New to Dexcom

My son was diagnosed a year ago and we have used finger sticks since then as his insurance would not cover a CGM. His insurance finally came around and we got one but it has been a series of mishaps with the thing since!

The first mishap occurred within 4 hours of wearing the thing. He jumped in a storage container in our backyard that he had filled with water and the Dexcom popped out when he came out of the water. I have since bought him some patches to keep the thing on in water, but it fell off again when he was in the tub. Any solutions for this? Is it okay to go in water? If it falls off, can we just push it back in?

The whole time he was in the backyard, the device that has the information on it kept saying that he was not in range. How do you manage the 20 foot range when someone is swimming? Or just an active kid in general. Does he need to have this device in his pocket at all times?

The next debacle happened when he was at his dad’s house so I don’t know the full story but I do know he had his lowest low that he’s had since diagnosis. It was a 36. The device said that he was 147. What happened? Now my kid is scared to use it again because he got so low. I feel like I’m a newbie all over again with this dang cgm!!!

I’m so sorry to hear about the issues you’re having. I don’t swim but I do take baths and mine stays on. Perhaps it has to do with skin type but some people do have issues with the sensor (not the transmitter that snaps inside) coming loose, and have found a skin prep helps with adherence. If it’s the transmitter snapping out, I’ve never had an issue so long as I ensure it is seated securely. However, when I got my G6 recently I did decide to invest in patches that have a strap over them. I also bought a shield for my sensor. Both are available from Amazon, and there are color options. The pink in the photo is the patch with strap, and the blue is the shield.
As for distance, most Bluetooth devices lose connection when separated from their device, and I don’t knew of any way around that. I use my pump as my receiver but when I used the handheld I kept it in an ID case I wore around my neck. That worked well for walks, bike rides and the gym but perhaps others can share suggestions for activities involving more contact.
As for the difference in readings, there have been times when I was separated from my receiver for an extended time (rypically the handheld, not my pump) and found a large difference between readings when I reconnected.

Hi there @lucyinthesky827! Welcome to the crazy, chaotic, wonderful world of Dexcom. It sounds like you got off to a bit of a rough start–sorry about that! :frowning: For what it’s worth, I’ve been a Dex user for a few years and in my experience, problems like yours are few and far between, so don’t worry that those will be your “new normal”.

First things first: The Dexcom adhesive can be a bit troublesome. It’s great that you bought patches! My main advice (and I’m not normally one to push products like this, but seriously this one is a lifesaver) is to buy some SkinTac. It’s generally pretty cheap on Amazon; I use one of the wipes every time I put on a new sensor and I almost never have to use a patch unless I’m swimming every day. Sometimes I’ll also use Unisolve to help get the adhesive off easily when it’s time to change sensors.

Ah, the struggle of Bluetooth range. Question–is your son using a phone to connect to his Dexcom, or is he using the receiver? I use an iPhone for mine, so if he’s using that I can give you a few troubleshooting tips; otherwise, I’m sure some other folks on this site will have some advice.

I don’t generally have issues with discrepancies between my actual blood sugar and the Dexcom readings, so I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had that issue! Did you calibrate when that happened? Occasionally with a new sensor it might require a calibration to keep it in range–that won’t typically happen, but it’s certainly not unheard of. The most important thing is that if the CGM is saying a certain number but your son is feeling different, he should always trust what he’s feeling rather than the device, and confirm with an “old-fashioned” finger stick.

I hope things get better for you! Don’t worry, it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed anytime you start with a new piece of T1 Tech. Hang in there, and feel free to reach out with any questions!

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Hi, I would just like to add a comment on the “out of range” while swimming. It’s not medical advice, just a comment.

When my son is swimming with Dexcom G6, he takes his pump off, I put the phone away, he jumps in the pool. What I am getting at is: it doesn’t really matter if it’s out of range while swimming. When he’s done with the pool, we hook back up , signal re-connects, We’re back in business. Your dr may have some different opinion, but I never give a second thought to an out-of-range message while swimming.

Hi Lucy, this has been answered but I’d like to add a little more - both for CGM usage and when it applies, to insulin pumps while swimming. First, I have always suspended and removed my insulin pump before going in water, ocean, hot-tub, river or lake - except for one time when I forgot. Two reasons for that, do not want to damage my expensive instruments, and while swimming and horsing about, I do not need insulin infused. I make a point of getting out of the water hourly.

As for the CGM being “out-of-range” while in water, no big problem. Your son would not go swimming if his body glucose level was dropping, or on a position where he might suddenly drop. In this case, use the “One Hour Rule” and come out of the water to check glucose level - the DexCom will automatically back-fill all readings, up to three hours worth, because these readings are stored in the computer that is part of the CGM sensor/transmitter apparatus. Coming out of the water and letting the values display on his Receiver is nothing more than during the period before a CGM when he would take a pause in activity to do a finger-stick; now checking is a little more simple.

I’m concerned about the sensor falling off his body, not only when playing about but while bathing. careful application on clean skin - meaning all soap residue removed, a sensor should stand up well for ten days . If the self-adhesion isn’t sufficient, Abby’s suggestion could be a solution.