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Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Day the Dexcom Died

One of the great advantages of having a CGM is being able to monitor my blood sugar during off-routine times. like a beach vacation.  So when receiver went kaput on me our 2nd day there, I felt completely vulnerable the rest of the trip. 

At least it was serene. 

Let's back up a bit.  One of the things I love to do at the beach is ride the waves on a boogie board.  It's exhilarating and it's a great workout.  Even thought I can't take Constance in the water with me, she can keep up with me when I get back to my chair.  However, the heat of the sun on the receiver sitting on the beach chair is something I didn't consider. 

The receiver was fine the rest of the day, but it did give me some off numbers towards the night.  When I did my nighttime test before bed, I got an ERR1 message.  Not wanting to stay up another hour to recalibrate, I shut down my receiver with intents on calibrating in the morning.  But when the morning came, I couldn't turn on the receiver.  I held down each button multiple times, for longer than I needed to.  I finally called tech support, and they instructed me to try the reset button the back of the receiver.  Nothing happened. 

My receiver was fried. 

Unfortunately, my system was out of warranty.  So that meant I would have to start all over and get insurance approval and chart notes from my endocrinologist.  That was probably the worst news from this whole situation.  The last time I went through this process, I waited a month while the paperwork sat on my endo's desk.  I kind of assumed I would have to go through that all over again. 

But this also meant that I would have to revert back to my pre-CGM management routine, including testing 2 hours after a meal like clockwork.  I know that you're not supposed to rely on the CGM in place of finger stick testing, but I would find myself relying on it more and more, especially if the CGM was proving to be accurate.  My numbers the rest of the week were less than stellar, but not outrageous.  I had high numbers after breakfast, which is typical for me with the absence of exercise.  I did miss being able to monitor my BG when it wasn't in-range, relying on testing every hour or 30 minutes for a correction.  Those gaps in time were excruciating, but I managed the best I could.

On the last day of our vacation, I got the best call.  My Dexcom rep told me that my insurance was still going to cover most of the cost of my new setup and sensors, AND my endo had already signed my paperwork needed to submit to insurance!  I was elated.  And this all occurred on a day that my endo's office is normally closed.  He's really been on his game, especially since I've been discussing the idea of pregnancy

I should receive my new Dexcom system next week.  I can't wait to get back to being a real-time diabetic.  Next time, though, I think I'll leave the receiver in my room, or at least get it its own hat. 


  1. There's a reset button on the back of the Dexcom receiver? *checks hers*

    I'm so sorry to hear that Constance has passed on, but so glad you've got a speedy replacement!

  2. I'm currently CGM-less too due to some ill-timed failures and new insurance procedures for supply orders.

    I'm trying not to get too anxious over the gaps in information and remember that I did it this way for years!

  3. I'm getting my first Dexcom next week and I'm soo excited!!! I can't wait to start!! That's awesome that they processed it that fast!! I know you probably can't wait to get it :)

  4. I am so glad it worked out a lot faster than last time!

  5. boo for the bad news but yay for the good news! i am chucking at the image of the tiny sun hat for your dexcom!

  6. Yes - the Dexcom has a hidden reset - look for a pin hole, may be covered with a label on back. My unit (several years old) started beeping every min with some flashing on the screen. Tried everything, charging, plugging into the PC, buttons...the reset worked.


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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.