Last year we declared defeat and we actually took off the CGM (continuous blood glucose monitor for the summer) as we were having such a difficult time keeping the sensor in place on the skin and it was not worth stressing over losing the transmitter and the constant battle of trying to keep the tape on our D-girl's skin.
This year we faced the CGM sensor with renewed determination. If you are a loyal reader of my blog, you know that we 100% believe in the effectiveness of this technology to help better manage type 1 diabetes. I should say that it has helped us a great deal anyway. And with the new Dexcom G4 Platinum release this year and the fantastic new features (like increased accuracy and range on the receiver so that I can actually sleep with the receive on MY nightstand) I simply was unwilling to give up the CGM for the summer.
A few days ago I wrote about our first experience with the pool. FAILURE. Take a read if you haven't already. Water is our Friend? But anyone that knows me know I am a pretty determined person. There HAS to be a way to keep this sensor on in the water (for extended periods of time). Note: we do not have issues keeping it on for daily showering, etc. But summer fun has always proven to be a problem. The POOL is a must for any kid in the summer and how on EARTH could we keep this thing on?? Everything we have tried resulted in failure - or at least not the greatest results.
BUT - we have found the answer!!! And I will let the pictures tell our story!
First let me say that after my last blog about our pool failure, we had a lot of great suggestions about tapes and adhesives. And we first started out with a combination of these under what I am about to show you.
Here is my disclaimer: I am not a doctor and I am not a rep for Dexcom. This is simply what we found to work and for the FIRST TIME EVER - not only did we have a marginal victory - we scored a HOME RUN!!!
Step 1. When applying the CGM sensor to the skin for the first time. Peel back the manufacturer's tape and apply some Mastisol with a Q-Tip (be sure to avoid the spot where the actual probe goes under the skin). Then apply sensor as you regularly would any other time.
Step 2. We then took another Q-Tip and applied Mastisol directly to the skin around the sensor. Meaning over top of the sensor sticker we just applied. Then we applied a layer of Opsite Flexifix. NOW, that Opsite Flexifix should not be going anywhere (hopefully, right?!)
Then we got to thinking after seeing something in a junk-store on the boardwalk that jogged a memory about when you go to give blood or get blood taken and the nurses place that stuff around your arm. You know, that stretchy stuff that sticks to itself. Hmmmm - now THERE'S and idea! So, my parents were like, you know you can buy that stuff at the local drug stores, right? And so that was our next stop and indeed we found what we were looking for! See below! They sell all different sizes but we opted for the larger roll so that we could cover the entire CGM site without having to wrap it several times around the arm.
THEN, just to be on the safe side! We applied this pump band that we had purchased from pumpwear.com. We had to special order the size because her arm is so small but they were fantastic about getting the right measurements and making it happen for us!
And with ALL OF THIS, we were ready to hit the pool! CRAZY I know but if you knew 1. how much she gets upset when we have to replace the sensor, 2. how much these things cost (thank heavens for insurance!) and 3. how valuable the information is so we just are unwilling to go without anymore - you would understand the extraordinary measures. It is worth it.
And did it pay off?
WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT! For the first time ever, we were able to swim for HOURS and not worry about the sensor tape falling off. It didn't even BUDGE! You gotta know I was doing a happy dance when we pulled all of the stuff away and this is what I found!
SO, please take from this what you will and I hope it helps someone else! Because of all of the money I have spent trying to find the perfect solution to the sensor dilemma in the summer months, I believe we have found OUR answer!
GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY SWIMMING!