Endos and Meters and Sensors…Oh My!

That would be the song if The Wizard of Oz was about diabetes.  But then I’m sure it wouldn’t have been nearly as popular.  Maybe just in a niche market.  Anyway…

I have mini-posts today about three (mostly) unrelated topics.  Here they are:

1. I saw my endo recently and still haven’t written about it.  That’s mainly because I have nothing to report other than my awesome new A1C result (that I got a few days after the appointment).  Besides that, we hemmed and hawed a bit about the best way to deal with some bizarre and sudden nypos I had been having, and then she said, “Looks good, get out of here.”  (I’m paraphrasing.)  It was pretty uneventful.  My favourite kind of endo appointment.

2. I am back to attempting to use my Contour USB meter after my Bayer debacle.  (Can I call it that?  Was it bad enough to be referred to as a “debacle”?) So far, it’s mostly been working.  But sometimes I do still have the issue where the strip doesn’t turn the meter on.  Any time it’s happened I haven’t been in one of those rare I-actually-have-time-to-sit-on-the-phone-with-customer-service-right-now moments, so I haven’t phoned Bayer.  What I have done is put the malfunctioning strip aside and tried another one…and in most cases the new strip works.  So when I had a few strips collected, I figured I’d give them a call, but first tried one of the strips again to make sure I could produce a malfunction on demand (does that sound as wrong to read as it feels to write?), and go figure – I couldn’t.  They worked!  Shut the front door!!  So I still don’t know if it’s a strip problem or a meter problem, but I do know that these strips work in my regular Contour meter, so I still want to blame the meter.  Unfortunately I still probably don’t have  a leg to stand on with customer service.  Bah.

3. I am currently on my fourth functioning CGMS sensor in a row.  I kid you not.  They work now.  They work SO well – and usually for a good 6 days.  I’m ecstatic!  (For more on my CGMS frustrations of the past, click here.)  There is only one thing I’m doing differently – instead of stretching my skin taut for the insert, I’m pinching it up.  I’m getting the biggest pinch of flesh I can muster (Note: said flesh is only available on my expanding middle – this method will definitely render alternate sites impossible), and firing the sensor in with the serter at a bit of a deeper angle than I used to (to compensate for the pinch).  Every time it’s ended up going in all the way to the point that it’s flush with my skin.  And the accuracy is astounding.  If only I’d tried this approach sooner.  Now the only question is whether I will continue to have a pinchable belly for the duration of my pregnancy.  I guess we’ll see…..

All for now, but I have an OB appointment this week, so there may be another pregnancy update before long.


3 responses to this post.

  1. That’s interesting about the sensor! Now that I think about it, when I’m inserting a subcutaneous catheter for a hydrodermoclysis infusion, I always do the big pinch thing. In fact, that’s how I’d do most sub-cu injections. That’s pretty cool if it works for sensor injections, too! If that’s “what you should have been doing all along”, well, then that’s pretty crap that it’s not what you were instructed to do, though.


    • Yeah, it’s unfortunate that I didn’t know earlier that this was the way that would work, but the truth is that it works differently for different people. For a lot of people it does work to pull the skin taut, so that’s the recommended method. I did have the pinch method recommended to me by my CDE a while back as a suggestion, but it just didn’t seem to make sense to me (given that the problem seemed to be that my skin was too “squishy” – a squishy pinch seemed counter-intuitive), and since they’re $50 each (out of pocket), I was hesitant to experiment. But being at the end of my rope with them lately (and pregnant) made me a little more willing to experiment. So, honestly, if anyone is to blame for me not figuring this out sooner, I’d say it’s probably me.


  2. Posted by Sarah on November 6, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    I never really thought about it before, but I do always pinch up the skin when I’m inserting a CGM sensor. I use my outer thighs, where I used to take injections before I got my pump, so pinching up the skin there was just an old habit.
    Also, I think the Medtronic sensors I use are very accurate from day 0.5 through day 7 when the transmitter battery dies.


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