T1D’s (Type 1 Diabetic’s), let me save you from a mistake I made that cost SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS! I threw away an expensive piece of equipment because I did not understand what “it” was. Let me back up a bit and fill you in with the gory details.
My nine-year old T1D had just received his Dexcom G5. (I wrote a post on what the Dexcom is and why we love it HERE). It was a glorious season for all. He was awarded an Iphone to keep track of his blood sugar through an app, called Dexcom Share. I was happy because I could now see his blood sugar whenever he was in wi-fi! The worlds had aligned. I was happy, son was very happy (Iphone at nine – heeeey! chronic disease has a tiny perk here or there).
I used the same method to stick the Dexcom to his body that our endocrinology office used. The only issue (probably the mom nurse) was the Dexcom would not stay in as long when I installed it. Doh! The sensors are supposed to last seven full days. In the beginning, my T1D’s Dexcom site was barely lasting a few days.
The problem was our insurance company only gave us four “sensors.” These were designed to last a full month or thirty days. Matt’s were falling off too fast. Left with no other options, I called Dexcom’s Customer Service. She told me to throw away the sensors that had fallen off.
The whole Dexcom system is so tiny. I threw the whole thing away. The only problem was I was only told to throw the sensor away. The transmitters are made to last for three months at a time. I made a big mistake. The transmitter was trashed too. (Wah, wah, wah).
Bam! Wham! Flash, it was GONE! By throwing away the transmitter, it was like I threw away around $700.00 at the least (top retail looks like $1,400.00). I reached in to get a new “transmitter,” which I thought was a sensor at the time, and noticed it was the last one. I didn’t think much of it until days later.
I decided to call Dexcom’s service again. The agent gasped as I told her what I had done. She questioned me several times. I was put on hold. It felt like the longest moments of my life. Sweat poured from my body in anticipation. I could tell by the operator’s tone of voice, I had gigantically messed up. I knew the Dexcom transmitter was expensive, I thought probably around $100.00 maximum. It is so very small. I didn’t think it could hold much value. I was wrong, really WRONG. (Wah, wah, wah!).
Fear gripped my soul. The customer service agent told me they would replace it ONE time. She made it clear that this was NEVER, EVER TO HAPPEN EVER AGAIN. She said she would not charge me, but could only do this one time. The next time I “lost” a transmitter, I would be fully liable. Swallowing hard, I realized how dire the situation was. I agreed wholeheartedly this would not happen again. Finally, the call was over! Free at last, free at last. Hanging up tears of gratitude filled my eyes.
Another transmitter was overnighted to our house. Again, Dexcom picked up the cost. I have found the Dexcom Company to be stellar at every point. Their customer service representatives are always very helpful and kind.
Here is the gravy: The sensor is the clear plastic piece that the transmitter hooks into. The transmitter has, “DexcomG5,” clearly printed on the top of it. The transmitter lasts for ninety days. The sensor is thrown away every seven days or so.
With the right adhesives, some folks have gotten up to twenty-one days use the same sensor and site. I posted about our Secret Sauce to Stickiness HERE. However, keep in mind the FDA only has approved the Dexcom to last seven days.
My suggestion to Dexcom: mark the packaging of the sensors and transmitters with print that states the duration of each product. Encourage Endocrinology offices to clearly state what the different pieces of the product is called. I was so scared during the training of the safety on the sensor insert kit, that’s all I thought about. The racing dialogue in my mind went like this, “I’m shooting a needle into my kid that needs a safety, I barely graduated from high school, are you kidding me?!?” Maybe have the Endocrinologist’s office could give a hand out showing the labels of the equipment.
This story has a happy ending. My T1D is still alive. (Me sighing massively). I did not have to pay out-of-pocket for my mistake. (Hallelujah Chorus Rejoices).
The moral of this story is to know what the “farfignewgen” each of us are doing before we use state of the art equipment (especially with our children). Please don’t throw rotten virtual tomatoes at me for my mistake. I feel this could easily happen to others too.
Have you made a terrible, horrible costly mistake? Do you want to confess it here? Come on, be brave. Let’s start laughing at (oops, I mean with) each other. Life is too short to take this gig too seriously.
Thank you for stopping by today, please come back again soon. In the meantime, be like a proton and stay POSITIVE! Spoiler alert: it always works out in the end, I promise.
Blessings to you and yours today, and always,