Friday, July 30, 2010

CGM+Sweat = Failure

I am not a regular CGM wearer though I wish I could be.  I'm Canadian, it's not covered under the Assisted Devices Program, they only provide enough for pump supplies.  I am, however, a squirrel and managed to push my pump supplies long enough to use my next government cheque to purchase a big box of sensors.  I don't care what they say, infusion sets CAN go for a double-run.

I am digressing.  Doesn't really pertain to the title of this post.  As most know, I'm somewhat of an exercise addict.  I actually enjoy the feeling of running and sweating like mad in the heat.  Lately I've had a couple sensors on and neither of them lasted long primarily due to my activity level.  At day 2 I needed to replace the plastic covering and when I removed the existing one the sensor wasn't even adhered to my skin at all.  It took great amounts of peeling and dexterity while trying to keep the thing from coming out.  The last run I went on was only day 4 of the sensor which means that I SHOULD have had 2 more days left and maybe even a bit more than that (I pushed it 9 days once!).  The problem was sweat!  I had the sucker on my thigh covered in a Tegaderm but the jostling and sweating made it come completely loose to the point where at one point I reached down and felt nothing attached to me anymore.  The sensor was waving in the wind like a flag!  It was barely stuck to the Tegaderm which was hanging on just by the edge to my skin.  This isn't the first time that's happened. 

I'm pretty unimpressed with the Medtronic CGM system.  Aside from the actual function of the thing (which is a whole other issue all together as most know) The physics of it sucks!  Its adhesive part is eensy weensy compared the the entire size of the sensor and transmitter all together that it's supposed to hold upright, I might add.  Then the adhesive completely disappears once sweat arrives on the scene and it slides all over, bends, kinks and is essentially rendered useless.  I'm really jealous of the Dexcom sensors, they have a far larger area of stickiness.  I mean just LOOK at all that adhesive goodness!  Perhaps having the sensor site on my thigh and being so active just doesn't work, and perhaps I don't know the trick to getting them to stick and stay stuck!!  I can't help but just see it as wasted money.  $50/pop!  I don't know, the Medtronic sensors just seem so dainty and precarious and not meant for a rough ride.  Doesn't fit my style.

I don't think I'm going to put another sensor on again until fall.

I would like to note that I've added a page of definitions up at the top of the screen for those family and friends who are following my blog and have found themselves googling "bolus". 


  1. Ugh! Good to know. I am in the process of getting the MM CGM... and I sweat all the time! Crap.

  2. Well I'm not having much luck. It's a combination of sweat and movement. I have had better luck with them staying a bit more stuck when I don't put them on my thigh. Still though, the area of adhesive is so eensy weensy!! I might try duct tape next time.

  3. I too am very active and sweat a lot with each workout. I use the medtronic sensors and have never had a problem with them staying on. I use my thighs regiliously as I that is the only place that i can forget it's even there. My trick to keeping it on is to use Nexcare first aid water resistant adhesive tape. Oncee the sensor and transmiter are attached I put a piece of the adhesive tape covering end to end. I have found that it never moves or jumps around when doing this. Those IV3000 covers or whatever they are I found only collected sweat and came off within two days. Maybe try the nexcare tape??? I've had great success.

  4. I don't even sweat and the MM CGM falls's horrible.....I too am very jealous of the Dexcom day

  5. Do you guys put a big sticker over it? I use the Smith & Nephew IV3000 things. I'm on day 4 with my sensor and it's still stickin'!

    Best thing next to duct tape.

  6. I use the IV3000 as well and they definitely help- however..those suckers are $65 a box....ugh!

  7. when I am not pregnant (as I am now) i always insert the sensor on the "fat" (I like putting "" around the word since it implies I have little - YEAH RIGHT! hehe) anyways, on my stomach. And when I am pregnant and my belly stretches out so far that it walks into a room 5 min before me, i use my "love-handles" (again, implies I don't have any... LOL) I've never tried the thighs... what about pants rubbing on it???

    And I totally fall apart when a sensor doesn't work or falls out or I pull it out by mistake. The whole "$50 thing" and how much "huger" the needle is to re-insert a new one, kills me! I hate it.

    And I hate that the assistance devices program in Ontario doesn't ALLOW us to use the money towards sensors. I always though they should just give us the money and let us use it for whatever we want. Supposedly they audit on a regular basis... i just get the check and deposit... I don't really keep a separate account or receipts specifically for ADP. Seriously, like we don't already have ENOUGH to keep track of, being Diabetic.

  8. I use the IV3000 and the Tegaderms and both come loose with a lot of sweat. I will try the Nexcare stuff. Not sure about thigh and heat and sweat and running though.

    Rebecca, it works really well on the thigh, you just need to be aware of it when putting on and taking off clothes. Also, they Audit?! uh oh. I just used my last cheque to buy a box of sensors because I saved up enough infusion sets to last me through the next 3 months. I guess I won't do that again. I never read the fine print, just like I never read instructions. thanks for the info.


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