a password you don’t mind sharing with your doctor’s office). See what you think feels comfortable. There isn’t much harm to starting early on your own as long as you know your high and low symptoms and still occasionally check your BG. You could just put the sensor in, but keep your daily routine (including testing) the same and see how the first couple of days go.

You will need to decide about using your phone or the receiver. Personally, I think it’s simpler to have everything on my phone. And the phone app automatically uploads your values to the Dexcom server so you and your doctor can review the data and summary reports anytime. I don’t know what advantage the receiver has other than making it accessible to people who don’t have a smartphone and saving some battery life if you do have a smartphone and don’t usually use Bluetooth.

Your office’s nurse educator may do the training, or the office will set you up with a rep. When I spoke with me rep and set things up I believe she came to my home (it’s been a long time), so see if that’s an option.
Glad to hear your studies are going well - ace those finals!

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We wanted someone to walk us through it the first time, and because of the pandemic, it was a video visit, which worked just fine. But obviously there are some people who prefer to try stuff themselves.

If you’re having trouble deciding which you truly want, you can try the coin toss test: tell yourself if it’s heads you’ll get training, tails you won’t, then flip the coin. If you don’t like the answer you got, then you’ll know which one you really prefer! :grin:

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Thanks for your responses, everyone!! Just a little update. I am working to schedule an appointment with a trainer. My office has a representative from Dexcom who will be doing it. I do have to wait a while, but I am leaning on the side of better safe than sorry!! She didn’t know when she was available yet, but I guess I don’t mind the wait. What are a few more weeks, right?

Thanks for your reply!! What kind of liquids or wipes do you use to get them off. I tend to really hate taking off adhesive stuff, so I would be interested in tips and what you use. Does she use both skin tac and the over patch? Or is one usually sufficient. I know I have seen some people who use both and some people who use one or the other.

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My sister only uses one or the other. She doesn’t use both skintac and the overpatches at the same time. So for the Dexcom to stick better you can use the over patches or skintac which is a sticky liquid. Personally we just like the overpatches better. They are super easy to use and you can buy fun personalized ones of Amazon or diabetes shops. For the skintac you have to rub the wipe over the spot where you are going to put on your Dexcom. For the overpatches those go over your sensor. Here are the links to the skintac and the transparent overpatches Dexcom has.

Skin Tac Wipes, 50 ea

I’m sure there are more stuff out there but these are the only 2 things my sister has tried so far.

To remove the sensor this is an essential for my sister. It’s called unisolve and she gets this one off the Walmart website.

I should also add that for the skintac and unisolve you can either get the liquid bottle or the wipes. My sister uses the wipes and they work fine as well.

Hope this works and helps you!

probably the best is Uni-solve, they are wipe like swabs that melt the glue using solvent. amazon has them

Thanks so much for sharing. This is super helpful. I have been looking around some, so thanks for the links, they actually got me better results. Thanks so much!!

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Thanks, @joe I will look into that!!

The Dexcom CGM was a “game changer” for my daughter. When she first got it, we received a bit of training but it wasn’t significantly different from what you see on the Dexcom videos. We also watched some of the “non-Dexcom” videos and got some excellent tips that way. I should also give kudos to the people here on the JDRF forum since I’ve learned a lot of good ideas that way.
In our case, we use our cell phones instead of the receiver. I am super grateful that I can see our daughter’s BG on my phone too! I only wish I could see even more data (e.g. her IOB)!
Kimi’s A1c has gone down slowly but surely thanks to all this wonderful technology…especially the CGM in conjunction with the Tandem pump’s Control IQ.
Bottom line: I think you’ll be very happy with your Dexcom CGM!

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Hi @dsiizuka! I use Tandem’s T:Connect app - it uses bluetooth so updates my phone constantly with my readings, including IOB (which is at the top of the screen rather than the bottom with most other info). You could use that app as well on her phone and log in as you wish to see her IOB. I’m not a techie but I suppose you could load the app on your phone without bluetooth (I was told it would only with on one device at a time) - so you could see her IOB (and other info if you wish)without logging in online.
Of you’re interested in comparisons of various apps, @WearsHats posted some helpful info on the following thread: G6 location
As you’re scrolling down you’ll see a picture of my bright pink Dexcom overpatch - his post is 5 or 6 down from that.

Unfortunately, T:connect will only work with one phone at a time. It does upload the data for your doctor to view, but I can’t find any way for a patient to access it. (Unlike Dexcom, which has two different apps and a website where you can view all your data from any device as long as you have the correct username and password.) I guess that’s for security, especially given that Tandem has plans to roll out a software update that would allow you to program a bolus through the T:connect app (as soon as they get FDA clearance for that functionality). You don’t want someone who guessed your password to be able to mess around with that. You’d think they’d have some functionality for parents and caregivers to be able to view a copy of the data, but if it exists, I can’t find it.

Really glad the pump is working out for her, though, and that she’s able to be healthier with it.

Thank you for clarifying. I didn’t know they were planning a TCONNECT update - cool! I don’t know that I’ll use it for boluses but we’ll see - right now I log them manually but it might be nice fir the system to record it. I’ll keep an eye out and see. Thanks add always did sharing your knowledge!