Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Energizer Sensor

Before I go into this post I would like to remind you that this is not medically recommended.  I like to break boundaries but I don't think everybody should do this.  I am also not going to tell any medical professional that I did this for fear of getting a proverbial slap on the hand.  I was smart about it though and kept a close eye on it every day.

I wore ONE sensor for 28 days.  4 WEEKS!!

The system - in a nutshell
Not just any sensor, a Medtronic CGM sensor!  Don't get me wrong, I love any CGM system.  I think they are amazing helpful tools.  It's just the Medtronic CGM system has major adhesive faults in my opinion.  I have complained in the past both on my blog and officially to Medtronic that they don't have enough adhesive on their CGM system.  They've got this wee little postage stamp size of sticky to hold on the sensor and the plastic transmitter that balances and hangs off the whole "situation".  It goes against physics and gravity.

I don't want to get into those complaints, been there - done that.

USUALLY, my sensors last me 4-6 days.  At most.  Sometimes I can run them for 9 but they are totally not trustworthy by 9.  I usually rip them out from frustration due to wacky numbers that are all sorts of wrong.  So for me to get an average of 4 days from a $50 (out of pocket) sensor was really beginning to make me irate.  What's worse is that it's summer now.  Summer + sweat = useless sensors.  Not only does the sweat seem to mess up the calibration of the thing, it also totally dissolves any adhesive.

What did I do right this time?  I have no idea.

It just kept going and going and GOING!  I wasn't going to complain.  I went for my regular 6 days which is 2 starts.  1 "round" is 3 days and once that's up I just kept restarting it.  over and over.  I was expecting the numbers to start going haywire but... they didn't.

It. Just. Kept. Going.

I had to disconnect the transmitter once every week and a half to recharge it.  Then I would plug it back in,  "find the lost sensor" and continue on my way.

Don't get me wrong, I was totally paranoid thinking it was going to spontaneously combust or something.  This was just unheard of!

I got 28 days out of a sensor and 95% of the data was trustworthy!  It was accurate.. almost all the time.  WTF eh?!

I paid close attention to the site though.  I studied it each day to check for infections or irritations.  I had a nasty and painful rash from the prolonged use of the Tegaderm (plastic patch covering) but the insertion where the needle was, healed up fine.

I rode this energizer sensor for all it was worth and didn't take for granted one minute of it!

When it finally came off, it was from too much sweat from my last long run.  I was okay with that.

Again.....  Don't try this at home!   ;)


  1. Lol, love your warning at the top. :)

    It's awesome that you were able to get that much use out of one! It's kind of like the old "If it's not broke, don't fix it" and that is very, very cool!!!

  2. That is awesome you got it to last that long. When I wore mine, I think 8 days was the longest I wore it.

  3. You found a sweet one! Lucky duck! I would milk it for all it was worth too!

  4. WOW!!! Congrats! Did you have to take the transmitor off and recharge it at all?

    I can only make mine go for 7...maybe 7.5 days before the battery dies on it.

    Maybe I'm not charging it long enough in between sensors? Maybe my transmittor is dying?!

  5. Jen, no I took it off and charged it about every week and a half or as soon as I started getting the "weak signal" alarms. Your transmitter is probably fine ;)

  6. OK, loved the "WTF eh?!"
    And, loved that this sensor made it that long! It was making up for all those crapped out too early sensors!!
    We pushed Bean's first dex sensor 14 days instead of 7 just to see what it would do...kinda wish we had kept going with that one since the second on crapped out after three days!

  7. I'm only on DexCom sensor #2 so - still a newbie...
    1st one - 10 days.
    As of today #2 is just restarted.
    I think that anyone who is paying for their sensors should get the batch that you got. It's only fair...

  8. Whaaaaat?! That is CRAZY talk! I'm impressed. So far I haven't managed to make it over 6 days with mine. If it wasn't bothering you and giving you accurate results, then I say who cares? When I was testing it the sensor out for the first time, my Medtronic rep actually told me I could ride it out for a week or longer if it was accurate...later when I talked to someone else, she kind of tsk tsked what he said. Again, I say, do what you gotta do and do what works for you!

  9. Wow! We use Dexcom (as you know :) ... so I don't know about the transmitter being plugged in. You actually have to plug it in? With Dexcom we only plug in our receiver.

    And...I LOVE that you got 28 days outta that bitch! You go girl! xoxoxoxoxoxo

  10. If only they all lasted that long! 28 accurate days is awesome...convenient...a money saver...all wonderful things lol

  11. Holy shit! That's amazing!! We have gone about 18 on Dex. We pay cash too so I feel your pain girl!!

  12. Oh, I'm totally going to try to see how long I can keep the next really accurate sensor going. It always sucks to go from one that's super-awesome to one that's a lying liarpants just because the battery is dying.

    Thanks, Dr. Scully! (*chuckle*)

  13. Electronics products are very sensitive. So I basically recommend to keep all the sensible parts in a hard case so that no outer hampering will come into play.


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