A Dose of Dr. E: Poking Fun at the Pitfalls of CGM

We love you CGM, but you’ve got some issues! Itchy adhesives, sensor failures, alarm fatigue…the technology is amazing and we’re so grateful for it, but there are few challenges we deal with on a regular basis. Alerts sounding off at 4am shaming us for the pizza we had for dinner? Jeremy’s got a fix for that…

And for our real deal troubleshooting tips, see our article here.

 

28 Comments
  1. Lol!!! So true too. I almost always have alarm issues the first day of a new sensor with it sending LOW alerts. Doesnt seem to matter when I insert it, guaranteed to alert at night but I’m not(per meter) and feel ok. Have to admit to just putting in a reasonable number to get thru the night then calibrating the next morning.- before you say anything I am a T2 x16 yr m, always on insulins( my choice) still feel my lows and an RDN CDCES x 28 yrs

    • The first 24 hours of all CGM devices are less accurate, and setting your lower alert lower than normal is probably oaky as long as you feel your lows and you sleep with a minimum of one other person every night (and they don’t have to be the same!)

  2. Thanks for the giggles!

  3. Awwwww! Thank you so much for this! I watched with my daughter (who is almost seven years old). She’s had her share of torment with the CGMs. Diagnosed at 2, she’s tried them all, but her tape allergy (not to mention the stress of putting on and the alarms) was so unbearable that even the sight of bandaids was dreaded. She and I can laugh about it now, all is well, old-school it is, but we truly wish more effort would be put into developing hypoallergenic adhesives.

  4. My biggest gripe is that the (Dexcom 6) CGM is not reliable. Reading from 10 to 50 off up or down. Dexcom just says they are certified… I had to ask about calibration and they only reluctantly admitted that you can do that. It’s like ” our product is perfect and certified – don’t bother us”.

  5. You guys are the best!!

  6. You guys rock! Love my CGM, but what a pain sometimes! Can’t wait for G7.

  7. Loved the video! Sooooo true!

  8. Oh the life of a T1D. That is me …….

  9. I love you guys! That funny video about CGM was so spot on. I’ve had mine with Medtronic for a few years. It’s a love/hate relationship. I certainly wouldn’t give it up, because it has kept my A1C around 6.0 for years. No more middle of the night lows. It’s wonderful. But I do hate the itchy tape, the multiple alarms in the middle of the night, and what appears to be nonsensical calibration and BG check alerts.
    Thank you for putting real life situations with a touch of humor out there for all of us. Much appreciated.

  10. Another TCOYD hit!!!! Take the act on the road!

  11. Nice job highlighting some of the issues, all of which there are no real solutions in sight other than to have patience and eventually work through them. I agree however that the benefit is well worth the cost. A few more issues I’ve experienced: a) when inserting a ‘soon to expire’ transmitter into a new sensor, my tandem pump will not notify me that I can’t start a new session with that transmitter until after it’s been installed. Using a thin plastic card, i can remove the transmitter – but better to mark the expiration date on your calendar; b) even though it’s more convenient to have someone place the sensor on the back of the upper arm as suggested in your video (as opposed to the abdomen), that’s not been approved by FDA and DEXCOM will tell you not to do that; c) Medicare won’t give you more than 30 days of CGM supplies, and you can’t reorder until you have less than a 10 day supply. Not practical when your last sensor on hand fails, or when takes 12 days or more to get a reorder from your supplier, or your transmitter fails before it’s 110 day life span; and d) finally, in order to get any diabetic supplies, Medicare now requires the patient to visit the prescriber every 90 days and that the supplier get clinical notes documenting the visit. Not a lot of value added if you are well controlled. All these issues can be resolved by a minor changes to either insulin pump software or DEXCOM / Medicare policy. Until then, individuals will need to figure out their own solutions …

    • Thanks Byron, appreciate you sending your concerns.

    • Byron, perhaps supply issues depend on your supplier and/or Medicare supplemental insurer. I am on Medicare with a Kaiser Plan F supplement and receive Dexcom G6 sensors from Byram Healthcare every 90 days (3 boxes) with no copay (a special arrangement Dexcom has with Kaiser). Couldn’t do that if Medicare didn’t approve 90-day supplies.

  12. thank you Dr. E. and Dr. P,
    Just what we needed to keep us light-hearted despite all the tragedy that is going on around us.
    thank you for this little ‘laugh-breaks’. they are delightful!

  13. My high signal went off during this video!!! lol…
    Thank you so much for your humor!!!

  14. The weird thing with my body is that if I apply a sensor to my mid section the reading is 30-50 points higher than a fingerstick for up to a day and a half. If I use my arm then its spot on from the beginning.

    I just double check and set my low alarm much higher the first night. Not such a big deal once I got use to it. I don’t want to imagine a life without my G6.

    • That’s really interesting. Thank you for sharing – it goes to show how everyone has different experiences.

  15. Most of the time when putting on a new sensor it is accurate. Always check and re calibrate in the next 12 hours,. it will come on track. Best thing I ever did. Keep safe. Mark. Those guys are awsome and lift my spirits

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