Ugh! I didn't realize how much I relied on my CGM

I use a Dexcom G6 and the transmitter died yesterday after 37 days. I was on hold with Dexcom for about 25 minutes and then they told me that the replacement one would arrive within 4-6 business days. I told them that was not acceptable so (supposedly) the best that they could do was “expedite” it and now I will get it by 8:00 pm on Monday. So I will be without it for 4 full days. I use the receiver (and not a phone) and have continuously reached for it since the transmitter died. I know it is not the end of the world and I can do finger sticks but I really wasn’t aware of how much I rely on it. I told my husband this morning that I miss “Bert”. *When I first got the Dexcom we were constantly saying “that thing” (the receiver) is beeping, etc. So I named it Bert (and Ernie is the sensor). Much more fun than calling it “the receiver”. Anything I could have done different with Dexcom customer service?


I’m not sure why they couldn’t overnight you a transmitter, but maybe it depends on where you live. “Expedite” to me means overnight at a minimum! A few years ago when I was still using my OmniPod PDM, the PDM suddenly failed. I called Insulet immediately. They initially told me the same thing that Dexcom told you, that it would take so many business days for delivery of a new PDM. I told the rep that I had NO long acting insulin so it was an emergency. They overnighted me the PDM ASAP. In fact, they hired a special delivery service to fly the PDM from another state and upon arrival had someone immediately drive it to my house. They knocked on my door in the middle of the night with it!!

I’m on Loop now and really rely on my Dexcom, for better or worse, even when it is totally inaccurate! My worst TiR days are when I have to change my sensor, every 10 days!


The transmitters are a PITA because it is almost impossible to build up a reserve in a reasonable period of time; one every 90 days. Insurance will fill one every 85 days if you are lucky so that’s an accumulation rate of under 6% per 90 days and it will take us three years to get to the point where we have a spare transmitter on day 1 of a new transmitter.

The only solution I know of is to use xDrip for a while; that allowed me to extend the transmitter life enough so I got to the magic “+1” state. Getting much beyond that is impossible because of the battery life; the shelf life of a transmitter is so limited that getting much beyond +1 means you soon enough end up always using out-of-date transmitters!

The thing that springs to my mind is a discourse I saw recently here about an endo who wanted his patient (i.e. one of us) to take a “holiday” from something, CGM or pump - can’t remember which. Taking a 30 day holiday gets us 30 days towards +1. More important the best way of getting to +1 is precisely what you just did; get a replacement from Dexcom. On Monday you will be 44 days from the next refill, yet you will have a transmitter that lasts at least 90 days, so you are halfway to +1.

BTW I haven’t done the math on transmitter life living under the Dexcom regime. I suspect the transmitter lasts for 90 days + end-of-sensor-days, but I’ve seen people quote a flat 100 days before, so it might not be as bad as I suggest.