What does a dying sensor look like for you?

Seems like no two go the same… sometimes it’s the ??? Sometimes the patterns get erratic… my current sensor after 2 weeks seems to just constantly drift downward even when I’m actually steady… which is especially annoying while trying to sleep because it’ll alarm saying I’m at 60—I’ll test and recalibrate at 85 then 5 minutes later it’s alararming at 60 again. I really don’t understand the calibrations, they seem to not really be very effective. I’ve calibrated this thing repeatedly this morning and it keeps bouncing back to low levels even though I’m not low…


If I’m putting in that much work at 2 weeks, I pull it. Sensors let you know when they’re done, and having them resist calibrations like that is a pretty clear sign. If I’m forced to use calibration to tighten up the values on an extended sensor, I’m willing to give it a few. A sensor that is still heathy enough to be somewhat reliable will be able to stay in line for a while afterwards. If I’m begging it, it’s gotta go.

In my opinion. Don’t know if that helps?


Thinking about it—- this is also a great example of why I’m wary of electronic medical records and don’t allow my doctors to electronically download my meter or Dexcom.

Imagine applying for a professional license or renewal and them saying “sign here to allow access to your medical records—- it is a voluntary thing but without it we may not be able to make a fitness determination” (in other words it’s not voluntary at all) then some dork bureaucrat that has no clue reviewing your glitchy Dexcom data and saying “oh boy—- frequent hypoglycemia! Denied!”

Not far fetched at all in my experience.


Nor in mine. Not saying any names, but imagine your pump going “frequent hypoglycemia! Insulin denied!”

I love these sensors, or at least most of them, but, boy, can they be wrong sometimes. And it does matter.


My current batch of sensors (G5) have one restart in them. By day 13 they tend to give really scattered data points and also signal loss frequently. Once I get increasing scatter going, I pull it. The older sensors, as many have said on here before, seemed to do much better through multiple restarts. My experience matches that so far.


That was a typical run time for us on the G5 sensors.

On the G6 we used to get 8 or 9 days. However the most recent G6 sensors we are back to getting around 12 or 13 days. Once we extended then we will not go more than 12 hours with data that is not acceptable. Figure got our time from it plus some so if it is no longer good then replace it.


This is what a dying sensor looks like to me…


Yeah I’ve definitley seen those scatter patterns before too

Then you get the sensor “breaks”…

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I agree with elver. When the graph stops being smooth curves and starts having individual points that jump up and down out of the line, that tells me it’s time for a new sensor today.

Here is my most recent G5 sensor giving up on 10/4/19. The Spike app picked up massively scattered BG data and the Dex receiver missed much of the BG readings altogether. I’ve been getting good longevity lately from G5 sensors but this is pretty typical of what tells me they are finished.

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Interesting—- that makes me wonder if the dexcom program has a safety valve to just not display data that doesn’t make sense… outside certain parameters from the last reading for example


Yes it does.

And the G6 is more aggressive with that as opposed to the G5.


Guess that make a great deal of sense… I’d noticed forever poor reception with failing sensors and always thought it didn’t make much sense because it’s not the transmitter that’s failing… but it having a programmed in garbage disposal in the receiver software explains that


If my G6 sensor bleeds a little upon insertion, then I’ll get similar scatter for a couple days. I’ve had fewer problems with bleeders than I did when I first got the G6. If the site bleeds badly, then I just replace the sensor because it won’t ever work properly. If it only bleeds a little, then there’ll be scatter and unreliable readings for a couple days before it usually starts working properly.

I usually have my sensor fall off before I see scatter like in your photo. With Skintac and babying, most of my sensors will last over 2 weeks, but I don’t think I’m ever able to restart a sensor twice. Sometimes they’ll fall off before I can even restart them once.

It’s funny you post this @Sam because EH’s sensor session just went wacky yesterday. Trending low when it’s not, dropping out and restarting. He’s actually of the opinion it’s a transmitter issue - this one is due to expire in a few weeks. Same thing happened with the last one. Dexcom claims it’s not the transmitter, but I think the sensors are not the only issue. Also we never use them past 10 days at this point. And I agree about not trusting that data to make major life decisions (like, for instance, employment eligibility) because in our case it’s not always right.

Last night was okay, after recalibration. But during the day yesterday it was dropping off.

I am a little late to the party, but @Sam, when you have conversations with yourself on online forums too much, it might be time to take a walk and get some fresh air. /s

Btw - you are aren’t the only person wary of electronic medical records, fortunately, if you change providers enough, your data will be all over the place.

I have a lot more conversations with myself in real life. I come here to find my voice of reason.


With the G5 I also get jitter in the graph for a while with a new sensor. I call the process of the jitter calming down and turning into a smooth graph “the sensor settling”. It can take anywhere from 12 hours to 3 days for my G5 sensors to settle. I had a gusher of a bleeder last month (the first in two years) that took 3 days to settle, but then it worked fine for another 10 days.

My gushers have resulted in urgent low alarms for 6+ hours. Maybe they’d end up alright after 3 days, but I don’t think it’s worth waiting for them to.

It happens really infrequently for me.

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