There’s no doubt that CGMs are amazing, but unfortunately they are also mind-blowingly expensive. In Germany, one box of five (5) sensors costs 349.50 EURO. That’s 69.90 Euro per sensor that only lasts six days. Anyway, one box of five is a one month supply – and that’s if you’re lucky and ALL sensors set correctly and are accurate for the full six days.
Even though my insurance covers 100% of the costs of my CGM, I still want to extend the use of my sensors each time in order to build stock. With that being said, the sensors are recommended and only approved for six days of use.
Here’s how I extend the life of my sensors:
1. Once the six days are up on my sensor, I let the pump tell me the sensor is finished.
2. Now there are two options:
OPTION ONE: carefully take the over tape off and disconnect the transmitter from the sensor port. Recharge the transmitter. Once fully charged, simply reconnect it to the sensor.
OPTION TWO: carefully, as to not disturb the actual sensor area, separate the transmitter (clam shell) from the sensor port. Separate them by a few milliliters. I only had to slightly separate and then reconnect, all while the over tape was still in place.
3. Green lights should start flashing on the transmitter (clam shell)
4. Tell the pump that you’re starting a NEW SENSOR
5. Wait for the warm up to complete and calibrate as directed
That’s it. Depending on the battery life of the transmitter, or how much longer it will be used, I don’t even need to recharge it before starting a “new” sensor. The longest I’ve used a Guardian sensor so far is 15 days. Apart from obvious inaccuracy, I find that once the sensor starts giving error messages that it has no sensor glucose value, and when gaps show up on the graph, it’s time to change the sensor.
I use Stay Put Medical adhesive to help my Dexcom stay on 10+ days. You could try their solid patch with a Medtronic sensor! Use code “theinsulintype” for 10% off.
Do you use your sensors longer than six days? What techniques do you use?
P.S. Use your own discretion, as mentioned, the sensor is only FDA approved for 6 days in the United States.
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