Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Year of Sensors

Well, in one year on the Dexcom, I started 32 sensors. I just finished that 32nd one today. I think the summer sensors were not as hardy- a lot more err1s recently. The most recent one didn't quite fail but after working almost perfectly for two weeks, the very last calibration was really off- the Dexcom said something like 140 and the meter said 281 (295 on recheck). So I pulled it. Sensor number 33 is off to a bad start- it's been in for about two and a half hours but has been showing ??? for the last hour.
In one year, I had two sensors actually replaced, because they never worked. Both were placed in my right abdomen, were I've had surgery, although I did my best to stay away from the scars. The first one I waited about 12 hours for with no luck; the second one I gave up on after only four hours because it was the day I was going to leave for a weeklong trip and I wanted to leave with a good sensor.
The receivers I've had replaced twice, meaning I'm on the third one. One had to be replaced because it totally stopped working; the other simply stopped beeping. Interestingly enough, none of the three have had accurate internal clocks. The first two simply kept losing time- I'd set them to the right time but they'd be off by a minute after a week or so, and in a month they'd be off by three minutes. The current one seems to both lose and gain a minute here and there.
I'm still on the original transmitter. I think it transmits a bit less further than it did six months ago, but I'm not really sure.

Anyway, here's how long I wore each sensor:

Sensor 1 left arm, inserted Sept 1 removed Sept 17 due to itchiness
Sensor 2 left abdomen, inserted Sept 19 removed Oct 2 removed because it failed
Sensor 3- left leg, inserted Oct 2, ripped out Oct 4
Sensor 4- left leg, inserted Oct 4, failed Oct 14
Sensor 5- left arm, inserted Oct 14 removed Nov 4
Sensor 6- left abdomen, inserted Nov 4 removed Nov 20
Sensor 7- right leg, inserted Nov 20 ripped out Nov 22
Sensor 8- right arm inserted Nov 23 removed Dec 10 due to itchiness
Sensor 9- right leg, inserted Dec 10 failed Dec 15
Sensor 10- inserted Dec 15, removed Jan 8th due to itchiness
Sensor 11- inserted on Jan 8th, removed Jan 9th because it didn't work at all
Sensor 12- right arm, inserted Jan 10th removed Jan 26th (itchy and ???)
Sensor 13- left arm, inserted Jan 26, removed Feb 2
Sensor 14- left abdomen, inserted Feb 2, took out Feb 13
Sensor 15- right arm, inserted on Feb 13, pulled Feb 22- the Dexcom receiver broke while I was wearing this sensor and I had to take the transmitter off while wearing the sensor in order to read the number on in, and the adhesive was just not sticking well- this was not a good sensor experience
Sensor 16- left arm, inserted on Feb 22, pulled Mar 5
Sensor 17- left upper abdomen, started on Mar 5, pulled on Mar 19
Sensor 18- right arm, started on Mar 20, pulled on the 31st due to itchiness
Sensor 19- left arm, started on Mar 31st, pulled April 21st at the three week mark- didn't think it was worth a restart because of ??? episodes a false low the previous night
Sensor 20- right arm, started on April 21, pulled it May 6 because of poor function
Sensor 21- left hip, started on May 8, pulled in May 23 due to itchiness.
Sensor 22- right hip, started May 26, pulled June 2 due to error 1.
Sensor 23- right arm, started June 3, pulled June 10 due to err 1 on restart.
Sensor 24- right arm?, started June 10, pulled June 19 due to itchiness and inaccuracy.
Sensor 25- right abdomen, started June 19 pulled July 3
Sensor 26- left abdomen, started July 3 pulled July 17 because the adhesive wasn't holding and it was itchy
Sensor 27- left arm, started July 17, pulled July 26
Sensor 28- right arm? started July 26 pulled August 7
Sensor 29- right abdomen, started August 7, didn't work at all, pulled August 7
Sensor 30- right abdomen, started August 7, pulled August 17 due to Err 1
Sensor 31- left abdomen, started August 17, pulled August 28
Sensor 32- left arm, started August 28, pulled Sept 11 due to itchiness and sudden inaccuracy

Days per sensor:
arm sites: 16, 21, 17, 24, 16, 7, 9, 11, 11, 21, 15, 7, 9, 9, 12, 14
abdomen sites: 13, 16, 1, 11, 14, 14, 14, 0, 10, 11
leg sites: 2, 10, 2, 5
hip sites: 15, 7

Why I pulled them:
Itchiness (usually combined with other reasons) - 10
Failed Sensor - 8 (Includes 2 that never worked, one that worked but failed in under a week, and five that failed after a week)
I didn't pull it, it pulled itself- 2 (both leg sites)
An old sensor doing worse that had not failed -6
It was just an old sensor and I was afraid to wear it past x days- 1
Did not write down reason- 8

1 comment:

Nathan said...

I've just found your blog. I'm a diabetic using a pump and sensors also. I am wondering if the Dex sensors are intended to last as long as you've gotten out of them. I use minimed and they only work for 3 days as designed... and then you can sometimes trick it into giving you a day or two beyond, if you are cheeky. I like the idea of having one work for 10+ days.