Switching to CGM

I’ve had T1D since I was 7 (I’m 15 now) and I’ve never really been interested in a CGM because I don’t really like the idea of wearing something all the time. But lately, my position’s been shifting a bit. Now that I’m playing 2+ hours of tennis per day, every day, it’s getting harder to control my numbers. I’ve gone low on the court several times and in my efforts to combat this, I often end up overshooting and my levels skyrocket. It feels like a CGM would eliminate some of these problems.
Thoughts? Advice? Opinions? Reassurance? :slight_smile: Frankly it’s a little overwhelming and I would appreciate any advice/guidance about brand, placement, insurance, etc.
Thanks so much!

I’m a huge fan of my Dexcom G5. It’s the only CGM I’ve used, but generally speaking it’s great. What I like most about it now, is that it communicates directly with my iPhone (and I think they just released their app for Android). Long story short, I don’t carry the dedicated receiver anymore, and the integration with Apple Watch is great too. I have it as a complication on my watch face, so my blood sugar is just a glance away. It’s actually just going to get better from there. Apple included CoreBluetooth in their latest WatchOS update, so in the very near future, the G5 will communicate directly with the Apple watch w/o the need for a phone. This is great if you want to go for a walk or exercise without your phone.

I also wear an Insulet Omnipod and I believe they have been working with Dexcom to create a closed loop system in the hopefully not-to-distant future.

Hi! I totally get the fear about having this thing attached to you. That is me, too, and I still use multiple daily injections instead of a pump (I know lots of people love the pump, but as long as I’m well-controlled with injections, this works well for me. I’m happy). But I came around on the CGM, bought a Dexcom G5, and I absolutely love it.

One of the keys for me is being able to monitor during exercise. I can have so much more confidence that I’m doing OK, which allows me to keep going instead of stopping to prick my finger to make sure. Not only that, but the CGM gives me these beautiful moments where I realize that I actually haven’t thought about my blood sugar in a few hours, but I can still be fairly sure I’m fine since my CGM hasn’t alarmed. These moments of peace, of being worry-free, are so, sooooooo amazing. Not only that, but my CGM gives me the info I need to course correct BEFORE I actually go low and get to the sweaty-shaky-terrible feelings. This is also huge. It greatly decreases the time I spend shaking on the sofa while binging food and hoping I wind up ok. It has given me such freedom.

As for having a device attached…I really do get this. Dexcom is technically supposed to be worn on your abdomen, and that’s probably what they’ll tell you to do. Personally, I’ve found wearing it on the back of my arm is the best. I honestly almost forget that it’s there sometimes. I know that seems weird to you now, but it is definitely true. Also, when I first got it I tried to make sure I always concealed it with clothing. But I’m not going to lie, after the first couple times my CGM saved me from bad stuff, I became pretty proud of it. (I know saying it “saved my life” sounds dramatic, but honestly. I climbed a mountain last summer, things got real, and I truly believe my Dexcom was a big part of me making it through that). So I don’t mind showing it now.

All this being said…this is a very personal, very individual decision. I really hope it works for you. But the best thing you can do is be kind to yourself, and be honest about whether it’s working for you or not. Good luck!

So how exactly do you get the G5 sensor on the back of your arm? I’ve worn my pumps back there the but insertion is automatic. I’ve never really tried, so maybe it’s simpler than I imagine, but how do you manually attach the sensor to the back of your arm?

This video really helped a lot with placing it in the arm:

Arm sensor placement video

I do the thing where I use my knee to prop my arm against. I do twist it a little more to the back of the arm then she does in this video but…basically this is it.

(Useful part starting around 1:30 if you’re already familiar with how Dexcom sensors work)


Like @thepancreanator and @cmanton, I also love my Dexcom! I was on MDIs for 10 years and finally decided to get on an insulin pump because it’s now the gold standard of diabetes management, and I ended up getting a Dexcom at the same time. I LOVE both, and I wouldn’t trade that decision to switch for anything. While it is a little weird at first being attached to something, they’re now so much a part of me that I always forget they’re even there. My Dexcom has literally saved my life several times–the most recent instance being in the middle of the night and I had hypoglycemic unawareness. It woke me up when I was dropping quickly and I couldn’t be more thankful to have it. While I know you’re worried about being attached to something (or “part robot” as I like to refer to it :slight_smile: ), it might be worth looking into getting an insulin pump as well. It would allow you to give yourself a temporary basal rate during tennis practice so that you wouldn’t have to worry about your Lantus making you crash since that’s something you can’t adjust once you’ve taken your shot the day before.

Best of luck!

I have to say, I didn’t like the IDEA of having a pump and CGM to worry about.
I got the Medtronic pump with integrated CGM and have not looked back.
It used to be a hassle to get out insulin, syringe, needles, alcohol wipes… etc at a restaurant. Check sugar, draw up insulin, inject, dispose of needles, syringes, strips, waste from prep pads. People were half done eating before I was ready to start.

Now, if my meter is running “right on” I enter carbs and deliver dose. Takes a few secs, no one watching me like I am a drug addict, No waste to dispose of.

If any questions about meter reading, quick finger stick and deliver dose. Takes 30 secs. People ask what the pump is, I show them and everyone say how cool that is.

You will be able so see trends so know you are going low before you do. You can see if you under or over estimated carbs for a meal, and correct with carb snack or lower basal rate for a bit. You are not stuck with the lantus you administered this morning chugging on through an impending low.

So many benefits, so little downside.
Many people get a little frustrated with their pumps or CGM at some point, and revert to injections, but almost all shortly recognize that was a mistake and go back to pump and CGM.

The new Medtronic pump rivals accuracy of Dexcom. At this point Dexcom is only CGM, and you can use another brand pump with it.
Not sure if Animas will integrate with Dexcom in the future. J&J announced Animas pumps discontinued as of October 5 this year, and no future plans to roll out what they had in development. Other option is Tandem T-slim. It is more modern looking, and style. Tandem, too has some of its own problems, specifically they are still loosing money on each unit they sell.

This leaves only Dexcom with Medtronic pump or Omnipod, or Medtronic pump with integrated CGM. Or Tandem if you are wagering on their survival.

I am due for a new pump in spring, may go with the new Medtronic 670G. It auto adjusts basal delivery based on glucose readings to head off lows and highs. It is the most sound device and is gaining market share.

Dexcom long touted as the most accurate CGM sensor, has been given a run by the new Medtronic sensor which by most accounts is equal to or better than current Dexcom G5,
Hope this helps,