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HJENSEN7 Posts: 57
10/15/09 11:03 P

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I agree with the general consensus, go with the one that appeals most to you (even if you don't know why). I think the great qualities of CGM are available in both.
I also use extra tape (IV3000) to keep my sensor on and not flapping around. THat works for me and doesn't irriate my skiin. Over the last year and half I've only had a few times where it didn't calibrate right (bad sensor). Considering how many others were fine, I think the odds are good on that.

I also adjust insulin doses based on what my sensor says a lot instead of checking with my meter. You're not "supposed" to, but I think we all do it, at least sometime. In this vein one of the great things about the CGM is that it helps me learn what my BG does when, and when I see it going up or down quickly or slowly after a mean or exercise I now have a really great idea on what kind corrections I need.

I also don't know about getting a trial run, maybe the Dexcom customer service can help you with that. I got my CGM through a study.

I wish you luck that your insurance is speedy and covers everything! I think you'll like it as much as you like your pump. :D

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_GABS_ Posts: 22
10/15/09 6:58 P

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HoneyBear- thank you SO much! I am also an avid over tester- I realized as I was filling out numbers for the insurance that I had WAY too much information! : P

I'm definitely going for a Dexcom at this point. Insurance is up in the air right now... I had another low last night, so I'm hoping all this gets sorted out fast!

I love SP! : ) You guys are awesome!




HONEYBEAR027's Photo HONEYBEAR027 Posts: 1,058
10/15/09 5:43 P

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GABS - I've tried both the Dexcom and Minimed and currently use the Dexcom. I currently have a minimed pump and really thought having their CGMS would be the way to go, so that I wouldn't need two separate devices, but the Minimed did not work well for me.

Problems with the minimed - I found the sensors REALLY irritating to my skin. And it wasn't just the adhesive. I tried it first with just the adhesive stuck to my skin and that was irritating, so I tried a second sensor through an IV 3000 piece of tape and THAT was also really irritating. I couldn't get more than about 4 days out of the sensor. I found the Dexcom to be more accurate for me.

The Dexcom - their sensors last 7 days and I can usually get a restart out of them so I wear it for 14 days. I don't get irritated by the sensor, but I do put them through an IV 3000 and they generally stick really well for me. The new 7 series seems to be pretty accurate for me. I exercise a lot and I find that with the Dexcom I get to see the graph take a nose dive, which is really helpful. It is also GREAT for my overnights. It has helped me to feel confident enough to take a correction bolus before bed if I need it without stressing out that it is to much.

My insurance covers the sensors for me now, but I think they are $70 a piece. I use 2 a month.

The CGMS is great for things like driving long distances or dinner parties when you want to know how you're doing but don't want to test.

I do find that I get kind of addicted to the thing and it had given me some bad habits when I'm NOT wearing it. I am a classic BS over tester, it used to be normal for me to test 10-12 times a day. With the Dexcom I test more like 3 times a day. I know you are not supposed to rely on it for correcting your bloodsugar but sometimes I do. I find that with the Dexcom I test when I wake up and before I go to bed, but don't test at lunch anymore. This is OK when I have a sensor in, but is realy bad when I don't.

Bottom line though - CGMS changed my life significantly, and for the better. It has allowed me to lower my A1C by about 2 points. And it gives the confidence to do things that used to freak me out before.

-Honey

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SUPERDUPER26's Photo SUPERDUPER26 Posts: 1,553
10/15/09 3:56 P

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After browsing the websites, I kind of prefer the Dexcom too, lol! Their adhesive system looks better to me too, and they kept saying they had the most accurate readings in the low range, which for me at least was half the reason for getting the CGM in the first place!

I didn't get to test drive a CGM first, I actually just called Minimed and told them I wanted one and they got all the necessary prescription stuff from my doctor. I think if you can get you hands on one for a trial run it would be worth it, but that wasn't an option for me.

Sweat doesn't affect the readings any, but it can loosen the tape (just like that on an infusion set).

Good luck deciding between the two!

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_GABS_ Posts: 22
10/13/09 7:58 P

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After looking more at the websites I'm liking the Dexcom. I don't really know why other than I like the adhesive site better and the user interface- and probably good marketing skills on their part. : P I called the sales rep yesterday and got alot of questions answered about it.

Before you got your CGM were you able to get a "trial run" with it to see how you liked it? I don't want to get my hopes up too much if it turns out not to be all I've hyped it up in my head to be (although the pump didn't disappoint!)

Also, I thought of another question- have you had any issues with sweat? I exercise every day- does that mess up the readings at all?

SUPERDUPER26's Photo SUPERDUPER26 Posts: 1,553
10/13/09 6:54 P

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Hi Gabs,
Minimed's CGM can work either with their pump, or as a stand alone version with a separate device that receives the readings.
I use the Minimed CGM and have been having issues lately getting the thing to pick up highs and lows, but mine is about a year and a half old now and they say that's about its lifespan, but I'm hesitant to restart the battle with my insurance company for a new one. (It took 14 months to get the first one covered and paid for, and I don't have room in my budget just yet for the replacement on my dime.)
It took me a while to figure out how to make the sensors stick, actually thats not entirely accurate, the sensor sticks quite well, but the transmitter needs to be taped down too or I end up catching an edge of it and ripping the entire set out. I think the Dexcom has the edge on sticking power, since the whole thing is attached, there's no flapping edge to catch and no need for extra tape to hold it down.
Like H already mentioned, the box of 10 minimed sensors runs about $350 (before insurance), but you can generally get 6 days out of a sensor instead of the 3 days they tell you to use it for.
Both companies' sensors are waterproof, but only read within so many feet of the pump, so it doesn't need taking off to get wet, which is nice.
Personally, I'd go with whichever is cheaper over the long haul. I think they pretty much do the same thing and while there will be little differences, both companies are working on newer improved versions anyway so in a few more years who knows what other options will be out there....

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_GABS_ Posts: 22
10/11/09 9:40 P

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Preferably, I'd like the CGM separate from the pump, as that would be cheaper. I'm going to call both dexcom and minimed sales reps tomorrow to ask more questions related to insurance...

Have you had any trouble with the sites sticking? or with calibrating it?

I really appreciate all your help! : D

HJENSEN7 Posts: 57
10/11/09 9:28 P

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I got the pump and CGM as a package when I participated in a study. I'm pretty sure that Minimed has the CGM separate from the pump if that's what you want. I'm not sure of the cost though. My last pumps were also covered by insurance. Minimed has a lot of information on their website. You can also call and ask about price differences, I've found their customer service to be very helpful.

THe CGM is wireless but still wants to be close to the pump. It can only send the info so far. When it does go out of range and then back it will pick back up if it's been within a certain amount of time (15-20 min I think). If it's been out of range long enough it "looses sensor", but I find it easy enough to restart, just push a few buttons.

I was on one of the CGMs long ago where it measures your BG but you can't see what it's doing until you go back to the docs office and they download. This one is much more helpful as you get your numbers as they come up. The minimed will show you with an arrow if your BG is going up/down quickly. It will also alarm when it's low or high. You can program in the BG you want the alarm to sound at.

If you have more questions I'm happy to answer. :)

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_GABS_ Posts: 22
10/11/09 9:02 P

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Yes, I'm on an insulin pump (Animas 1250) It's helped alot, but I'm still having unexplained high and low blood sugars... Lots of problems with low bg at night, highs or lows during exercise (never know what's gonna happen there! lol) I'm finally convinced a CGM would help, and my dr. wanted me to look into it.

hjenson, did you have to buy the minimed pump and CGM together as a package or is the CGM just an "add on" to the pump? I'd rather buy a CGM than a CGM AND a whole new pump, if that increases the cost.

And is the connection from the CGM to the pump wireless? (can you take the pump off during exercise and not have to "restart" the CGM? I know with the dexcom it has to be within 5 feet or it stops reading it.

My dr. has put me on a CGM before- one of the kinds that you download the info after a week-but it didn't show any patterns. I would really love to not worry about going to bed w/ out a snack when my bg is 117!

HJENSEN7 Posts: 57
10/11/09 5:18 P

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I'm on the Minimed CGm and have been loving it. I've been on it for just over a year now and my A1C has come down considerably (and it was already in a good spot). For me it's been pretty accurate and the size doesn't bother me, it's about the size of my insulin pump site. Are you on the pump? The thing I like about the Minimed also is that while there are 2 site (1 for insulin 1 for the sensor) there's only 1 device I have to keep on me that controls/keeps track of both.
As for how long it lasts, I can usually get two uses out of each sensor just be restarting it. So 6 days in total instead of the official 3.
I love being able to see my trends, how fast/slow my BG is going up or down.
I've only been on this one so I don't know how it compares to the Dexcom.
As far as cost goes, my insurance covers the sensors. For Minimed a box of 10 sensors is $350. Not cheap, if your insurance covers it it's great. If not I think it's still worth it but maybe use it only once/twice a month if you can't afford $350 every month or two (depending on if you use the sensor for 3 days or 6 days). And how many of us can afford that on top of the rest of our medical supplies? :)

I think I hit all the highlights. Let me know if you have more questions. Good luck! Whichever you choose I think you'll really like it.

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MISTIK's Photo MISTIK Posts: 119
10/11/09 2:34 P

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Hi Gabs, I don't have a CGM but really hope to get one eventually. Are you paying cash for yours or is insurance helping, I'd really like to know!

I have been reading about these and of the two I'd go with the Dexcom because I like the idea of 7 day sites. I also like that the site is smaller, it seems that would make it easier to wear.

I don't know prices or anything, but it seems that the Dexcom would be more of what I am looking for.

If we choose, we can live in a world of comforting illusion.

~Noam Chomsky


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_GABS_ Posts: 22
10/10/09 3:33 P

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I am hopefully getting a CGM soon, and was wondering what your experience with either of these has been. Are they accurate? Helpful? How much does it cost you monthly? Basically, I don't want to get one and find out the hard way that I should have tried something else...Thanks!

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